I can't seem to get a straight answer to my many questions about sales tax, particularly about taxes to be charged on out-of-state sales. Please help!
Dear Wannabe Compliant,
You're not getting straight answers because there are none to be had on most sales tax issues these days. The whole topic is in a state of flux as a result of the Internet's increasing impact on interstate sales and the inability of the states to enforce collections beyond their borders. The states are losing so much revenue that they're being forced to co-operate in trying to create a mutually acceptable solution. (Miracles sometimes DO happen!)
But until that joyous day of agreement arrives, you've got lots of company in your quest for sales and use tax information. Here follows a raft of FAQs we've addressed in the past:
Q: What are my sales tax obligations as a seller?
A: Your Sales Tax Concerns as a Seller
Q: What are my sales tax obligations as a purchaser?
A: Your Sales Tax Concerns as a Purchaser
Q: What about sales tax on services?
A: Sales Tax in Service Industries
Q: What if I only sell things once a year at a fair?
A: Occasional Sale Exemption
Q: I'm a contractor. What, if anything, do I need to do about sales tax?
A: Sales Tax in the Construction Industry
Q: Do I have to pay tax on goods I buy to resell?
A: Sales Tax in the Reselling Industries
Q: What are sales taxes anyway?
A: What Are Sales Taxes?
Q: What are use taxes?
A: Use Taxes
Q: What is the sales tax rate for my state and where can I apply for a permit or exemption?
A: Your State Tax Obligations
Q: Are sales I make over the Internet subject to sales tax?
A: For the latest status of how this long-awaited new law might impact your Internet sales and purchases, see Streamlined Sales Tax.