Are you Doing Sales Tax the Easy Way or the Hard Way?

September Small Business ChecklistWhen we started our Autopilot sales tax solution, TaxJar, we talked to merchants of all kinds. And one of the things we found out over and over again was that sellers were spending hour after hour on sales tax compliance.

Sales Tax: The Hard Way

If you have to deal with sales tax in multiple states or through multiple channels, and you aren’t automating this process, then you’re familiar with doing sales tax the hard way.

Once you’ve collected sales tax from customers in states where you have sales tax nexus, you must then remit what you’ve collected periodically. This is simple enough if you sell on one platform – say eBay – and only have sales tax nexus in your home state. But as your business begins to grow, things started to get complicated.

If you don’t find a way to put your sales tax on Autopilot, and if you sell on more than one platform, you need to pull a report from each platform when it comes time to file a sales tax return. Then you have to add up how much you collected in each state.

Don’t forget, if you have nexus in multiple states – either because you have an office, employee, warehouse or even use 3rd party fulfillment in a state – then you have nexus in multiple states and they’ll all want a periodic sales tax filing.  This might mean filling out a sales tax return monthly in your home state of New York, and three more in Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona quarterly, and then perhaps an annual report in California.

And did I mention that some destination-based sales tax states require you to subtotal how much tax you collected in every single county or jurisdiction? It’s amazing how much merchants are expected to put up with just in order to comply with sales tax regulations.

Dealing with information from multiple states?

Trying to calculate just exactly how much you owe to each state?

Juggling due dates?

That’s sales tax the hard way.

Sales Tax: The Easy Way

Fortunately for online sellers, some Autopilot sales tax solutions have come to town.

Sales tax services pull in how much sales tax you collected from the various platforms you sell on – including Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Square, or PayPal, or even through your own website with a platform like Bigcommerce, Shopify or WooCommerce.

Sales tax Autopilot solutions also mean you never have to worry again about totaling up how much sales tax you collected. If you put your sales tax on Autopilot, that’s all done for you. You’ll also get a reminder of your due dates, meaning no more $50 (or more!) late fees for forgetting a filing.

TaxJar’s AutoFile feature will even file your sales tax return for you, meaning no more filling out miles-long forms or dealing with each state’s various filing practices.

If you aren’t automating your sales tax compliance, what are you waiting for? Check out a service like TaxJar and put your sales tax on autopilot.

Mark Faggiano is the founder and CEO of TaxJar, a service built to make post-transaction sales tax compliance easier for Etsy, Amazon, Shopify and other multi-channel ecommerce sellers. Mark’s passion is solving complex problems for small businesses. Sign up for a 30-day free trial of TaxJar and put a lid on sales tax!

Business Basics: 3 Reasons You Need a Delayed Filing For Your Business

small business tax deductionsWhen a business owner files for a delayed filing, he or she is putting their business’s paperwork on hold until a later date. This may not seem entirely productive because, often, getting paperwork to go through the state for you business can be a waiting game, anyway. But a delayed filing can be strategic for the success of your business when used correctly.

Here are three reasons a business may opt for a delayed filing: Continue reading

Business Basics – Estimated Tax Payments

Estimated tax payments are one of the biggest shocks for new business owners. They know that they have to pay taxes, they just don’t realize they have to send in a check four times a year! Most businesses that expect to more than $1,000 – or $500 if the company is incorporated – in taxes have to make estimated payments to the IRS. And, since the next quarterly payment is due on September 15th, we thought it’d be a good idea to do a quick rundown of what estimated tax payments are.

Estimated Tax Payment

What are estimated tax payments?
Exactly what they sound like. These payments are simply what you’d normally owe on your income. However, since you don’t have an employer to withhold and send in what you owe, you have to do it instead.
Continue reading

Never Miss Another Sales Tax Due Date!

Never Miss Another Sales Tax Due Date!Guess what? You owe sales tax to at least one state this month.

Did that get your heart going? Then you’re like business owners all over the country trying to get sales tax under control but struggling to do so. It’s one of the most annoying aspects about doing business these days, particularly for eCommerce businesses.

Why? Because so many states are trying to get as much money as they can, including from online business owners who sell taxable goods to customers in their state. Do you have an employee in one state? You likely have sales tax nexus there. Do you store your inventory in a warehouse in another state? Then you’re likely required to collect sales tax in that state, too.

