What is A Tax Resale Certificate?
As a savvy small business retailer, it is important that you are aware of how to utilize tax resale certificates to your best advantage. 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.
It is critical that you 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 actually call them exemption certificates or reseller’s permits.
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 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 misused.
What Information Do I Need For The Tax Certificate Registration Form?
You must provide the following information:
- The name and address of the purchaser
- The name and address of the seller
- The registration number of the purchaser
- An accurate description of property purchased for resale
- The reason for the exemption
- A statement that if the property is put to use in a taxable manner that the purchaser will remit the consumer use tax
- Date and Signature and Title of the authorized individual at the purchaser
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 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.
Remember To Verify Any Tax Resale Certificate Presented To You
In the first part of our series, we mentioned that a vendor can refuse a tax resale certificate. This is because the vendor will be the one liable to the state government should anything be remiss. That is why you should always take the following steps to assure that anything presented to you is valid.
- Make certain that the certificate is properly filled out and signed by the business owner
- You should be able to verify the certificate online by using the certificate
- You should also be able to verify online if the certificate has expired
- Be award of purchase that seem suspicious and do not relate to the customer’s business in a logical manner
- It is important that you keep the certificate on file for at least 5 years in case of a tax audit.
That Is Why We Are Here To Help
It is understandable that 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.