What is A Tax Resale Certificate?
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.
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.
What If A Customer Presents Me With A Tax Resale Certificate?
A customer can also present a tax resale certificate to you as a retailer and it is your discretion whether or not you want to exempt them from the required sales tax. It is always a good idea to check on the certificate because you will be held responsible, if the certificate is expired or fraudulent, for the unpaid state sales tax. Verification is key in making sure that the correct due diligence has been completed to authenticate the tax resale certificate.
Do Big Box Stores Usually Accept Tax Resale Certificates?
A retailer should also be aware that many Big Box Stores such as Walmart or Target refuse to honor tax resale certificates to prevent retail arbitrage. Retail arbitrage is buying a rare item from a store and reselling it for a markup.
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.
The Various State Tax Laws Can Be Confusing
Dropshippers must understand that each state has its own unique tax laws related to retail sales tax that are constantly changing. There are many different definitions of what is nexus and what manner of tax resale certificates are acceptable. Some states accept resale documentation from other states, while many do not.
Third-party fulfillment companies make this even more difficult to comprehend. A large company like Amazon can have one shipment travel through a dozen states, which can often trigger nexus.
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.
Do Not Be Caught Unaware
Many dropshipping third party suppliers are being unpleasantly surprised by large fines and hefty audits. This has made them require retailers to pay sales tax or be able to present valid tax resale certificates. However, the type of documentation required for each state can vary greatly.
Business taxes are determined by net income. This is when you subtract business expenses from gross revenues. Having an online accounting system automatically keeps track of your figures. If you use an online accounting system and you’ve entered all income and expenses, the system will automatically provide you with a gross profit figure. Those that use spreadsheets, please take the time to add up the numbers so you can forecast what you will need to owe in taxes for the following year.
Do Not Get Frustrated.
We understand that this is a whirlwind of information that can be very frustrating. There are great differences between states and you do not have the time to sort this out and properly run your business. 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.