Value-added tax (VAT) for online stores

Value-added tax (VAT) for online stores

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Imagine living in a virtual world where you could get amazing electronics, stylish clothing, and everyday essentials with only a few clicks while lounging about in your comfortable house. You’re in an incredible virtual environment without any obstacles or lengthy lineups, but did you realize that there is something lurking beyond this façade? Ever wonder if internet retailers pay taxes? In the world of e-commerce, it is a truth that retailers must deal with: VAT. In this article, we will discuss in detail how this tax is imposed on online sales and what it implies for both store owners and customers.

When is VAT registration mandatory for online stores?

When it comes to registering for VAT for online stores, there are several main points to consider. One of these points is the amount exceeding the annual sales, as the minimum registration for VAT is determined when the company’s annual sales exceed the amount of 375 thousand riyals.

Legally, when a company’s annual sales exceed this limit, you must register for VAT and submit regular tax reports and payments. VAT registration is an important procedure for companies that exceed the specified sales limit, as this is a legal obligation.

What are the obligations of the online store owner whose sales exceed 375 thousand riyals annually?

The owner of the online store, whose sales exceed 375 thousand riyals annually, bears many VAT and other financial obligations, and the following are the most important main points that he must take into account:

Value-Added Registration

The store owner must register for Value Added (VAT) if his annual sales exceed the subscription threshold set by the local authorities, submit the registration application, and provide the required information to commit to paying the tax due.

Clearly display the tax certificate.

The owner of the online store must display his tax certificate clearly and visually on the website, as this is an important measure to comply with legal requirements and to make it clear to customers that the store complies with local taxes.

Uploading tax returns

In order to comply with applicable tax laws, the business owner must file tax returns on time and accurately, which necessitates keeping correct financial records and recording all transactions related to sales and purchases.

Payment of tax obligations

The store owner must pay the due tax and other financial obligations on time, as failure to comply with these obligations is a legal violation, and the store may be subject to legal penalties.


It is important that the owner of the online store is aware of all his tax and financial obligations and does his best to comply with them. It is also advisable to cooperate with an accounting program specialized in taxes, such as the Qoyod program, to ensure full compliance with tax legislation and avoid potential legal problems.

The importance of VAT for online stores 

By registering for VAT, you will be able to recover the value-added you paid on purchases and expenses eligible for refund, and in addition, you will be able to tax your sales and collect it from customers.

Responsibilities of online store owners

In addition to registering, you have a lot of other requirements under the value-added system. For example, you might have to set up particular accounting systems in order to guarantee value-added compliance, as well as maintain particular financial records and file regular tax reports.

When should I register for the optional VAT for online stores?

When online stores in Saudi Arabia transact and achieve annual sales ranging between 187.5 thousand riyals and 375 thousand riyals, they face a choice about registering for VAT. Here I will review some important key points about this option and its effects on the online store.

Optional registration 

One of the main points to be taken into account is that subjecting stores to value-added tax in this category of sales is optional, not mandatory; the electronic store has the right to decide whether or not to register.

Benefits of optional registration 

Although registration is optional, it may have some benefits for electronic stores. For example, after registration, the electronic store can recover its value-added tax on purchases and work-related expenses; thus, it can contribute to reducing labor costs and increasing profitability.

Tax liabilities 

The online store must be informed of additional tax duties associated with its business operations in case it chooses not to register for the tax. For instance, if yearly sales reach 187.5 thousand riyals, the firm must commit to registering and paying tax on other sales.

Consultative guidance 

It is advisable for the store to seek strategic advice and guidance from a specialized accountant or tax consultant before deciding to register for optional value-added tax (VAT). This will help the store understand the potential effects and make the best registration decision.


The optional value-added registration decision for online stores depends on several factors, including the organizational structure and financial and commercial objectives of the online store; therefore, e-stores should study the relevant laws and regulations and consult with the competent authorities before making the final decision.

How to register with the Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority for online stores 

When it comes to registering with the Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority, there are a number of key points to consider, the most important of which are the following:

Registration in the Ministry of Commerce

Before you register with the Zakat and Income Authority, you may have to complete the registration procedures at the Ministry of Commerce, where you are required to issue a new main commercial registration or update your investment license if there are new amendments in the facility.

Text message from Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority

After completing the registration procedures at the Ministry of Commerce, you may receive a text message via mobile phone from the Zakat Tax and Customs Authority, and this message contains the unique number of your establishment. It is worth noting that this distinctive number must be kept safely, as it will be used in the upcoming registration procedures.

Visit the authority’s website.

After receiving the TIN number, you must visit the website of the Zakat Tax and Customs Authority, and this portal can be accessed online. Log in using the TIN number you received, and do not forget that through the portal, you can complete the final registration procedures.

Enter your TIN number. 

When you access the website, you will need to enter the TIN number you received via text message, as this number will be used to link your business information to its tax record.

Complete the registration procedures.

After entering the TIN number, you will need to complete the final registration process. You will then be asked to provide additional information about your enterprise, such as contact information, business information, and details of owners and partners.


It is important that you follow the instructions for each step of this process and provide the required information accurately. You should also keep a copy of all documents submitted later.


When we take a look at the concept of value-added tax for e-stores, we realize that it is not just an additional cost or administrative burden but rather an integral part of the world of advanced digital commerce, as it is the driving force behind the development and regulation of this vital sector. It is important to remember that this tax is not only a legal requirement but also a springboard for success and excellence in the e-commerce industry. If you have a thorough understanding of it and are prepared to follow it, you will be able to grow and prosper your e-business, seize business opportunities, and expand into a diversified and expanding market. You will also be able to comply with legal requirements and offer your customers a unique shopping experience.

Every click of a button in the world of electronic stores brings with it the possibility of innovation and success, so use VAT as a tool for ongoing development and improvement and to make your mark in this incredible digital world. Additionally, don’t forget to use the Qoyod program, which is an approved partner of the Income Authority and Zakat. It’s important to note that the program also provides all of its customers with access to electronic invoice systems, POS systems, stores, and customers. Additionally, it is an efficient accounting application.

After knowing everything related to VAT for online stores, try Qoyod now for free and for 14 days, as it is an accounting program that achieves everything you aspire to in a few seconds.

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