Be proactive with your sales tax processes. For a small investment of time, you can see big money-saving results. Resolve to follow these three steps in 2015:
1) Train employees
Training is an affordable way to help identify and eliminate sales tax problems. More importantly, it teaches employees how to better manage sales tax processes and avoid future mistakes. Look for classes tailored for manufacturers. Don’t rule out sponsoring a training session exclusively for your employees instead of attending a generic sales tax seminar. Sales tax experts can conduct on-site seminars or webinars that address sales tax issues specific to your industry. Customized training also can be well worth the extra expense. Sales tax experts will review your company’s products and services then develop a seminar that teaches about the specific sales tax regulations for your company, in your state and about your manufacturing process.
2) Keep up with sales tax issues
Today, a wealth of information about sales tax regulations is available on the internet. No longer do you need to rely on a State’s Department of Revenue for information that is too often outdated or poorly explained. Many sales tax consultants, including Windward Tax, produce free newsletters containing updates and tips. Sales tax blogs offer answers to most questions; just make sure the authors are qualified sales tax experts. SalesTaxSupport.com is one of the best sources for free, reliable sales tax support.
3) Determine if automation is a smart option
Sales tax software helps many manufacturers organize their sales tax processes. Is it right for your company? Begin with a software company suited to your needs. Remember, automated solutions are only as good as the data entered into the system. Employees still need to be trained to understand and manage sales tax issues.
With so many sales tax exemptions that vary by industry and state, the job of maintaining compliance can be overwhelming. Don’t assume you can’t afford to fix problems. Make 2015 the year of sales tax compliance. These low-cost sales tax strategies will help your profits grow and your sales tax audit risks decline. What sales tax process improvements are you interested in making next year? What obstacles stand in your way?
Other recent “Manufacturing & Distribution” posts by Lauren Stinson, CMI:
- Manufacturing Purchases: 5 Sales-Use Tax Basics for Purchasers and A/P
- Manufacturing Exemption Misconception: Everything is Tax Exempt!
- Manufacturers’ Utility Studies: 5 Approaches to Utility Exemptions
- Manufacturing Sales & Use Exemptions: Open to Interpretation
- Use Tax Exemptions Case: Non-Traditional Manufacturer in Missouri