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The MTC Sales-Use Tax Certificate Is the Easiest Form to Use IF…

author photo of Silvia Aguirre

The MTC form is the easiest form to use.

(IF you follow all the additional pages of fine print)

(IF you are strictly a reseller)

(IF you never get audited)

The Multistate Tax Commission (MTC) released the latest version of their widely popular Uniform Sales & Use Tax Certificate last month. I always enjoy sifting through the notes on the additional pages of rules. Most people really like this form. I don’t. Their perception is that it makes life nice and simple. You can use one form to list all your state ID numbers and not have to deal with all the other state specific forms. The reality is that it really can only be used for a limited audience of users. Here are some things to be aware of about the form:

1. It’s only accepted for resale transactions in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, KY, HI, IL, MD, NM, NC, PA, RI and WI. If you are a manufacturer, go find another form.

2. Florida keeps appearing and disappearing from the form. The truth is, Florida thinks you should always acquire a copy of the buyer’s Florida license. If you use this form, you really should get a copy of the license as backup. Otherwise, plan on visiting the Florida DOR website to confirm the number.

3. Michigan follows SST guidelines, except on this form, which Michigan says will expire in four years.

4. Nebraska also follows SST guidelines, except they say this form expires in three years.

5. Ohio will accept almost any use of this form, but remember that the customer must write their reason for exemption in the State ID number area.

6. Pennsylvania says this form is only accepted if the buyers use an eight digit number on the form.

7. Washington, yet another SST state that imposes an expiration of four years.

These are just highlights from the 3 pages of fine print. I still believe everyone is better off avoiding this form. There are just too many pitfalls when the audit rolls in.

What's been your experience?

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Note: Silvia Aguirre is no longer accepting new comments or questions.  More recent "Exemption Certificate Mgmt" posts by Michael Fleming (of Peisner Johnson) are still active.  Also use the Site's SEARCH bar to locate other helpful information.

8 Responses to The MTC Sales-Use Tax Certificate Is the Easiest Form to Use IF…

  • Posted by Katie on May 14, 2014 7:33am:

    Hi Silvia,
    I've been reading your writings and they have been very helpful! I'm working for a small business and am currently trying to figure out how to become sales tax exempt in many different states that we operate in. I am wondering if you have an opinion on using either the MTC form or the Streamlined form to do so, or both?

    • Posted by Author photo of Silvia AguirreSilvia Aguirre on May 20, 2014 6:36am:

      Hi Katie, I am a big fan of the Streamlined form (SST). It allows you to select the type of business you are in and also select the reason why you are exempt. In my opinion, the MTC form is a good form for resale, other exemptions might be tricky based on the 4 pages that accompany the form. I would suggest the SST and the state issued forms for non-SST states, unless is resale. I hope this helps! Silvia

    • Posted by Katie on May 14, 2014 7:35am:

      Also wondering what your opinion on Avalara and their CertCapture program is? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

      • Posted by Author photo of Silvia AguirreSilvia Aguirre on May 20, 2014 6:38am:

        Thanks for asking Katie, as a matter of fact, CertCapture was my idea, and we were lucky to combine our efforts in 2013 with Avalara. I am hopeful, it will certainly meet your needs. Plus you get me as a bonus :)

  • Posted by John on October 23, 2013 8:50am:

    Silvia... Just had a nice visit with Susan --- from your office ...
    We fabricate and sale windscreens mainly to Ag. - schools and some taxable folks in Texas and nationally. Our Texas sales tax is filed and paid monthly on line. Questions ----we purchase raw fabric from a major size company in Georgia. Today we received a request from them asking for " uniform sales & use tax certificate multjurisdictional" form A & B --- I question why they required such form --- the answer ---"for their files" --- I have no objection supplying our Texas -information but would like to know why and why it is required ?
    As I was looking for the answer on line --
    I found your site & number --- that's how I talked with Susan. Please call if any questions.

    • Posted by Author photo of Silvia AguirreSilvia Aguirre on October 31, 2013 2:09am:

      Hello John! First, apologies for late response.. I've been traveling :) To answer your question, the GA company is requesting an exemption form, in this case they use the MTC form for their records, but it is not the only form you can supply them. You are perfectly fine sending the Texas form with your information so long as you complete the seller information with the GA company details. Basically you are officially giving them a reason for exemption specifically for them. The GA company might want to use the MTC, just for convenience, as many companies do, however, I always warn that the MTC has limitations, and it is best to use the state specific forms. I hope this helps. Silvia

  • Posted by Debbie on September 18, 2013 4:41am:

    Do you have a category for Interstate Commerce exemptions? IE: Interstate Motor carriers are exempt from sales tax in many states.

    • Posted by Author photo of Silvia AguirreSilvia Aguirre on September 25, 2013 3:54am:

      We don't have a specific location with these form, but not a bad idea to add them to the free library available through this site. There might be some already, take a look at the state-by-state info from the home page. www.salestaxsupport.com
      Also, if you want, you can send me a list of forms that you are interested in, and we could add them.

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