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Simple Sales Tax Returns for Businesses

Note: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with TaxJar.

When it comes to owning and operating your own business it’s common knowledge that there’s always a lot to do and not enough time in the day to get it done. As an ecommerce entrepreneur either working solely on your business yourself, or maybe you have a small team to help, time is of the essence and minimizing the amount non-revenue generating tasks you need to complete helps you to be both more productive and more profitable day-to-day.

One of the tedious tasks you can take off your to-do list is filing your sales tax returns. If you sell taxable products such as clothing, furniture, toys, accessories, electronics, etc, you’re likely very aware of the complicated process that is filing sales tax returns. Not only is sales tax filed more frequently than income tax (depending on the state it could be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually) but sales tax also isn’t managed at the federal level so each state has its own rules when it comes to what criteria each business needs to meet.

Here are some examples of why sales tax criteria can be complex:

  • Each state assigns businesses a filing frequency: annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly.
  • Due dates for filings are also assigned by the state (sometimes it’s the last day of the month, or it could be the 20th or the 25th, for example).
  • Some states require businesses to charge sales tax based on where the item was shipped from, others require that the charge is based on where items were shipped to.
  • Sales tax may have to be filed for multiple states by one business, depending on where that business has “Nexus”. Nexus means that a business has a significant enough presence in a state to be required to collect sales tax. This “significant presence” could be an office, a warehouse, an employee or even an Amazon FBA warehouse. Each state’s rules for what determines Nexus is different.
  • Each amount of sales tax a business charges their customer needs to be broken down into tinier, more specific amounts when remitting that tax back to the state, which can be confusing and time consuming to figure out.
  • Missing a due date to file sales tax can result in penalty fees, in some states up to $50, even if a business has no sales tax to remit. If you’re late paying what you owe, you’ll also be charged interest on top of penalties.
  • Most ecommerce platforms (such as Shopify, Amazon, eBay, etc.) can help businesses calculate the amount of sales tax they need to collect, but they cannot file sales tax on their behalf.

This is where TaxJar comes in. In an effort to streamline the sales tax process, help businesses become more educated on sales tax, to understand the criteria by which their business may need to comply, to help file sales tax on time and for the right states, TaxJar has the ability to make it a painless and automated process for a fair price.

What TaxJar Does

TaxJar Homepage

Simply, TaxJar makes it easy for businesses to file sales tax returns on time, every time. Since sales tax can be complex and each business’ situation will be different, it can be difficult and time consuming for business owners to figure it out all on their own. The main advantage to utilizing TaxJar’s service is that they’re able to manage sales tax filings for businesses so the owners and employees can focus on running and growing the business, not doing tedious amounts of paperwork every time sales tax is due.

Who TaxJar is For

TaxJar’s service is for every entrepreneur selling taxable items in any state that’s interested in removing the hassle of managing sales tax information and filing sales tax returns. There’s no need to be overwhelmed by due dates, breaking down collected sales tax into specific denominations, managing different filing systems for the states you have nexus in, and facing the possibility of paying late fees when TaxJar can manage it all for you.

TaxJar’s Features & Services

TaxJar Service Features

Here’s what TaxJar has to offer businesses:

Filing Capabilities

Businesses are able to manage their sales tax filings in two ways with TaxJar: either manually or through AutoFile.

If a business chooses to manage their sales tax filing manually they’re able to connect all their sales platforms with TaxJar and when it comes time to file sales tax returns, TaxJar is able to instruct the business on how to do that. TaxJar is able to provide all the necessary information to complete filings for every state’s e-file website in minutes. Keep in mind that when submitting sales tax returns manually it is up to the business to make sure it’s filed on time and meets all necessary criteria.

Alternatively, a business can choose to file their sales tax return using TaxJar’s AutoFile service instead. When a business uses AutoFile there’s no need to manually submit any paper or online forms, TaxJar submits the filing on behalf of the business. The main advantage to using AutoFile is that a business won’t have to worry about due dates, submitting returns on time for multiple due dates or submitting late returns.

AutoFile is available for all US states, however, it is worth noting that the fee for using the AutoFile service ($19.95) is not included in the monthly TaxJar plan as each business will be filing at different times of the year depending on their state’s requirements. You’ll only pay the AutoFile fee when TaxJar files your sales tax return.

