Q&A: Streamlined Sales Tax (SST)

Here's what you need to know

Avalara is proud to be one of the first Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) Certified Service Providers (CSP). We realize many businesses may not fully understand what SST is or how it might apply to their evolving business. So, if you're confused by SST and wonder if it's right for your business, this Q&A highlights the implications of SST for businesses selling in the United States.

Q: What is the Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) program?

A: Created in 1999, the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement is the result of a cooperative effort between state and local governments and the business community. The goal of SST is to simplify sales and use tax collection and administration for all sellers and all types of commerce by making sales tax administration requirements less burdensome. Participating states must simplify and centralize aspects of sales tax administration. For some companies, SST offers critical tools to help address ever-changing sales tax regulations. For others, the benefits of SST are less obvious.

Q: Do all 50 states participate in SST?

A: No. There are currently 24 states that adhere to the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.

Q: What states are part of SST?

A: Member states include Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Q: What are the benefits of enrolling in SST?

A: Companies expanding into SST states can save significant time and money by registering for SST with either Volunteer or Non-Volunteer status. However, obtaining Volunteer status will provide additional benefits if companies work with an SST Certified Service Provider like Avalara.

 

Free SST registration in 24 states
Free SST registration in 24 states
Single identification number to file and pay taxes in registered states
Single identification number to file and pay taxes in registered states
Uniform filing forms and exemption certificates
Uniform filing forms and exemption certificates
Access to boundary and rules data
Access to boundary and rules data
Centralized source of updates and information regarding sales tax rules and regulations
Centralized source of updates and information regarding sales tax rules and regulations
Integration with today's most widely used ERP, accounting, and ecommerce applications
Integration with today's most widely used ERP, accounting, and ecommerce applications
Free certified sales tax calculation software
Free certified sales tax calculation software

Volunteer status only

Free preparation and filing of sales and use tax returns
Free preparation and filing of sales and use tax returns

Volunteer status only

Free audit support
Free audit support

Volunteer status only

Q: I’m interested in the SST program. Do I have to register in all 24 states?

A: No. Registering in all SST states is free and easy and requires only one form. While Avalara recommends customers register in all 24 participating states, it isn’t a requirement. The program allows businesses to register in the participating states they choose.

Q: What if I’m already registered in an SST state or I was previously registered with SST?

A: Prior registration in an SST state or with the SST program does not disqualify you from signing up with Avalara as your CSP.

Q: Can I engage Avalara as a CSP if I’m already registered with the SST program?

A: Yes. Any seller that wishes to use Avalara as its Certified Service Provider must add the SST service with Avalara and complete the Avalara implementation process. This is to confirm your systems and data are properly configured for success with SST using Avalara as your CSP.

Q: Can I qualify for Volunteer status with the SST program if I have economic nexus?

A: Yes. Remote sellers who establish nexus based on sales or transaction thresholds are not disqualified from obtaining Volunteer status.

Q: What is a Certified Service Provider (CSP)?

A: A CSP allows businesses registered under SST to fully outsource their sales and use tax management processes. By registering for SST, a qualifying business is eligible to use CSP services for free. There are a limited number of CSPs in the market, and Avalara is proud to be one of the first SST Certified Service Providers.

Q: What is the benefit of using a CSP and a certified technology solution?

A: Certified SST service providers must meet the rigorous standards set forth by SST for data processing and management of sales tax information. The benefits and free services included with Volunteer status are only available to sellers that contract with a CSP.

Avalara is also a CSP in Pennsylvania, which is not a member of SST but has a similar CSP program.

By utilizing the SST certified technology solution provided by Avalara, your company will have protection, automation, and reduced costs. In some cases, states even help pay for the software. Our certified software products are quick and easy to use and better prepare your company for upcoming state and local sales tax regulatory changes.

Sales tax solutions for all businesses

Even if you don’t qualify as an SST Volunteer Seller in all states, you can still lessen the burden of sales tax compliance with affordable solutions from Avalara.

Learn more about SST

Learn more about SST and whether your business is a good fit for the program.

Get started with SST

Contact us and find out if you qualify today.

Automate your sales tax compliance

Discover how you can offload the manual process of managing sales tax with Avalara AvaTax.