Some states want your payments monthly. Some want them quarterly. Some even just annually. But if you’re paying sales tax to a bunch of states, how are you supposed to keep up with all these due dates?

Continue reading

How to Handle Upcoming QETs

How to Handle Upcoming QETsIt’s that time once again: time to whip out the finance books and try to figure out just how much you owe for quarterly estimated taxes, or QETs. More sitting down at the dining room table, going over numbers, scratching your head trying to figure out what this abbreviation stands for…

Wait, you don’t know what this is about? Quarterly estimated taxes are a big part of the small business owner’s life as they’re constantly buzzing around just around the corner, ready to pounce and make a mess. However, many small business owners still manage to forget about them, leading to headaches and possible fines.

Instead of putting them off, read our quick guide so you can get ahead of the game!

Continue reading

Why You Should Keep Your Business and Personal Financial Worlds Separate

Why You Should Keep Your Business and Personal Financial Worlds SeparateThis post is brought to you by GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping, the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!

Be honest: how difficult were your taxes this year? Did you have trouble figuring out how much you made and how bad your expenses were? Were you afraid you missed something? How many fistfuls of hair did you pull out?

Many sole proprietors start their businesses as a hobby or side income. It might not seem worth it to go to the hassle of opening a whole new business bank account. But keeping your personal and business finances combined can lead to some pretty bad headaches. And not just at tax time, either. There are several reasons why you should consider splitting your two financial worlds up immediately. Here are a few that could be affecting your business right now.

Continue reading

15 Essential Financial Planning Tips for Entrepreneurs

15 Essential Financial Planning Tips for EntrepreneursWhether you’re a new entrepreneur or an old hand, money occupies a prominent role in your business. Failing to get – and keep – your finances in order can doom your company or consulting practice in the long run. While each entrepreneur has their own set of unique financial challenges, there are several areas where nearly all entrepreneurs can draw from a general well of wisdom.

1. Pay yourself first, Uncle Sam second.

No doubt, you’ve heard the expression “pay yourself first.” That’s good advice for everyone. However, entrepreneurs must remember that with no employer-initiated tax deductions to count on, they must also make provisions to cover self-employment taxes.

2. Hire pros, but know what they’re doing.

You didn’t go into business to spend hours working on spreadsheets. That’s why you hired a Certified Public Accountant. However, you should still understand the basics of keeping the books, if for no other reason than to be able to answer your accountant’s questions at tax time.

Continue reading

Tax Stats 2014 (Infographic)

The 2014 tax season is here and here at MyCorporation, we’re taking a closer look at taxes in the United States and throughout the world in our latest infographic. Curious about where your tax dollars go? How the state corporate income tax rates vary throughout the U.S. and how they’re compared from all around the world? And what do we plan on doing with our tax refunds this year, anyway? Find out the answers to these questions and more below!

Tax Stats 2014 Infographic

3 Different Ways You Can Pay Your Taxes

3 Different Ways You Can Pay Your TaxesThis post is brought to you by GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping (formerly Outright) the simplest way to manage your small business finances online. Sign up today for a less taxing tax time!

Think there’s only one way to pay your taxes when you have an amount due? Sure, in years past that was the case. You could send a check along with your filed tax forms and that was pretty much the extent of it. Paying taxes was part of the reason why tax time was such a pain for every hard working person in America.

Now, though, technology has made it where you have lots of options when it comes time to fork over your hard-earned money. However, you can’t utilize them if you don’t know what they are, so we thought we would take a quick look at your options to help you out. One of these should help you comply with your tax obligation with no problem.

Continue reading

5 Tax Deductions for Your Small Business

5 Tax Deductions for Your Small BusinessIt’s the season to get your paperwork ready for Uncle Sam. As you prepare for April 15, be sure to remember the available deductions you can take advantage of as a business owner.

Your taxable profit will be lower the more deductions you take, so it’s in your best interest as a business owner to maximize them, so long as they adhere to the IRS deduction rules.

1. 401(k)

Most “small” businesses do not provide a 401(k) as a benefit for their employees, but if you can, you have a distinct advantage when hiring. And, a 401(k) plan has several tax advantages. First, your business is generally permitted to take a tax deduction for its contributions to the plan when the contributions are made. Those can be made as a simple match—or—in the form of profit sharing.

Continue reading