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 was part of England's training squad for the 2008-09 International Rugby Board world sevens series, but did not play. He later played for Scotland at the 2009 Dubai Sevens.
"The rugby community will be shattered by the passing of such a gifted and popular young man who was respected by everyone he played alongside," Rugby Players' Association chief executive Damian Hopley told the Manchester Evening News.
"He wasn't simply a talented rugby player, he was also extremely bright and successful in his life outside of rugby.
"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."