Summer is here and with it comes summer storms – of the meteorological kind and the business administration kind. We’re talking about sales tax. If you sell products, then July is most likely a busy time for you and your sales tax filing duties!
But never fear, at TaxJar we have your back when it comes to handling all the vagaries of sales tax. Here’s what you need to know to navigate July’s sales tax perfect storm.
Know your Sales Tax Due Dates
Sales tax can be tricky. It’s governed by the individual states and they all have different due dates. Even more confusing for sellers who have to file in multiple states, some want you to file quarterly, some want you to file annually and some want you to file as often as every month. Some sellers end up filing dozens of sales tax returns in a single year!
July has a combination of monthly, quarterly and annual due dates, meaning almost every online sellers will have a sales tax due date this month. To make matters easier, we’ve put together a list of July 2015 Sales Tax Due Dates over at the TaxJar blog.
The Bad News… and the Good News
There are a few more things you need to know beyond getting your sales tax filing into your state on time.
Zero Returns – Most states want to hear from you on your assigned sales tax filing due date even if you don’t have any sales tax to report. Maybe you focused on providing services instead of products, or you have a seasonal business and you weren’t open this quarter. For whatever reason, file a “zero” sales tax return even if you didn’t collect any sales tax. Penalties if you fail to file can range from revocation of your sales tax license to a monetary fine. And nobody wants to pay a $50 fine on a $0 sales tax bill!
Sales Tax Discounts – On the bright sides, some states understand that they are imposing pain on sellers when they ask them to go through the trouble of collecting and remitting sales tax. So these states offer a small sales tax discount if you pay early or on time. Don’t leave money on the table!
We hope this post has prepared you to sail your business ship through the July sales tax perfect storm. If you still have questions about sales tax, check out TaxJar’s Sales Tax 101 for Online Sellers Guide. Or leave a question in the comments!
Mark Faggiano is the founder and CEO of TaxJar, a service built to make sales tax compliance simple for eCommerce sellers. Try a 30-day-free trial of TaxJar today and eliminate sales tax compliance headaches from your life!