Q:

How do you calculate monthly sales taxes owed by a business?

A:

Quick Answer

Calculate monthly sales tax for a business by adding up the costs of all the taxable items sold through the business and multiplying the total by the business's sales tax rate. The business's tax rate can be obtained from the state agency that issued the business its resale permit.

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Full Answer

The resale permit authorizes the business to collect sales tax. The sales tax rate is not uniform across the entire state and can change from city to city or county to county.

When summing all the costs of the taxable items sold by the business, it's important to discern between taxable and non-taxable items. The state agency that issues the resale permits usually provides information on what items should be sold tax-free and what items need to be taxed. Only taxable items should be used to calculate the business's owed sales tax.

Sales tax reports usually need to be submitted monthly, quarterly or annually, depending on the terms of the resale permit distributed by the state agency. Business owners who do not have any sales tax to report for the filing period are still required to submit a sales tax report.

The Department of Finance and Taxation of the state of New York suggests that business owners maintain a separate bank account to hold their business's sales tax for each filing period to insure that the sales tax funds are not used to make other purchases or to pay business expenses.

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