Whether you are managing a sales and use tax department, have landed on sales tax outsourcing as a strategy or you are a lone soldier and sales tax is just one of the many jobs you do, it is very important to have an up to date tax calendar.
Here are the most important components in a sales and use tax calendar:
- Entity name – This is important if you file for multiple entities.
- State – This is a good quick filter in an excel worksheet.
- Jurisdiction/Name of the return – What type of return are you filing? Sales tax, seller’s use, consumer’s use, E911, communication services? Who is the collecting agency? State, county, city, PUC, RDS, STACS? In some states, you could have multiple returns, so it is important to have each identified. Don’t forget your annual reconciliation returns or prepayments.
- Due Date – What day is your return due? You also want to make sure you allow for mail time if it is a return that needs to be received by a certain date. Sometimes there is a different due date for paper return versus electronic returns or if you are paying electronically.
- Filing Frequency – Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual, etc.
- Tax ID Number – Most jurisdictions give you an ID number or an account number, if not, then you can use your FEIN.
- Return Type – Paper, web filed, EDI or payment only.
- Payment Type – Check, ACH Debit, ACH Credit, Credit Card, etc.
- User Name and Password – This is for any online filings and payments.
Having this information at your fingertips is very beneficial when reporting up to management or out to a vendor. Executives may like to know what states they are filing in, how many returns are being filed at a given time, prepayment information or other metrics.
Be prepared and have this piece of your process well documented. If you have outsourced the sales tax compliance, make sure you are receiving an updated calendar each month. At times of disruption, someone else will know what’s due, how it’s due and when it’s due, which can save a lot of time and money.