How to Report Sales Tax

Anyone who collects sales tax must report it to the state.
Anyone who collects sales tax must report it to the state. (Image: tax defined image by Christopher Walker from

Sales tax is the tax paid on retail sales, collected by a business owner or entity. When a business collects sales tax, the business must file a sales tax return with the state in which it is registered. Depending on the amount of sales tax your business is estimated to collect each month, your might be required to pay sales tax monthly, quarterly or yearly. When you register your business, you will receive a sales tax booklet that details when your sales tax is to be paid.

File your sales tax report on the scheduled date specified in your sales tax booklet. Depending on the state, you might be able to pay by filling out a form from your sales tax booklet, by downloading a blank sales tax form from your state’s department of revenue, or online. Some states accept sales tax reports filed online only.

Complete the sales tax form by reporting the total amount of sales made during your sales tax period, and the amount of taxable sales, and then calculating the amount of tax due. Each state has different tax rates and requirements, so read your state's instructions for sales tax filing.

Sign your sales tax form--electronically, if you file online--and mail or submit it to your state’s department of revenue. If you owe tax, you’ll need to include a check in the amount due, payable to the state entity indicated on the sales tax form. If you file online, you can pay by credit card when you file.

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