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Streamlined Sales Tax (SST)

This article applies to:Avalara AvaTax Update

The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) is the result of the cooperative effort of 44 states, the District of Columbia, local governments, and the business community to simplify sales and use tax collection and administration for retailers and states. It focuses on four major requirements for simplification of state and local tax codes:

  • State level administration
  • Uniform tax base
  • Simplified tax rates
  • Uniform sales sourcing rules

It encourages remote sellers selling over the Internet and by mail order to collect tax on sales to customers living in the streamlined states. It levels the playing field so that local brick-and-mortar stores and remote sellers operate under the same rules. The SSUTA ensures that all retailers can conduct their business in a fair, competitive environment.

Avalara can help you apply to join SST. For details about the terms of use, see the Streamlined Sales Tax Certified Service Provider Services Terms and Conditions. This is how to work with Avalara as your Certified Service Provider.

Funding Power of Attorney (POA)

As an SST customer, your tax liabilities are funded through an electronic withdrawal (ACH Debit) from your bank account. This withdrawal is initiated by Avalara as per your power of attorney (POA) authorization. 

SST Filing Timelines

Find below the important dates and deadlines related to filing your SST returns.

SST-FilingTimetable.png

Monthly Process Steps

  • 1st — 5th: Your tax liabilities are automatically generated for the previous month, summarizing all committed transactions for each state or province and displaying return level liabilities for each jurisdiction. Go to Returns > This month's filing to review your tax liabilities and approve your returns.
  • 5th — 10th: Reconciliation and approval: Compare and reconcile your tax liabilities in AvaTax Update with your accounting application’s sales/sales tax reporting. The returns to be filed this month are locked on the evening of the 10th, after which financial amounts are no longer available for adjustment.
  • 11th — 14th: The tax liabilities are funded based on the billing option selected on the Power of Attorney form.
  • 10th — 20th: SST returns processing occurs during these days. Avalara prepares, submits, and forwards the returns and then remits the funds to the applicable states.
  • 20th: All SST returns are due

SST state-specific regulations

Utah non-nexus remote seller law

This Utah 2013 House Bill states that non-nexus sellers who register/license for the first time in Utah on or after January 1, 2014 may keep 18 percent of the Utah sales tax they collect. To receive this discount, a seller must file electronically using either the Tax Commission's website or the SST agreement's simplified electronic return (SER). Sellers that take the 18 percent remote seller discount may not take the 1.31 percent seller discount for monthly filing.

To be considered a non-nexus/remote seller in Utah, you must answer “No” to all 11 questions below. If you answer "Yes" to any of the following 10 questions, you have nexus in Utah, are not a remote seller, and cannot receive the 18% discount.

  1. Did you register to collect taxes in Utah prior to January 1, 2014?
  2. Does the company have an office, agency, warehouse or other place of business in Utah?
  3. Does the company hold a title to tangible personal or real property located in Utah, i.e., merchandise inventory, motor vehicles, office or industrial equipment, etc.?
  4. Does the company rent or lease to others or has it at any time in the last three (3) years rented/leased property to others who then use the property in Utah?
  5. Does the company rent or lease from others or has it at any time leased or rented from others any tangible personal property located and/or used in Utah (e.g., warehouse space, motor vehicles, office space, housing space, or industrial equipment)?
  6. Does the company have or has it at any time maintained or consigned stocks or goods in Utah (i.e., a warehouse)?
  7. Does the company deliver to a Utah location using company owned or leased vehicles?
  8. Are contracts or similar agreements executed in Utah?
  9. Does the company engage in any activity in connection with the leasing or servicing of property located in Utah?
  10. Does the company have or has it ever had a security interest in any real or personal property sold or located in Utah?
  11. Does the company have any employees, commissioned agents, independent contractors or other representatives residing, selling, soliciting or performing services in Utah?
Having nexus in the state of Utah does not determine your SST volunteer/non-volunteer status. There are other determining factors that determine that classification. Additional information can be found on the Utah website.

Washington B&O law

Review the questions and answers below to better understand your compliance responsibilities related to Washington State Business & Occupation Tax.
  1. What is the business and occupation (B&O) tax?
    The Washington State B&O tax is a gross receipts tax. It is measured on the value of products, gross proceeds of sale, or gross income of the business. Washington, unlike many other states, does not have an income tax. Washington’s B&O tax is calculated on the gross income from activities. This means there are no deductions from the B&O tax for labor, materials, taxes, or other costs of doing business.
  2. What is the B&O tax rate?
    The B&O tax rate varies by classification. Once you know which classification your business fits into, you can find the rate that corresponds to your classification on the WA list of B&O tax rates.
  3. If I am a Streamlined Sales Tax Volunteer Seller, am I required to pay B&O Tax?
    It depends. When you register as an SST volunteer, you're merely telling the state that you do not have a fixed place of business, you have less than $50,000 worth of property, or that you have less than $50,000 in payroll; it doesn't indicate that you are required or not required to file.
    For example, your organization may have independent sales representatives or independent service technician, or your organization may participate in trade shows in Washington. Even though these activities may end up causing the business to be legally required to collect and remit taxes in Washington, a business is still considered a, SST status volunteer until that business meets the Washington SST requirements.
  4. If I am a Streamlined Sales Tax Non-Volunteer Seller, am I required to pay B&O Tax?
    Yes. A business with non-volunteer SST status either has a fixed place of business in a state, more than $50,000 worth of property, or more than $50,000 in payroll. Any one of those three activities would trigger nexus for a business in the state of Washington.
  5. Will the B&O tax be filed on my SST Simplified Electronic Return (SER)?
    No, the B&O is a tax on gross receipts. The SER only reports on sales and use tax.
  6. How do I pay the B&O tax?
    The B&O tax is reported and paid on the excise tax return or by electronic filing to Washington state. This needs to be paid by the 20th of each month to match to the electronic Streamlined Sales Tax Simplified Electronic Return, which is filed monthly.
  7. Can Avalara file the B&O tax on my behalf?
    Yes. You can engage Avalara to file and remit the B&O Tax Return monthly for a filing fee.
  8. Where can I find out more information on the B&O tax?

In order to properly set up your B&O return, Avalara needs your login ID and password to Washington's Department of Revenue (DOR) website.

  • If you have a login and a password for Washington state's DOR website, please add them to the SST application.
  • If you don't recall your login and password, retrieve your login ID or retrieve your password.
  • If you're not registered to file Washington B&O taxes but want Avalara to file on your behalf, we'll contact you after the SST registration is complete to assist you. 
  • You also need your Account/UBI number and Pre-assigned Access Code (PAC). This code can be found on your Washington DOR welcome letter to new businesses. Here's an example.

Tennessee

Tennessee doesn't currently accept an SER for any SST model 1 seller who has a physical location within the state. Your organization can identify if this Tennessee scenario has an impact on your organization in section VIII -- Additional Questions related to SST States -- on the SST Application.

Indiana

Indiana's collection allowance for a calendar year will be based on the total sales tax for the 12-month period ending on June 30 of the preceding calendar year. The state of Indiana will notify you if there is a change from the initial allowance of .73%. If notified of a different collection allowance rate, communicate this rate to sst@avalara.com.

Indiana tax liability for the previous 12 Months ending June 30 - collection allowance for subsequent calendar year
$60,000 or less 0.73%
$60,000 through $600,000 0.53%
$600,000 or more 0.26%
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