Sales Tax 101

Your January #SalesTaxStorm Cheat Sheet

by Jennifer Dunn

January sales tax

Around TaxJar, we call January the “Sales Tax Perfect Storm” for good reason: nearly every online seller – from the multi-million dollar merchants to the little guys who only sell online as a side business – has a sales tax filing due date.

We spent a lot of time (and words, graphics and videos!) on this blog getting you ready for the big show, and this blog post compiles all that information in one place.

Psst! Help your fellow sellers out. Tweet, Facebook or otherwise share this post with the hashtag #SalesTaxStorm!

1.) January Sales Tax Filing Due Dates – Before you can file sales tax, you need to know when your sales tax is due. Check out every state’s January sales tax filing due dates here.

2.) Make Sure You Collected the Right Amount of Sales Tax – Sometimes you aren’t sure if you’re collecting the right amount of sales tax. This can happen because you aren’t sure if you’re using the correct rates or perhaps you aren’t set up to collect correctly on one or more of your channels. Use TaxJar’s “Expected Sales Tax Due Report” to determine whether you’re collecting the right amount of sales tax. If you see a discrepancy, you may not be collecting on one platform, or you may be selling non-taxable items. You can find out more in this Expected Sales Tax Due FAQ.

3.) Report How Much Sales Tax You’ve Collected (Or Should Have Collected!) – This can be a lot trickier than it sounds. You need to report how much sales tax you collected in each state on every platform on which you sell. Back in the pre-TaxJar days, this meant downloading reports from every platform on which you sell and compiling them into a spreadsheet. Worse, the majority of states want you to break down how much you’ve collected not just by state, but also by city, county and other special taxing district. Imagine doing that in multiple states with reports from multiple platforms.

That’s where TaxJar comes in! Just sign up for TaxJar and connect the eCommerce platforms on which you sell.

We integrate with these popular platforms:

TaxJar eCommerce integrations

4.) Use TaxJar’s Reports to File Your Sales Tax Returns – TaxJar’s reports make it simple to file sales tax on your own. We provide you with everything to the link at your state’s website to begin filing to all the fields you need to fill out. Even if you’re not a TaxJar customer, you can also check out some tips for filing sales tax returns here.

5.) Or Let us AutoFile Your Sales Tax for You – You’re busy. We get it. And sales tax isn’t how you want to spend time when you could be much more productive! That’s why TaxJar will AutoFile your sales tax for you in almost every state.

Sign up by January 6th for us to AutoFile for you during the January #SalesTaxStorm! From your TaxJar dashboard, just click the “AutoFile” button next to the state for which you wish to enroll.

Bonus Step:

6.) Give Yourself a Sales Tax Compliance Checkup – Once you’ve taken care of the immediate need of filing sales tax, you should take a few minutes to give yourself a little sales tax double check. Follow the steps in this post to make sure you’re as compliant as you need to be for 2016. After that, you can get back to doing what you do best – running your business!

Questions or comments about the January sales tax storm? Remember to use hashtag #SalesTaxStorm!

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