Colorado Sales Tax Guide For Businesses

Know everything about sales tax in Colorado and get updated information to navigate tax regulations effectively.

Quick highlights on Colorado Sales tax

Sales tax rates

Colorado state sales tax range

3% - 11%

Base sales tax rate


Local Rate Range

0% - 8%

Economic Nexus Rules

Sales Threshold


Transactions Threshold

Not Applicable

Reference Period

Current or Previous Calendar Year

Filing Details

Colorado Sales tax Calculator

Frequently Asked Questions

As a business, do I need to collect Colorado sales tax?

Businesses are required to collect sales tax in Colorado if they have a sales tax nexus in the state. This includes having a physical presence or reaching a specific sales level, which establishes an economic nexus. This is why understanding Colorado state sales tax obligations is crucial for compliance.

Do I have a physical nexus in Colorado?

A physical nexus in the state of Colorado is established if your business has a physical presence in the state. Following are examples of physical presence that can trigger a physical nexus in the state of Colorado:

  • Contractors (customer facing roles): "Contractors" are usually considered independent entities or individuals. They operate their own businesses and are not typically under the direct control of the hiring company. The presence of contractors engaged in customer-facing roles, such as marketing, sales, support, or servicing, usually triggers a physical nexus in the state.
  • Employees (customer facing roles): In the context of establishing a physical nexus, "employees" refer to individuals who work for your business and are physically present in the respective state. Employees engaged in customer-facing roles, such as marketing, sales, support, or servicing, usually trigger a physical nexus in this state.
  • Warehouse: A "warehouse" in the context of establishing a physical nexus refers to a physical facility used for storing goods, inventory, or products within the respective state. Businesses may utilize warehouses for various purposes, such as storage, distribution, or fulfillment of orders.
  • Office: An "office" in the context of establishing a physical nexus refers to a physical location or workspace that a business maintains within the respective state. This could include a dedicated facility where administrative tasks are carried out, meetings are conducted, or business operations are managed.

How do I know if I have an economic nexus in Colorado?

An economic nexus in Colorado is determined by your sales volume. If the annual sales of your enterprise exceed the given threshold in Colorado, you must register for an Colorado sales tax permit, collect tax on sales shipped to Colorado, and remit that sales tax to the state revenue authorities.

In Colorado, an economic nexus is established for your enterprise if your sales in the state exceed 100000 based on the sales from the Current or Previous Calendar Year.

While calculating the sales or number of transactions for determining economic nexus, Colorado requires transactions made through marketplaces, like Amazon, eBay, etc. to be excluded. Transactions made for resale purposes should be excluded while determining whether a business has exceeded the Colorado economic nexus threshold. Finally, the sale of products that are non-taxable in Colorado should be included while determining the establishing of nexus in Colorado.

For an in-depth understanding, read our comprehensive guide on economic nexus reference periods.

Which goods are taxable in Colorado?

For businesses in Colorado, local sales tax is applicable on the sale of all tangible personal property sold at retail in the state. In Colorado, sales of services are typically exempt from sales tax. However, specific services are subject to taxation under Colorado law, including gas and electric service for commercial use, as well as intrastate telephone and telegraph services.

Moreover, sales tax is applicable to prepared food and beverages sold by restaurants, bars, and similar establishments. Additionally, short-term rentals of rooms and accommodations are subject to Colorado sales tax..

Businesses need to stay updated on current tax information as well as the associated obligations and exemptions to avoid any compliance issues.

What items are exempt from Colorado sales tax?

Colorado exempts several items from sales tax- Food, including food sold through vending machines, prescription & non-prescription drugs subject to certain conditions, medical supplies and equipment, farm equipment, school related sales, certain machinery and machine tools , to name a few.

Understanding these exemptions is vital for businesses to calculate sales tax accurately in Colorado. If you are uncertain about the tax status of specific items, seek guidance from professionals at Galvix.

Is SaaS taxable in Colorado?

In Colorado, the sales tax laws consider certain types of software, SaaS, and related services as taxable. These include:

  • SaaS - On premises: This refers to Software as a Service installed and operated from the customer's in-house server and computing infrastructure rather than a third-party server.
  • Software delivered on tangible media: Software distributed and obtained through physical means, such as CDs or DVDs.

However, sales tax laws change frequently, so it is vital to remain up-to-date with the latest regulations on the sales tax of Colorado for digital goods. Checkout our latest blog to learn more about SaaS sales tax.

What is the deadline to obtain a Colorado sales tax permit after establishing a nexus?

