eCommerce Tips

5 Reasons to Outsource your eCommerce Sales Tax

By Zoey Partner on July, 6 2017


Today's blog post was contributed by Jennifer Dunn of TaxJar.

Every owner of a growing business eventually comes to a crossroads: “What should I continue to do myself? And what should I outsource?”  

For some business owners, it’s difficult to imagine outsourcing anything. After all, you can do it yourself, so why spend the money? But at some point, especially as the profits start rolling in, you must decide when and where your time is most valuable. And I’ll give you a hint: hassling over an unprofitable task like sales tax is rarely a good use of a business owner’s time!

If any of the below signs or symptoms sound like you, it may be time to outsource your eCommerce sales tax:

Sales tax is cutting into your profits

And I don’t mean because you’re paying sales tax out of pocket. (Which you shouldn’t be!) As the business owner, you only have so much time in your day. If you’re spending several hours reporting and filing sales tax each time you have a return due, you’re taking your time and energy away from the more profitable aspects of running your business. If this sounds like you, it may be time to try out sales tax automation technology to outsource sales tax.

You don’t have the patience to sweat the small stuff

As an entrepreneur, I’m willing to bet you have a grand vision for your company. Sales tax, on the other hand, is all about details. Most state’s sales tax returns are made up of many, many tiny boxes where you enter how much sales tax you collected in each county, city and other special taxing district. If you enter a number in the wrong box, or transpose two numbers and hit “submit” you’re going to get an error and get sent right back to the start. If you’re not a details person, it may be time to stop tearing your hair out over minutiae and outsource sales tax.

You wanted to leave math behind in high school

What’s one math concept you probably didn’t think you would use that much on a tax form? Rounding. But many states require that you round your totals up or down. To add insult to injury, if you make a rounding mistake then your entire return is off. If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated when a state sales tax return gives you a big red error due to rounding, it may be time to try sales tax automation!

You can’t get into a sales tax rhythm

Sales tax due dates are funny things. Each state sets their own sales tax due dates, and they often vary from state to state. The majority of states set their sales tax due dates on the 20th of the month after the taxable period, though some are on the last day of the month, or the 25th or 15th or another date. Also, the taxable period could be a single month, a quarter, or even a year. Or a fiscal year. And what some states consider a “quarter” is different than what other states consider a quarter. If you find yourself paying penalties and interest because you just can’t wrap your head around when exactly your sales tax filings are due, then it’s time to automate your sales tax life.

You just don’t want to file sales tax returns anymore!

Or maybe you just darn well don’t want to file sales tax returns anymore. You didn’t strike out on your own and become your own boss only to have to spend your days slicing and dicing sales tax data and filling out long, boring forms. If you’d rather watch paint dry than file a sales tax return – you’re in luck, you don’t have to. With TaxJar AutoFile, you never have to look at a sales tax filing again!

Do any or all of the above sound like you? Technology has your back and can take sales tax off your hands. If you have questions or something to say about sales tax, join 7,000+ other online sellers and sales tax professionals in our Sales Tax for eCommerce Sellers Facebook Group.

TaxJar is a service that makes sales tax reporting and filing simple for more than 8,000 online sellers.  Try a 30-day-free trial of TaxJar today and eliminate sales tax compliance headaches from your life!

Jennifer Dunn is the Chief of Content & Community at TaxJar. Her passions is making complex tax topics simple so business owners can get back to doing what they do best - running their businesses!

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