Here's an overview of how TaxJar can be used to file sales tax returns.
When you're ready to file your sales tax returns, scroll down your Dashboard and click on the "Sales Tax Report" button in the box that that corresponds to the state where you want to file.
After the report opens, use the arrows at the top right of the report to view the report that matches the filing period you need to file. (Our reports default to a Monthly filing frequency; if your state has asked you to file Quarterly or Annually, you can update your TaxJar Reports to reflect this by clicking the 'change' link next to "Filing Period.")
At the bottom of the report, you'll see either a green "File and Pay Sales Tax" button or a blue "File Manually" link. Click the button or the link and follow the filing instructions you see on the next page.
The next page will contain links to paper (if available) and electronic sales tax returns forms for the state. You'll also see filing instructions that will walk you through some of the basics of filling out the return forms for the state.
NOTE: If the state asks you to provide a Gross Sales Total for all states, we show you how to get that total in the Detailed Sales Tax Anaylsis.
When you've finished submitting your return, fill out the details under Record Your Payment.
Be sure to check the box to "Mark Period as Closed and Paid in Full." We talk about why you should do this here.
Then, click the "Record Payment" button to save the details of your payment. You'll be able to view the record on the Payment History page.
If you haven't collected any taxes yet, the Actual Sales Tax Collected report for each state will reflect $0 in taxed sales, $0 in Local and State Taxes. You'll also see $0 due in the Estimated Sales Tax Due field. However, our Expected Sales Tax Due report will show you an estimate of what you may owe. Please note that this estimate may overstate your what you may owe in some situations. We explain some reasons why this may happen here.
Even if you have never collected taxes, you can use the data in the Expected Sales Tax Due report to help you file a return for a period when you weren't yet collecting.
Though we show you an estimate of how much you may owe, the final amount you'll owe will be calculated at the state's website as you're in the process of filling our the return form. Here's how to do this:
- If shipping is taxable in your state and everything you sell is taxable, enter the Total (Gross) Sales figure that you see in the TaxJar state report into the sales tax return form at the state's website so the state can determine how much sales tax you owe for that period.
If you sell any items that are tax exempt, you'll need to manually deduct the amount of your tax exempt sales from the Gross Sales figure to determine the Taxable Sales figure you'll need to enter at your state's website.
- If shipping fees are exempt in your state (such as CA), and everything that you sell is taxable, then deduct your Shipping Fees from the Gross Sales figure and this will give you your Taxable Sales figure. You can then use these two numbers to input into the sales tax return form at the state's website when you are ready to file, and the state's website will calculate how much you should have collected.
If you sell tax exempt items, you'll need to manually deduct the price of Shipping Fees, as well as the amount of your tax exempt sales from the Gross Sales figure to determine the Taxable Sales figure you'll need to enter at your state's website.
The state reports default to a monthly filing frequency. If your state has given you a different filing schedule, you can make your state report match your filing frequency by clicking the wrench under the state name in your Dashboard to edit the State Settings.
You can also view an estimate of what you may owe in sales tax or determine if you are collecting enough sales tax in our Detailed Sales Tax Analysis report.
Once you have the Detailed Sales Tax Analysis report open, use the filters at the top left of the report to narrow down the time frame and get an estimate for that particular period.
Finally, you'll need to record each return you file in your TaxJar Filing History page for your records.