How to Complete a Compliant Sales Tax Return

Lizzy Connolly
December 18, 2020

Are you ready to submit and file a compliant sales tax return? Think you already know everything there is to know about the process? Whether you are a veteran to sales tax filings or are looking to file for your business for the first time, it never hurts to double check that everything is in order. 

Filing taxes is a detail-oriented task that can involve numerous and varied regulations, jurisdictions and forms. New laws are being introduced daily, which is why you should not assume everything stayed the same. Double-check and verify your sales tax return process. 

For example, some states require pre-payment obligations. Others periodically reassess their filing frequencies, meaning there may have been changes since your last filing.

Completing a compliant sales tax return also requires data to be compiled from all applicable sales channels. Do you have both brick and mortar operations and eCommerce channels? What about marketplace sales? 

It’s also important to correctly report all deductions and classify any exempt sales. You must determine which product or service may be tax exempt, applying any valid exemption certificates for your customers where applicable. States also have varying requirements with negative values on returns. Verify how each state requires you to report returns so you properly account for any returned merchandise. 

Sometimes there may also be a tax due with the return. Remember to verify that you received a payment confirmation number and that funds have been removed from your account. Businesses will also need to determine if any new thresholds have been crossed. If so, make sure you register for any new filings. Failure to do so could lead to financial penalties.  

Filing a compliant sales tax return is crucial for any business. You need to gather all of the necessary information from the onset and double-check everything as you work your way through. But you don’t have to undergo the process alone either. The experts at Sovos have a 7-step checklist to help you stay on track and make sure you ask yourself the right questions to get the right answers submitted on time. 

Check out our Sales Tax Filing Checklist to make sure you have all of the information you need for a seamless – and compliant – filing process. Also contact our team of filing experts to further help your sales tax journey.

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Lizzy Connolly

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