If a business has a physical nexus in Colorado, it must obtain a sales tax permit from the Colorado Department of Revenue and start collecting sales tax on transactions as on the date of establishing the physical nexus. Businesses that establish an economic nexus in Colorado need to obtain a sales tax permit and start collecting taxes, latest by 1st day of the month after 90 days, from the date they establish the economic nexus.

It is important to obtain the sales tax permit and start collecting taxes as per the deadlines mentioned above, in order to avoid back taxes and penalties.

How can one get a Colorado sales tax permit?

To obtain a sales tax permit in Colorado, businesses need to register with the Colorado Department of Revenue. This process is streamlined and can be completed online through the online portal provided by Colorado Department of Revenue. To comply with Colorado's sales tax laws, businesses need to get a tax permit.

To get a sales tax permit in Colorado, you need to provide detailed information about the business, such as the type of business, FEIN, personal details of the owner, business registration, nature of business activities, and several others on the Colorado Department of Revenue website. You will then get a sales tax number. This number is important for collecting, reporting, and paying the sales tax to the state government.

For detailed instructions and guidance on the registration process, connect with the experts at Galvix.

How should a business collect sales tax in Colorado?

Businesses in Colorado must collect sales tax from customers on relevant transactions. The collected tax must align with the Colorado sales tax rate, which varies by location. Enterprises should regularly verify the sales tax rates to ensure accurate collection. To learn the best practices, explore our sales tax compliance guide.

Where can I file my Colorado sales tax return?

You can file the Colorado sales tax return by visiting the online portal provided by the Colorado Department of Revenue at:

When should a business file Colorado sales tax return?

Businesses in Colorado must file state sales tax returns periodically. The frequency, i.e., monthly, quarterly, or annually, is determined by the state based on the tax liability.

Typically, sales tax and use taxes is due monthly, with returns and remittances filed on or before the 20th day of the following month for the previous month’s sales. However, businesses can request a different filing status based on their annual tax liability.

In general, the following are the filing deadlines for Colorado, based on the assigned filing frequency to you by the state:

  • Monthly Filing: 20th day of the following month
  • Quarterly Filing: 20th day after each quarter end
  • Yearly Filing: 20th day after year end

It’s crucial to adhere to the assigned schedule to avoid penalties.

How does Colorado determine the sales tax filing frequency for my business?

The Colorado Department of Revenue will assign you a filing frequency. Typically, this is determined by the size or sales volume of your business. State governments generally ask larger businesses to file more frequently.

Generally, sales tax in Colorado is due monthly, with returns and remittances to be filed on or before 20th day of the following month . You may request quarterly filing status if your annual tax liability is less than 3600. You may request annual filing status if the tax liability for the year is less than 180.

Are there any benefits if a business files Colorado sales tax on time?

Colorado allows a retailer to retain 4% of the sales tax collected (service fee) in order to cover the expenses incurred by collecting and remitting state sales tax. The total Colorado state service fee a retailer is allowed to retain for any filing period, is limited to $1,000.00. If the Net Taxable Sales of a retailer are greater than $1,000,000, the state service fee is not allowed..

What penalty is applicable if a business fails to file Colorado sales tax?

Penalties are applicable if a business fails to file and pay sales tax before the due date in Colorado. The penalty for unpaid tax is calculated at a rate of 10% of the outstanding tax amount, with an additional 0.5% added for each month the tax remains unpaid, up to a maximum total penalty of 18%. Further penalties may be applied in cases of negligence or fraud.

Interest begins to accrue on any late tax payment from the original due date of the tax until the date it is paid. The rate of interest accrual varies depending on the calendar year(s) during which the deficiency persists.. More details about this can be found here.

What are the key things to remember while filing sales tax in Colorado?

While filing taxes in Colorado, businesses must remember to account for sales tax holidays and potential tax discounts. Sales tax holidays offer temporary tax exemptions on specific items, and tax discounts may be available for timely filings during the reporting period. Staying updated on these can maximize compliance efficiency.

What is the sales tax on shipping in Colorado?

Delivery and freight charges are typically exempt from sales tax under certain conditions. To qualify for exemption, these charges must be clearly separated from the purchase and itemized separately on the customer invoice. They are considered separate if they involve services performed after the property is offered for sale, and if the seller allows the buyer to use their transportation service or an alternative option, such as the buyer picking up the item from the seller's location.

Additionally, taxable delivery and freight charges related to tax-exempt sales are also exempt from sales tax. . The tax rate aligns with the Colorado state sales tax rate applicable to the goods sold. Businesses should levy sales tax on shipping accurately for compliance. More details about this can be found here.

Let Galvix handle sales tax for you

Galvix provides an end-to-end sales tax management service, including nexus monitoring, tax calculations, and return filing, giving you the confidence and time to focus on what matters - your business.