Mark Faggiano is the founder and CEO of TaxJar, a service built to make sales tax compliance easier for multi-channel ecommerce sellers.
Whether you’re new to filing sales tax or it’s old hat to you, here are some tips for July, one of two months where practically every business in the US is required to file and pay sales tax.
Sales Tax Filing: The Vital Details
If you’re new to online selling or sales tax, you may be confused about a few things. Here are some of our sales tax 101 tips:
- Online sellers must register for a sales tax permit and file sales tax returns in any state where they have sales tax nexus.
- Sales tax nexus generally means a presence in a state that warrants you having to comply with that state’s sales tax law. That presence could bean office, a storefront, inventory stored in a warehouse, or an employee.
- Always file for a sales tax permit before you collect sales tax. Some states consider it unlawful to collect sales tax in their name without the requisite permit.
- After filing for your permit, a state will give you your sales tax filing frequency. This could be annually, quarterly or monthly, or, depending on the state, even some odd frequency, like semi-annually.
- Once you are registered in a state, you usually have to file a sales tax return even if you didn’t collect sales tax in that state that month. Failing to do so could result in a penalty of at least $50.
If you’ve sold anything online before as a business, you’ve likely dealt with the hassle of sales tax.
Once you’ve filed for your permit and looked into what to do with the tax you’ve collected, you’ve figured out if your state is an origin or a destination-based sales tax state. You’ve calculated tax rates. And you’ve likely filed a return or two (dozen).
But July is one of those “perfect storm” sales tax months where sellers in almost every state, with almost every filing frequency, have a sales tax filing due. California ended their fiscal year in June, meaning fiscal year annual filers in that state even owe a filing this month.
This may not be too bad if you only have to deal with sales tax in your home state. But what if you have to deal with sales tax in multiple states (like Fulfillment By Amazon sellers do)?
TaxJar is here to help. We’ve put together this handy list of your sales tax filing due dates for the month of July. Go to this post, find your state or states where you have sales tax nexus, and you’re good to go timing-wise. If your state has a deadline, be sure to file, even if you don’t owe any money!
If you need help figuring out how much sales tax you owe or putting together complex reports, try a 30-day free trial of TaxJar. We import your data from the various channels where you sell, like eBay, Amazon, and Shopify, or your payment processors, like PayPal, and then get your info file-ready for each individual state. No more spending way too much time filing sales tax. Sign up today so you can get back to running your online business!