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General State Tax Registration Tips and Tricks

Updated: May 30, 2023

State and local tax (SALT) registration can be a complex and time-consuming process, but with the right approach, it can be completed smoothly and efficiently. Here are some tips for state and local tax consultants to keep in mind when completing a state tax registration for their client:

Understand The Client's Business

Before beginning the registration process, it's important to have a clear understanding of the client's business operations, including the products and services they offer, the location of their operations, and their revenue streams. This information will be necessary for determining the appropriate tax classification and reporting requirements as well as what information you may need to complete the application.

Research The State's Tax Laws

Each state has its own set of tax laws and regulations, so it's important to research and understand the specific requirements for the state in which the client will be registering. This includes determining the types of taxes that the client will be required to pay, as well as any filing deadlines and reporting requirements. Normally, a nexus study can help determine what taxes are required to be paid in each state.

Gather The Necessary Documentation

In order to complete the registration process, the client will need to provide certain information and documentation, such as proof of business formation and a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Be sure to gather all necessary documentation before beginning the registration process to ensure a smooth and efficient process. Some firms send their clients questionnaires specifically tailored to the state(s) and tax type(s) their clients will register for.

Register For All Applicable Taxes

Some states require businesses to register for multiple types of taxes, such as sales tax, use tax, and employment taxes. Be sure to register the client for all applicable taxes to avoid any penalties or fines.

Understand The Implications Of Remote Seller Laws

Remote seller laws, also known as economic nexus laws, require out-of-state businesses to register and collect sales tax if they meet certain thresholds of sales into a state. Since each state has the right to choose its own thresholds, be sure to understand these laws and their implications for the client's business.

Stay Current With Changes In Tax Laws

Tax laws are constantly changing, so it's important to stay current with any changes that may impact the client's business. This includes changes in tax rates, filing requirements, and reporting deadlines.

By following these tips, state and local tax consultants can help their clients navigate the complex process of state tax registration and ensure that they are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

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About the author

Kristina Cassone-Rhodes has worked in state and local taxes for more than 5 years. She currently owns her own consulting firm, Cassone Consulting LLC, and is a co-founder of Peper (Formally known as TaxStream LLC). She has a J.D. from the University of Montana and an LL.M in Taxation from Boston University.

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