Vermont Sales Tax Guide
Chapter 5: Filing and paying Vermont sales tax
You're registered with the Vermont Department of Taxes and you've begun collecting sales tax. Congratulations! Remember, those tax dollars don't belong to you. As an agent of the state of Vermont, your role is that of intermediary transferring tax dollars from consumers to state and local tax authorities. Let's take a deeper look at how filing Vermont sales tax returns impacts your business.What does it mean to file an Vermont sales tax return?
Technically speaking, filing Vermont sales tax returns is a two-step process comprised of submitting the required sales data and remitting the collected tax dollars (if any) to state and local tax authorities.
In most states, there are a number of options for submitting sales tax data to the state. Business owners may complete a Vermont sales tax filing form and mail it to the Vermont Department of Taxes or they can file electronically online. In all states, filing online is recommended.
The filing process forces the business owner to detail their total sales, the amount of sales tax they have collected, and from where. The Vermont Department of Taxes wants to be kept up to date on your business growth (or lack thereof) to make sure they are getting the tax dollars due. By completing ongoing filing of monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual, or annual Vermont sales tax returns, they stay abreast of your growing company.When am I required to file my sales tax return?
The Vermont Department of Taxes will assign you a filing frequency. Typically, this is determined by the size of your business. State governments typically ask larger businesses to file more frequently. Visit our Vermont filing due dates page for more information.Am I required to file and pay my Vermont sales tax at the same time?
Vermont sales tax returns must be filed and paid at the same time and are governed by the same due date.I want to webfile my Vermont sales tax. What are my options?
Avalara has built the TrustFile product to allow business owners a quick and easy way to prepare and webfile Vermont sales tax returns. Users can sign up and use the service to prepare Vermont returns free for 30-days.
Filers may also file directly with the Vermont Department of Taxes by visiting their site and entering your transaction data manually. This is a free service, but preparing Vermont sales tax (breaking it down by jurisdiction) can be time consuming - especially for larger sellers.Can a 3rd party file my sales tax on my behalf?
Yes! Many business owners recognize they are not a tax professional and therefore, choose to outsource their sales tax sales and use tax filing to services like Avalara TrustFile or to an accountant or bookkeeper. This is a normal business practice that can save business owners time and help them avoid costly mistakes due to inexperience and a lack of deep knowledge about Vermont sales tax code.What happens if I file or pay my sales tax return late?
In the event of late sales tax filing or late payment of outstanding sales tax liability, the Vermont Department of Taxes may assess penalties and interest charges.Do I need to file a return if I didn't collect any sales tax in Vermont?
Yes! Once you've successfully registered for and been issued a Sales Tax License, you are required to file at the completion of each assigned collection period regardless of whether any sales tax was collected. This is what is known as a "zero-tax filing".
Failure to submit a required zero-tax filing can result in penalties imposed on your business by the Vermont Department of Taxes so don't take this responsibility lightly.If I close my business, do I need to file a final sales tax return?
Yes! The Vermont Department of Taxes requires all businesses to "close their books" by filing a final sales tax return. This also holds true for business owners selling or otherwise transferring ownership of their business.Does the Vermont Department of Taxes offer a discount for filing on time?
At this time, the Vermont Department of Taxes does not offer sales tax filers a vendor discount.