Tait is understood to have fallen from an apartment block in Hong Kong.
His Premiership rugby career was cut short by injuries, and he became a corporate finance manager for multinational firm KPMG.
Tait, a back-row forward, spent five years with Sale, who signed him as a teenager.
He went on to become a member of the England Under-20 squad before switching rugby allegiance to Scotland, and was rated as an exciting playing talent.
Former Sale and England captain Robinson said on Twitter: "Holding back the tears thinking about the loss of David Tait. Lovely young man who will be greatly missed. Thoughts & prayers to his family".
There were also tributes from current Sale players Mark Cueto and Danny Cipriani.
England wing Cueto tweeted: "Just horrific to hear the news abt David Tait...... Top bloke & a great talent.
And Cipriani tweeted: "Horrible news about David Tait, he was a legend of a bloke and very talented. Thoughts with his family, sending my love."
Tait represented Scotland sevens at tournaments in Dubai and South Africa in 2009.
Stephen Gemmell, who was then Scotland sevens head coach and is now Scottish Rugby Union head of performance development, said: "He became an important member of the squad and fitted in really well with the other players.
"David was a pleasure to work with and had a bright future ahead of him, both within and outwith the game.
"The thoughts of all at Scottish Rugby are with David's family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."
Two current Premiership players, Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care and Northampton fly-half Ryan Lamb, also took to Twitter to express their sympathy.
"Couldn't believe the news. Lost a good friend and an absolute legend of a bloke David Tait. RIP mate. Sending all my love to his family," Care tweeted.
And Lamb tweeted: "Terrible news about the death of David Tait. Top player and a top bloke, had some awesome times playing through the age groups with him."
Rugby Players' Association chief executive Damian Hopley said the rugby community would be shattered by Tait's passing.
"He wasn't simply a talented rugby player, he was also extremely bright and successful in his life outside of rugby," Hopley told the Manchester Evening News.
"We will do everything we can to help support David's family and the players who played alongside him. His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers."
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