How Do I Know If I Need To Pay Sales Tax In A Given State?
In order to establish whether or not a state can impose a sales tax upon your business there first needs to be nexus. Nexus relating to state sales tax is established by a connection between the state and your business. How this connection is defined has been subject to fairly recent changes that reflect changes in the way business is conducted in modern times.
Traditionally, the nexus has been established by the business actually having a physical presence in the state. However, due to the explosion of e-commerce, physical presence within a state is no longer a requirement for sales tax nexus. In the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, the courts actually eliminated physical presence as the major requirement for creating nexus. It still should be noted that physical presence is considered an important requirement to allow a state to collect sales tax and is still one of the first considerations for sales tax.
What Are The Different Methods In Which The States Establish Sales Tax Nexus?
The definition of sales nexus can vary greatly from state to state. Here is a list of the different ways in which states can determine sales tax nexus:
- Click-Through Nexus legislation
- Affiliate Nexus legislation
- Marketplace Nexus legislation
- Notice and Reporting Requirements
- Economic Nexus
Click-Through Nexus legislation- This usually requires a remote seller to meet a minimum sales requirement in the state resulting from an in-state referral agent who is a resident of the state. The agent must be making commission payments to the referral agent for any sales that are the result of the click-through referrals from the agent’s website.
Affiliate Nexus legislation– A remote retailer holds a substantial interest or is owned by a retailer that is located within the state and sells a similar type of product under a similar business name. Instate retailers can also be used to promote or market the product to in-state customers. Affiliate nexus does not require common ownership and may not include services such as sales and delivery.
Marketplace Nexus legislation– This definition applies to marketplace facilitators who operate a business in the state and provides e-commerce infrastructure, customer service, payment processing, and marketing services to individual sellers. The facilitator is the one that is required to register with the state and collect the sales tax rather than the individual sellers.
Notice and Reporting Requirements– This legislation requires that a retailer does not collect the state sales tax themselves but notify their buyers that they must report state use tax on all their purchases. The retailer might be required to send the purchaser a statement of all their purchases.
Economic Nexus– An out-of-state retailer generally is required to collect and remit sales tax once the retailer meets a set level of sales transactions or gross receipts activity (a threshold) within the state. No physical presence is required.
To find out more about state sales tax please visit the sales tax institute.
What Happens To Goods That I Do Not Sell?
You might be wondering what becomes of goods you do not sell on which a sales tax has not been collected. These goods could be subject to a use tax.
What Is The Use Tax?
Use tax applies to purchases made outside the taxing jurisdiction but used within the state. Use tax also applies to items purchased exempt from tax which is subsequently used in a taxable manner.
What Do I Do if I Purchase Goods In Multiple States?
The tax resale certificate can be challenging if you purchase and sell goods in multiple states. It can mean keeping track of many types of certificates for different vendors. The multijurisdiction resale certificate, which is also known as a blanket retail certificate or a uniform sales tax certificate, can help ease this burden. As its name suggests this document can be used over multiple states. However, the document itself can be confusing and it is not accepted the same way in every state. It is important that the document is filled out correctly, and the retailer is aware of the different issues that can arise if it is applied incorrectly.
Do All States Accept The Multijurisdictional Resale Certificates?
One should also recognize that the following states do not accept the multijurisdictional resale certificate:
Do All States Charge Sales tax?
There are also states that do not charge sales tax. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon do not charge sales tax on a state level. Alaska and Montana do allow municipalities to charge sales tax on retail goods at a local level. A tax retail certificate is not needed in these places with regard to a state sales tax.
What Happens If I Do Most Of My Business In A State That I Am Not Incorporated?
If you primarily do business in a state that you are not incorporated in, make sure you apply for a Foreign Qualification (also known in some states as a Certificate of Registration or Certificate of Authority). This is the process of registering your company, which is considered domestic to the state in which it was originally formed and foreign to all other states, as a foreign entity in the states in which it operates. The retailer is then able to legally conduct business outside the state in which the company was originally formed and therefore should be able to apply for a tax resale certificate.
Getting A Tax Resale Certification Is One Of The Best Things You Can Do As An Entrepreneur
If you decide to start a business, a tax resale certificate can really save you money on taxes.
In short, a tax retail certificate allows you not to pay sales tax on items that you plan to resell. This can also apply to supplies that are going to be used in products that you will resell, such as wood for a cabinet.
However, the process can be difficult and the rules are different for each state. That is why TaxResaleCertificate should do all the hard work for you. We can make sure that you get all the advantages of a tax resale certificate without having to deal with the hassle of government red tape. Let us handle the hard stuff so you can proceed to run your business with confidence. Make sure you check out our second blog in this series so you can learn even more valuable information about tax resale certificates.