Texas Sales Tax FAQ

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Texas Sales Tax FAQ

Postby meauho » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:51 pm

NOTICE: When registering for your Sales Tax ID, DO NOT list business name as the convention OR the venue

Here is a portion of the Texas States Sales Tax FAQ. It has been reposted from the old forums. The information will be further filled in as time permits.
As most of the questions were initially designated for A-Kon, the answers below may seem to be specific to that convention. If you are considering vending (of any sort) at a Texas convention other than A-Kon, you may wish to follow the information below. Auditors from the Texas State Comptroller have been checking IDs at several conventions throughout the state.

Q: Do I need a sales tax permit [for A-kon]?
A: YES!!!!! If you, and each person selling their own wares at your table do not have one, you will not be allowed to have a table. THIS IS SERIOUS. EVERYONE must have one. There are NO EXCEPTIONS, (Even if you do not sell items and are an organization or club, you will STILL need one!)
Technically you are ALWAYS supposed to have a sales and use tax permit, but only a few conventions, A-kon included, absolutely require you need one to have a table.

Q: Why do we need one?
A: It is to protect yourself and A-kon from liability should an auditor come in and ask for a list of all the sellers and dealers. A-kon can get in mighty big trouble for its dealers (that includes us) not have selling permits, so anyone planning to sell at A-kon must have a sellers permit.

Q: I have several people at my table, do they each need a permit of their own.
A: Yes. This only applies to people SELLING stuff, not people helping you :D

Q: When do I need it by?
A: For A-kon, you will need it immediately upon registering. If you or anyone selling wares at your table do not have one you CANNOT register!

Q: How do I get it?
A: You can either visit your comptrollers office and do it in person (if you want a special company name you have to visit your courthouse and get a DBA name taken care of FIRST), or use the online form, which I believe is this one: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/t ... ap-201.pdf
Redacted due to invalid link: Etherealist had some useful info about this form (http://starcrossd.net/akon/index.php?to ... 731#msg731)

Redacted due to invalid link:
Q: How can I get in contact with the comptrollers office?
A: There's some contact info here, which will be useful for those out of state/country. (http://starcrossd.net/akon/index.php?topic=462.0)

Q: What is a DBA name?
A: DBA stands for "doing business as," and is basically your company name (even though Texas does not use the term 'DBA'). Some examples are Pan-Gaia, PinkFairyWand Creations, Raging Seagulls Studios, etc. If you want a special name such as this, you must visit your county court house and get one, and it does cost money, about 10-20 bucks depending on your county. If your company name includes your last name, for example, 'Awesome Art by John Smith', you do not need to register it or pay money, and it's good to go when applying for a tax permit.

Q: I don't live in Texas, where do I get a temporary sales tax id?
Q: I don't live in the United States, what do I do about a tax id then?
A: You just get a sales tax id like everyone else; there isn't a temporary one permit--but just tell them you're only doing business maybe once a year so that you only have to file yearly what you did at Texas conventions and that's it. Fear not if you cannot enter a SSN because you live in another country, there should be a place to write your country's equivalent. If you have problems filling out this part of the form, simply call them :)

Q: Do I have to renew the tax permit every year?
A: No, the fact that you are using it and paying tax every year is like a renewal contract in and of itself. If you have a permit and have not paid any taxes for several years, then it may be necessary to renew the permit by sending in a new form.

Q: How much tax do I have to charge? Does this mean I have to calculate everything and deal with change? Do I also need to write receipts? :<
A: The sales tax for Dallas, Houston, and Austin is 8.25%. Sales tax rate for San Antonio is 8.125%
More jurisdictions can be found [url'http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/local/city.html]here (state website)[/url]

Q: What if I want to use whole numbers and not carry coins?
A: You do not have to add the tax to the price you display. However, you must state that tax is including, and doing this means you have to pay the tax out of your pocket. If you make $100 without charging tax on top of it, that means you have to take $8.25 of that money and give it to Texas. Now if you'd charged sales tax, then the people that bought your stuff paid Texas, and you get to keep the full $100. However, charging tax can be a pain in the butt, so it's your call if you wish to deal with change or just include the tax with the price, but know that if you don't charge the tax, it will come from your revenue.