Ideal for Multi-Sales Channel Businesses

TaxJar is an ideal solution for businesses who sell on multiple sales channels because they’re able to compile sales data from multiple sales channels into one accessible and manageable dashboard. There’s no need for you to crunch numbers or transfer any sales data over to TaxJar, simply integrate your sales platforms with TaxJar (they have one-click integrations for platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and more) and they’ll manage the data for your sales tax returns.

CPA Friendly

Even if you already work with a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) for your business, TaxJar will still be an asset. TaxJar claims that plenty of their customers work with CPAs and their service makes CPA’s work easier by streamlining sales data into one manageable place and filing on the business’ behalf which helps save them time.

Never Miss a Due Date

When using TaxJar’s AutoFile service you’ll never have to keep track of sales tax return due dates which can take place at different times of the year, whether it’s monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually and on different days, such as the 31st, 25th or 20th, for example. It’s a lot to remember, especially if your business has nexus in multiple states and has to file individual returns for each state, but you’ll never have that worry on your mind when you use the AutoFile service.

Highly Rated Customer Service

TaxJar prides themselves on offering excellent customer service which is ideal when managing your business’ sensitive data. Available by phone through their toll-free number or via email (with a promise to respond within 24 hours, though usually much sooner) they’re easily reachable for any questions or concerns you may have regarding your sales tax return.

Sales Tax Education

In an effort to help businesses better understand sales tax for themselves, TaxJar provides a multitude of resources to help their customers understand what it’s all about. Whether you chose to manually file your sales tax or use their AutoFile service, it’s helpful to understand sales tax and the process of filing it so you can make the best decisions for your business. Make use of TaxJar’s blog, their Sales Tax Webinars, Getting Started Guides, the Sales Tax Calculator, State Sales Tax Guides, and State Registrations to help better understand sales tax.

Pros & Cons

TaxJar Autofile for Every State

TaxJar’s Pros

  • AutoFile is available in all US states
  • They simplify sales tax returns for businesses that sell on multiple sales channels
  • You’ll never have to keep track of due dates and you’ll never miss one
  • World class customer service
  • Plenty of education tools available for businesses
  • Easy integration with most ecommerce platforms
  • 30 day free trial available on all plans and the first AutoFile is free

TaxJar’s Cons

  • The AutoFile service requires another fee in addition to the monthly TaxJar fee.
  • Previously TaxJar was only able to AutoFile for over half of the US states, but as of July 1, 2017 AutoFile is available in ALL states.
  • TaxJar only supports sales tax filings for US customers.

Pricing

TaxJar Pricing

TaxJar’s plans are available in 3 tiers: Basic, Plus, Premier and Enterprise. The difference between each plan is the amount of “transactions” supported per month which they identify on their website as being an “order imported into TaxJar with one or more line items.” Their plans are as follows:

  • Basic: $19 and 1,000 transactions per month
  • Plus: $49 and 5,000 transactions per month
  • Premier: $99 and 10,000 transactions per month
  • Enterprise: starting at $199 and 50,000 transactions per month

All Plans Include:

  • Automatic synchronization with all shopping carts and ecommerce platforms
  • Sales tax reports for every state
  • Support for shipping taxability in different states
  • Support for origin-based and destination-based sales tax sourcing
  • Support for businesses who sell on multiple platforms or in multiple states
  • Detection of sales tax over-collection or under-collection
  • State and local level sales tax reports

Note: TaxJar offers a 30 day free trial for all plans, there’s no setup or cancellation fees for any plan, and should you choose to use the AutoFile service you’ll be charged an additional fee of $19.95 every time TaxJar files on your behalf.

Conclusion

For small and large businesses alike, TaxJar offers an accessible, easily manageable and yet powerful service to help take the burden of sales tax returns off your hands. Whether you just need a little help to tie up some loose ends on your returns, an all-in-one place to handle your sales data from multiple platforms or if you want to spend as little time as possible filing your sales tax returns, TaxJar’s service is right for you. The features, services and education tools they offer businesses provide a painless solution for sales taxes so business owners and employees can spend less time managing their sales taxes and more time on what helps their business grow.


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