"I'm brand new to sales tax"

Never dealt with sales tax before? You're in the right place.

This step-by-step guide will walk you through using TaxJar to handle all of your sales tax compliance chores. By the end of this walkthrough, you'll be all set up to file your sales tax returns quickly and easily!

If you haven't already, sign up for a 30-day free TaxJar trial to get started.

Step 1: Link your shopping carts to TaxJar

First, follow this link.

  • Choose your platform and follow the directions in TaxJar to link your shopping cart. This allows us to pull in your sales tax data and help you handle sales tax.
  • If you sell on more than one platform, you can go back and add another. TaxJar works best when you've linked all of the carts or platforms you sell on.
  • If you have any questions, please contact us at support@taxjar.com to ensure you’re subscribed to the correct plan. 

Need help? Here's more info on how to link your shopping cart to TaxJar.

Step 2: Figure out where you have sales tax nexus

"Nexus" is a physical presence or connection with a state that's significant enough for you to be required to comply with that state's sales tax laws. You will automatically have nexus in your home state, and the most common causes for nexus in other states are employees, salespeople, physical storefronts, warehouses or offices, and inventory. 

Step 3: Register for a sales tax license in your nexus state(s)

If you have sales tax nexus in a state, that state requires you to register for a state sales tax license before you begin collecting sales tax from buyers in that state.

Step 4: Add your nexus states to your TaxJar dashboard

Step 5: Make sure your cart is setup to collect sales tax

Once you've determined where you have sales tax nexus, you need to make sure you are collecting sales tax from customers through all the carts on which you sell. 

Click your shopping cart(s) below for instructions on how to set up sales tax collection:

Step 6: Fill out your TaxJar business profile

TaxJar needs a little bit of information about your business to create sales tax Reports for you. Click here to fill out your TaxJar business profile.

Step 7: Tell us your sales tax filing frequency in every state

Some states want you to file sales tax monthly, others want you to file quarterly, annually or even semi-annually. Your state gives you this information at the time you receive your sales tax permit.

Once you've received your filing frequency from the state, log in to TaxJar and tell us your sales tax filing frequency for each of your nexus states.

  • Don't skip this step. This ensures that your TaxJar dashboard shows you the correct due dates and provides you the correct amounts of sales tax to file when your tax return is due.
  • If you don't fill this step out, your Dashboard defaults to monthly filing, but that might not be correct for every state.

Step 8: Get to know TaxJar

1.) View your TaxJar Reports by clicking on the “Sales Tax Report” button on your TaxJar Dashboard. You'll use this info for each state when it comes time to file a sales tax return.

2.) Click on the Expected Sales Tax Due tab in your Report to see an estimate of what you should be collecting. Use this if you feel like your sales tax collection may be set up incorrectly. (Keep in mind that, for now, your Expected Sales Tax Due tab doesn't account for differently taxed or non-taxed sales, so if you sell items like groceries, clothing or supplements the amounts in this tab may be off.)

3.) Get an overview of sales totals and sales tax collection in all states in the Detailed Sales Tax Analysis report. Ex: You can use this report to find transactions on which you didn't collect sales tax.

4.) Visit your Transactions page.  Here you can filter specific transactions by state name or date or sales tax collection, etc.

Step 9: File a sales tax return

Once you've set up your TaxJar account, sales tax filing is simple.

Or, let us file your sales tax returns for you! If you'd rather not even bother with filing manually, TaxJar can also  AutoFile your sales tax returns for you.

  • Follow these instructions to enroll in AutoFile. Once you're enrolled, we'll file your sales tax returns for you every time they're due.