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.
Do All States Charge Sales tax?
Some states 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 concerning 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.
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.
Is The Tax Resale Certificate The Same As A Seller’s Permit?
Even though tax resale certificates are called reseller’s permits in some states, it is important not to confuse them with seller’s permits. A seller’s permit allows a retailer to charge tax on items that they are going to sell to a customer. A tax resale certificate allows you to buy items that are intended for resale without paying a sales tax on those items.
Does A Vendor Have To Accept My Tax Resale Certificate?
It is extremely important to a retailer’s bottom line that they do not pay sales taxes on goods if there is a possibility that the tax can be exempted on a state level. However, it is also crucial to understand that a wholesaler is not required to accept your tax resale certificate in some states.
That Is Why We Are Here To Help
Understandably, all this information can be very daunting. 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.