Sales taxes may not be challenging for the smallest mom and pop retailer with a single location, but as a firm grows its sales base, adds distributors or locations, or even enters into ecommmerce, keeping up with the laws in each state and jurisdiction can quickly be a time-consuming and risk-prone endeavor.
Here are some tips from the sales tax professionals at Avalara:
1. Know your states. As tedious as the prospect may be, especially if your business operates in multiple states, it pays to give each one a thorough look on a semi-regular basis. Keep a database you can add to as new court rulings and legislation arise. Many states allow you to subscribe to their websites.
2. Know Streamlined Sales Tax. The Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board has 22 member states who agree upon certain definitions in order to simplify sales tax throughout the country. Understanding Streamline definitions develops the strange sales tax logic muscle. Streamline also covers nearly half the country. While specifics change from state to state, it’s a great starting point.
3. Stay informed. If you’re sick and tired of number crunching, why not take a break to scroll through blogs? You can entertain yourself without even goofing off. Take this one, for example! We also keep information up to date on important legislation like the Marketplace Fairness Act. If you “like” a blog, it’s even a great excuse to use Facebook on the clock. Sometimes you can even find a gem just Googling sales tax in the news.
4. Don’t be afraid to network. You probably specialized in one area of taxation for much of your career, and you deserve the title of expert. In the areas where you have less experience, go ahead and phone a friend. If there’s one thing tax people like talking about, it’s taxes. You can pay them back with the latest sales tax scoop, and two heads are usually better than one.
5. Lighten your load. If two heads are good, a sales tax army is unbeatable. We’re guessing you have more work to do than hours in the day. With that being the case, why not consider sales tax automation?