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!

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?

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Which States Are The Best To Live In When It Comes To Taxes?

Although federal taxes are not dependent upon where you live in the United States, there are some drastic differences between how states collect taxes from their citizens – considering the different rates they tax for income, property, luxury goods, and even common necessities such as food and clothing. If you have flexibility about where you live, perhaps it is worth it to move to a state with lower taxation rates in categories that apply to you and your family.

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50 States of Incorporation: Idaho

Our next state is famous for producing 33% of the potatoes grown in the U.S., and 85% of commercial trout. This state is also home to the famous Salmon River- the longest free-flowing river to flow within a single state. Who is our mystery state bachelor? None other than Idaho!

Idaho is located in the northwestern region of the United States. It comes in as the 14th largest, 39th most populous, and the 7th least densely populated of the states. Its capital is Boise.

As far as starting a business in the potato state goes, Forbes ranks it at number 19 for the best states for business due to its average rankings of business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, economic climate, growth prospects, and quality of life.

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3 Tips to Keep in Mind For Sales Tax Compliance

This post is brought to you by our partners at TaxJar – an online tool built to make sales tax filing easier for online sellers.

Running your own online business is tough enough. Staying compliant with state sales tax laws makes things even tougher. These days online sellers are branching out, selling on multiple platforms like eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and Shopify in addition to their own websites. At the same time, states are changing sales tax laws so that more online sellers will be required to collect and remit sales tax.  That’s resulting in more and more businesses having to pay sales tax to multiple states.

Before you’re head starts spinning, here are some simple tips to keep in mind when it comes to sales tax compliance and your online business.
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