It Can Be Confusing
Sales Tax regulations can be a source of great confusion for small businesses. The rules seem to be continuously changing and it can be very difficult to keep up.
However, remembering some relatively simple concepts will go a long way toward easing the stress associated with sales tax issues.
How Do I Know If My Business Needs To Collect Sales Tax?
Forty-five out of the fifty states require businesses to collect sales tax. This does not even include that many cities and localities that also have sales tax regulations. You must understand the rules of the places that you do business. Does your state or local area require some sort of license or sales permit? Be sure that you are charging the correct rate for both the point of sale and the types of products your business sells.
How Do I Know If I Need To Pay Sales Tax In A Given State?
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 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 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.
Are You Dealing With Taxable Products?
You need to make sure that the type of product your business is dealing in the jurisdiction that you are selling said product. You should make sure to ask the following questions:
- Does your state collect sales tax?
- Is the state sales tax based on the origin or destination?
- Are you selling a product or a service?
- Is your specific product or service taxed in the state or locality that you are selling?
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 is A Tax Resale Certificate?
You must understand that tax resale certificates can also be used on items that will be resold. Office supplies, such as new computers for your employees, would not fall under the category of retail. It would be considered fraud not to pay sales tax on these items.
If this is confusing for you, just think of tax resale certificates as state tax exemption certificates. Some states call them exemption certificates or reseller’s permits.
Tax Resale Certificate Is Here To Help
Not correctly understanding sales tax and the benefits of a tax resale certificate can lead to a great deal of trouble. A retailer could lose out on extremely beneficial sales tax exemption status. A savvy business owner will understand that having a tax resale certificate will save them a good deal of money but leave the actual headache of registration to someone else.
On the other hand, misunderstanding and not paying the correct sales tax to a state government could very much hurt a business’s standing and reputation. At Tax Resale Certificate, we make the process as easy as possible. Just take advantage of our user-friendly interface to help take the headache of applying for a tax resale certificate off your plate. This way you can completely focus on the great opportunities presented by your Print on Demand business.