Georgia Sales Tax Guide
Chapter 3: Getting registered to collect Georgia sales tax
The first step toward proper management of Georgia sales tax involves getting registered with the Georgia Department of Revenue. We get a lot of questions regarding this and recognize it may be the most difficult hurdle for small businesses to overcome. Registering to collect sales tax in Georgia means you've acknowledged your legal responsibility to collect and consequently file and remit sales tax to the state.When do I need to register to collect sales tax in Georgia?
There are two ways to think about this question. The first involves a topic called "nexus". Nexus, in the tax world refers to a company's connection to a state. While this connection is typically that of a physical nature (warehouse in the Georgia, inventory in Georgia, etc.), nexus is not limited to a physical presence. There are many nexus triggers we won't delve into here and, more importantly, nexus is often determined by a combination of events rather than a single event.
If it is determined you have nexus in Georgia, the Georgia Department of Revenue has the legal right to require you to collect, file, and pay sales tax.
If you've determined you have nexus in Georgia, the second question involves a topic we call "materiality". In short, you'll want to ask yourself whether the amount of sales tax you are required to collect and remit to the Georgia Department of Revenue is enough to put you at an unacceptable level of penalty and interest risk. As everyone's level of risk tolerance is different, this is a question that can only be answered by you, the business owner.
Prior to selling taxable goods or offering taxable services in Georgia, a business that has established nexus within the state is required to register for an Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Registration.What triggers nexus in Georgia?
Nexus is a complex topic that, depending on your situation, may require the in-depth knowledge of a qualified tax professional. That being said, there are a few common business events and situations that are known to trigger nexus in Georgia. The most common include the following:
- Opening an office in Georgia
- Storing inventory in a warehouse in Georgia
- Having remote employees located in Georgia
Businesses may register for an Georgia Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Registration online by visiting the Georgia Department of Revenue and following the instructions provided.
It is also possible to get registered for a Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Registration by completing and mailing in a State Tax Registration Application (CRF-002), but this approach is not recommended. Form based registration is being phased out in favor of online registration. It’s fast, free, and more reliable than mailing in a completed paper form.What information is required to register for a Georgia Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Registration ?
When applying for a Georgia Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Registration, there are a number of pieces of information that may be required. These include, but are likely not limited to:
- Business name
- Business entity type
- Description of business activities
- Date business activities began or will begin
- Business address and mailing address
- Business contact information
- The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code that best matches your business
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
- Your name, Social Security Number (SSN), driver license number, personal address, and personal contact information of owner/sole proprietor
- List of business officers, partners, managing members, and/or trustees
- Employment information (date of hire, number of employees, payroll amounts, payroll agent’s PTIN, if applicable)
The cost to register for a Georgia Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Registration is currently $0.Do I need a Federal EIN in order to register in Georgia?
The Georgia Department of Revenue requires businesses requesting a new Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Registration to supply a valid Federal EIN number during the initial registration process. You can apply for an EIN number online by visiting the IRS website.Which Georgia governement agencies do I need to register with in order to get a new Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Registration?
We recommend you contact the Georgia Department of Revenue to verify which government agencies you will be required to register with. Potential agencies include the following:
- Georgia Department of Revenue
- Georgia State Employment Agency
- Georgia State Department of Labor
- Georgia Local Tax Jurisdictions
Yes! Georgia Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Registration registration is unique to the state of a business. The Georgia Department of Revenue requires all registered businesses to have current business owner name and contact information on file.