Sales and Use Tax Experts in Atlanta, GA
Sales tax and use tax are fairly straightforward in definition but can get complicated in practice when it comes to understanding exempt items and state-specific rules. Sales and use tax are basically levied so the state can get paid for the commerce that occurs within its territory. As a business owner, you may be wondering how you can tell the difference between a transaction that requires sales tax and use tax, and how the taxed amount is decided. JDMA serves clients like you in Atlanta, GA, helping you calculate the amount owed on different items and services, and using this information to give you the tools for more accurate tax planning. For more information, call us at (678) 765-6772.
What Are Sales and Use Taxes?
Sales and use taxes are taxes collected on tangible goods sold during the course of a commerce transaction. Sales tax is collected on items sold within a state by a retailer in that state. Use tax refers to taxes due on a purchase outside of your state of residence, provided tax would have been due if the item in question had been purchased in state. Use tax is always remitted by the end customer, and, for this reason, generally only applies on large purchases of qualifying goods. For retailers doing business in multiple states or countries, properly calculating sales tax and use tax and providing payments to the proper tax authorities can be quite daunting.
For example, if you operate a warehouse and production facility in Georgia, and sell T-shirts to customers across the continental U.S. To those customers in Georgia, you must collect state and, if applicable, local sales tax on each transaction, as T-shirts are not exempt items. To customers outside of Georgia, still in the continental U.S., sales tax does not need to be levied if your company does not maintain a physical presence in that state. However, use tax may need to be remitted to the other state in lieu of sales tax.
An accountant can help decipher what property of personal or business use is subject to sales tax, use tax, or neither. The third option comes into play when dealing with exemptions to these taxes. For example, if you pay title tax on a vehicle, sales and use tax don’t apply. Another example would be when you move your home into Georgia. The property involved isn’t included in use tax unless it’s used for commercial purposes. An expert accountant can help you identify exemptions and ensure you stay compliant with often complicated sales and use tax guidelines in your area.