Guest Post from Mark Faggiano of Taxjar.com
Forgot how to Handle Sales Tax? Here’s How…
Mark Faggiano is the founder and CEO of TaxJar, a service built to make post-transaction sales tax compliance easier for multi-channel ecommerce sellers.
January is the promising start of a brand new year. It’s time to sit back and count your profits after the holidays, make some resolutions and maybe enjoy a few cups of hot cocoa.
But for many online sellers, January is also the only time of year you have to deal with sales tax.
But never fear. If you have annual sales tax due dates in January (and nearly every online seller does), then TaxJar has your back. Here’s what you need to know, even if it’s been a whole year since you’ve dealt with sales tax:
1.) Find Your Sales Tax Due Dates – Check out this list of January sales tax due dates to determine when your sales tax filing is due. Most sales tax filings are due on January 20th, 2015, but there are always a few states that just have to be different. Double check due dates in every state where you’re registered to collect sales tax to ensure you pay on time.
2.) Determine How Much Sales Tax You Collected – If you’re only filing annually, this means you have to determine how much sales tax you’ve collected throughout the entire year. You must also determine how much sales tax you’ve collected through every channel on which you sell. You can do this the time-consuming way, by running reports from all your channels, or the easy way by letting TaxJar do it for you.
3.) Get Your Sales Tax Reports Return-Ready – In a perfect world, states would only want to know how much sales tax you collected from buyers in the entire state and be done with it. But, of course, as with anything sales tax-related, it’s often more complicated than that. Many states want you to break down sales tax you’ve collected by county, city or other taxing district. This can mean poring over every transaction and trying to figure out exactly what districts your buyers lived in. TaxJar has your back here, too. We’ll give you return-ready reports so you don’t have to spend your time on this tedious task.
4.) File Your Sales Tax Returns – Once you’ve gathered up all of your information, it’s time to file. You can file online or even let TaxJar AutoFile for you (in 26 states and counting!) Be sure to file on time – states will penalize you if you’re late, but many will also allow you to claim a sales tax discount if you file early. And don’t forget that many states require you to file a “zero return” when you’re registered there, even if you didn’t collect any sales tax over the taxable period.
And that’s it! You’re done with sales tax. Well, at least until the next time sales tax rolls around.
Sales tax is complex. That’s why we created TaxJar – to handle the burden of sales tax while you get back to running your business. TaxJar pulls in sales tax collected from all the channels where you sell, compiles your data into return-ready reports, and will even AutoFile your sales tax returns for you in 26 states (and counting!).
Sign up for a 30-Day TaxJar free trial today and put a lid on sales tax. To let us take care of your January sales tax filings, be sure to sign up by January 5th!