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4 sales tax tips for the math-phobic

  • Jun 26, 2017 | Laura McCamy

You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to be a terrific ecommerce seller. As a business owner, however, you can't avoid numbers completely. You’ll need some sales tax tips to help you handle a part of ecommerce that can be confusing even to the financial wizards among us.

Did algebra give you the willies? Were you scarred by pre-calculus? Perhaps you have mathematical anxiety. Maybe it’s even worse and you suffer from dyscalculia, and math makes no sense to you.

If long division gives you indigestion, never fear. Here are four sales tax tips to help you stay in compliance, even though bookkeeping is not your jam.

1. Don’t get sales tax tips from your math whiz friends

Your business associates and colleagues can be a terrific resource in your ecommerce business. They are your sounding board for new ideas, they help you tease out market trends, and they are there to support you on the days when everything goes wrong.

If you are math-phobic, however, sales tax tips from your mathematically-inclined friends can compound your troubles. Their advice can sound like a foreign language and do you more harm than good.

Don’t give up. You just need to find a way of meeting your sales tax obligations that doesn’t make you tear your hair out.

2. Do get sales tax tips from the experts

The people who make sales tax compliance their business, like the experts at Avalara TrustFile, can help you out with sales tax tips to help you make compliance easy. You can find a map and sales tax calculator with tax rates for every corner of the US and Canada, plus sales tax tips to get you started, and sales tax guides for every state that levies sales tax.

3. Don’t skip out on your sales taxes

Figuring out sales tax obligations in multiple states is a headache even for bookkeepers. If you have an aversion to numbers, you may be tempted to stick your fingers in your ears and say lalalalala and hope the sales tax dilemma goes away. You don’t owe much in any one state, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Wrong. If you have a permit to collect and remit sales taxes in a state, failure to file sales tax returns can rack up penalties and interest. These may be more than the taxes you owe. Over time, these charges can add up to real money.

Your ecommerce business will be healthier in the long run if you pay your sales taxes on time. With the right tools, sales tax compliance can be easier than you think.

4. Do use sales tax automation software

Would you like to meet a bunch of smart folks do nothing else all day but sit around and think about sales tax compliance so you don’t have to? You’ll find them at sales tax automation software companies.

Connect your sales tax automation software to your ecommerce store and you can upload your sales tax information with a click. The app can track your filing deadlines and the amounts you owe. You won’t have to add or subtract a thing.

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Laura McCamy
Avalara Author Laura McCamy