Any business owner will tell you that sales tax issues are no fun. Depending on how deep they are, they can run the range from time-consuming to scary to expensive. If you find yourself with a sales tax issue, take a deep breath and try not to panic. You have lots of options for help solving it.
Try Your State’s Website
Your state’s tax assessor’s website has lots of information to help you. Many of them have both the literal law and the layman’s terms translations on their websites for you. Most states also have a frequently asked questions page to quickly cover topics that retailers might need clarification on. Most of your quick questions about sales tax issues can be answered on the website.
Sales tax assessing websites are generally hosted on the state government’s website. However, it may be hard to find because each state might call their agency something different. You can use this list of state-by-state tax agencies to find the websites you will need.
Contact the State
In many cases, the state is the one notifying you there’s a problem in the first place. Other times, you may have found an issue yourself or maybe you need clarification on a rule or law. Calling the state will get you some quick, general answers to your questions.
If you received a notice or some other written communication from the state, it will have the contact information right there. Use that and any other identifying information, such as a case number or account number, to reach out for help. If the state hasn’t contacted you, you can just call the general contact number for your state’s tax assessing authority. Check out this list of state sales tax phone numbers to get you started.
However, if you are under audit or the state is asking you for information, you will probably first want to…
Contact a SALT
What if your issue is more than just a quick question that can easily be answered by a state staff member? Time to call in a SALT.
A sales and local tax (SALT) expert is an accountant whose work focuses on sales tax laws. Often, business owners make the mistake of consulting a CPA, but most CPAs don’t work with sales tax issues. A SALT can review your issue and give you solid advice on how to approach it. Most of them work in multiple states, too, which is a plus for online retailers who may have tax responsibilities in more than one state.
Looking for a vetted SALT to help you with your tax issues? TaxJar has a list of vetted sales and local tax professionals to get you started on your search.
Use Sales Tax Automation Software
If you’re running your numbers and filing your sales tax yourself, it’s easy to make a mistake. It’s also just as easy to not notice your own mistakes until it’s too late. One way to take care of your sales tax issues is to use a sales tax automation software like TaxJar.
TaxJar is an award-winning software that takes information directly from your ecommerce marketplace or shopping cart to create ready to file sales tax reports. You have the option to file them yourself or to have them automatically filed for you. Having your returns filed accurately and on time will nip most of your tax issues in the bud.
TaxJar is a service that makes sales tax reporting and filing simple for more than 10,000 online sellers. Try a 30-day-free trial of TaxJar today and eliminate sales tax compliance headaches from your life.