Q: Do I have to keep receipts?
A: Receipts are helpful if you sell more costly items, and a death sentence if you have one dollar items, but not necessary in either circumstances. It's your call. The only case where receipts are required in the state of Texas for items typically found in Artist Alleys is when the item sells for more than $500. In this case, you need to keep a copy of a receipt signed by the purchaser.

NOTE: when you are calculating the tax, you multiply by .0825, NOT .825. .825 means 82.5% =P If you're doing it by calculator and don't have a add sales tax feature, multiplying it by 1.0825 will give you the with tax value. Round numbers that come out funny, such as 1.0825 would be $1.08, and 2.165 would be $2.17.

Q: How often do I have to pay?
A: If you make below $1500 in SALES TAX (NOT REVENUE) you only have to pay yearly. If they set you up for quarterly (which they will unless you tell them otherwise), call them and tell them to cut that out. In order to make $1,500 in sales tax you'd have to make $18,181.82 in revenue, so most of us are only going to need yearly reports. (I did algebra for that number so I hope alot of you appreciate random info!) If you pay quarterly the payments will fall on the beginning of each new quarter, for yearly, they will be the beginning of the first quarter (January 20th).

Q: I'm under 18, what do I do?
A: You get your parent to sign the form.

Q: OK, I got the paper turned in, and they gave me something called a "taxpayer number," is that my sales tax id?
A. Yes. This is also the number you will need to input into our database when you register.

Q: I've lost my permit and I don't think I can get another before the show! Is there anything else I can bring that will prove I have a permit?
A: The best thing to bring of course would be the permit, but in the event it disappears and it comes down to the wire, there are several other things you can bring to prove you have a permit, such as a photocopy of the permit, online transaction proof that you applied for the permit and it contains the number they issued you, or letters from the comptrollers office about your permit that include your number on the statement. So long as we can ensure you have signed up to pay sales tax, you will be fine.

Q: Why are annoying people calling me?! Did Texas sell my information?!
A: No, when you apply for things like tax permits, some of your information tends to become public (much like when you buy a domain name online, except you can't pay extra to hide it.) You will get annoying phone calls at morning and night, and many a dead tree will be delivered to your mailbox, but it will die down after a few weeks. And don't let those phone salesmen sucker you into ANYTHING, just hang up on them.

Q: I got a horrifying letter from the comptrollers office saying I owe them like a thousand dollars! What in the world!?
A: This happens when you forget to turn in your sales tax on time or they haven't received it yet. They're very quick to send you an estimate of what they think you may owe them. You do NOT owe the estimate they've given you. All you have to do is call them up and explain your situation, and whatever the circumstances may be, it'll all get cleared up, so don't freak out. :)

*The above information is not meant to serve as legal advice, and does not come from any legal authority or government official. Information has been complied from the personal experiences of convention artists, staffers, vendors, and from the state of Texas Comptroller's website. It is recommended that you may wish to consult a lawyer or accountant before undertaking any new financial en devour.
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Re: Texas Sales Tax FAQ

Postby Yume » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:35 pm

Thought this might be helpful for people having to pay quarterly since it's not stated clearly anywhere and Texas is no longer issuing reminders. It's simple enough but I know I keep forgetting (no, I still haven't switched to yearly).

Quarterly payments date info:

Filing period: Jan - March
DUE: April 20th

Filing period: April - June
DUE: July 20th

Filing period: July - Sept
DUE: October 20th

Filing period: Nov - Dec
DUE: Jan 20th

*Filing period refers to sales made during that time frame.
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Location: Texas

Re: Texas Sales Tax FAQ

Postby meauho » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:05 am

First post Updated.
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:05 am

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