Downloading Your NY Sales Tax Records

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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

If you’re from NY & filed sales tax returns online, you can find what you remitted to the state through your online Departartment of Taxation & Finance account:

1. Go to the NYS online account page (http://www.tax.ny.gov/online) & click the log in button:

2. This should put you on the the Account Summary Home page–if not click the tab/link in the gray/blue bar:

3. In the main part of the page go down to the “Filings” section of the page & click the drop down menu, select the type of tax record you’d like to see the records for & click the “Go” button:

(click for a larger view)

4. You’ll get a list of the tax returns you’ve filed online through the tax service. Click the blue link for the name of the form you’d like to open:

5. This should pop up a PDF file box for the completed version of the form you submitted–if you don’t have a copy yet, I recommend saving it and printing it.

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

Help with your Sales Tax Return

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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

I’ve seen a lot of posts recently from folks wondering about how to fill out sales tax paperwork, and while every state’s sales tax rules are different, this is generally how sales tax reporting goes (and it’s totally separate from your income taxes for your sales).

This is not a be-all end-all list, it’s just to help you get a feel for what is required on your sales tax return–your paperwork may include more or less details or have them in a different order. (Don’t know if you should be collecting & remitting sales tax? See here: Sales Tax)

Please, please, please check with your state to be sure this is accurate for your state before submitting your sales tax return–that includes reading the sales tax return instructions or calling the state if you need to, to confirm you understand what needs to be reported & how. I promise once you’ve done it once or twice it won’t seem so overwhelming. 🙂

~ Gross income ~

Start with your total income (gross) from the business:

  • Sales to in-state buyers,
  • sales to out-of-state/country buyers are included too,
  • include the money you received from buyers that was listed as shipping and/or handling,
  • this amount usually does not include sales tax you collected as that is not your income, you are just holding it for the state until you finish the sales tax form & remit the money collected.

you subtract

Amount of income on which sales tax is not due:

  • Out of state transactions is usually the biggest chunk of that–orders shipped to a buyer in another state (the one sales tax rule that is true for all states is that you don’t collect sales tax on interstate transactions),
  • items which aren’t taxed in your state (often things like clothing & food aren’t taxed),
  • some states don’t collect on shipping or the actual shipping portion of what you collect as shipping/handling–if that’s the case for your state, that portion of the shipping collected would be there too*,
  • items sold at wholesale (usually to someone who provided you with their tax exempt number/paperwork if they were in-state buyers),
  • and whatever else, if anything, your state says isn’t included in your gross income as sales-taxable.

+ you add +

Items you purchased on which sales tax was not collected but is due:

  • purchases made using your business exemption that you took some/all of the goods out for personal use (use the dollar amount you should have paid sales tax on–a partial amount if only some goods were used for personal use),
  • your personal purchases online, by mail or through other methods where the seller didn’t collect it from you but you would have owed sales tax if purchased in person at a store locally.

+

and adjust
for improperly paid sales tax
+

You also need to compensate for sales tax under or over paid to other jurisdictions including (be sure to keep receipts/records for these too):

  • Sales tax you under-paid–in many states if you bought goods in a 6% district but took them home to use them in an 8% district, you’ll owe that 2% of the purchase price to the state,
  • sales tax you over-paid–if you bought goods in a 10% district but took them home to use them in an 8% district, you might be reducing the tax you remit to the state by 2% of that purchase’s price,
  • taxes paid to another state when you didn’t keep/use the item in the other state.

= Leaving you with =

Then you have left what the state wants sales tax calculated on. For some states there’s one sales tax rate no matter where in the state the goods where shipped, other states base the rate on the seller’s address (origin-based sales tax), other states it’s the buyer’s address (destination-based sales tax)*.

So that’s the basics. Be sure to find the instructions for the sales tax return form on your state’s website if you are having trouble figuring it out even if you’re filing online–usually the instructions can clear up any issues you are having.

*If you need help finding out if your state taxes shipping or where the tax base is, see here–look fo a link to that info on your state’s website or for FAQs, publications etc that might cover that topic if there’s no direct link: Sales Tax & Business Registration Help

Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.

Etsy Update

If you haven’t been in the Etsy forums in a few days you might have missed some news from admin:

Pay online through Etsy (without using Paypal)

Coming soon for all USA sellers (and it seems eventually all sellers), currently rolled out to a small portion of USA sellers.

Some think it’s a great idea, some a terrible idea and some are cautiously optimistic. Read more about what folks think here: Announcing Direct Checkout

Worried that you won’t be able to use Paypal labels for non-paypal transactions? See here for how to use Paypal to print labels outside of a Paypal transaction:

Shipping Through Paypal–Regardless of How the Customer Paid

An Update on Marketplace Integrity

About resellers & following the rules–more staff, more enforcement. Forum thread here.

Message from the CEO

and an update from Chad.

Confused about Income Taxes & Paypal or Etsy's 1099?

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Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

I’ve seen lots of posts with confusion about the new info requirements Paypal is sending to some sellers, and also about Etsy requesting tax id numbers or social security numbers from sellers who take Etsy’s Direct Checkout.

In 2011 the IRS put new rules in place for companies that process credit cards, and now they need the information to send a 1099 to certain sellers. Both companies are asking for info long before they need it–I assume it’s so that there’s no risk of you losing the ability to take payments when you reach the threshold where they’ll have to report your income.

Here’s the scoop:

  • The 1099 Paypal (or Etsy) is sending out is only fulfilling their obligation under a new law, it has nothing to do with whether or not you are required to file income taxes.
  • Paypal (or Etsy) will only be sending a 1099 to people who bring in at least $20,000 AND have 200 or more transactions through PP (or Etsy’s Direct Checkout credit card processing service).
  • Regardless as to whether or not Paypal (or Etsy) sends a seller this form, the seller must report income for their business if they meet the IRS’s requirements for filing a return.

Do you meet the requirements? Generally speaking, if you have to file income tax for any reason (day job, filing jointly w/ spouse, etc) you must report all your income on your taxes.

If you had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400, you will most likely need to file whether or not you have other income or reasons to file.

Your best bet is to get info about whether or not you need to file directly from the IRS–this post should help:

Do I Need to File a Tax Return?

And if you do need to file, this post will help with getting & adding up your income/expense info from Paypal:

Download Your Paypal History

This one will help when you are filling out the Schedule C to report your small business income:

US Sellers: Help for Filing Income Taxes for Your Small Business

Turbo Tax: Many folks ask about whether or not they need to get the Home & Business version of TurboTax. I haven’t tried that version myself, but I do know that with Turbo Tax Deluxe, you can mark that you have income from self employment to start the interview for the Schedule C, or use the ‘add a form’ feature and add the Schedule C to your taxes.

The interview process in the TurboTax Deluxe does cover the Schedule C, but their website implies that the home & business version has more help for filling out the Schedule C.

Income tax is totally separate from sales tax requirements for your business. See here for help with sales tax & business registration:

Sales Tax & Business Registration
(links to official state websites)

Even if you just sell online and/or just as a hobby, most states require sales tax registration.


Go To Great Panes, Kathryn Maloney ©2012
(This post is copyrighted–you do not have permission to repost this content elsewhere but you are welcome to link to it if you’d like to share the information.)

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