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Georgia Exemption Certificates: Online Verification Now Possible !

author photo of Lauren Stinson

The Georgia DOR has recently introduced a new online tool that allows businesses to verify sales tax exemption certificates, retail certificates or letters of authorization. Now it’s easy to validate your resale or exemption certificates before making tax-exempt sales.

Your company can quickly confirm that your customer has a valid resale certificate. You can simply key in the customer’s certificate number to immediately find out if the customer qualifies for tax-exempt purchases. This process reduces exemption errors at the time of sale and helps eliminate the need to contact customers later to correct mistakes.

With this new tool the user can input up to 100 Georgia sales tax numbers at a time to determine if the numbers are active or inactive. A report also can be printed listing all the numbers and identifying them as active or inactive. The tool does not identify the taxpayer who holds the number.

The validation process is easy. Simply go online to Georgia Tax Center, enter the nine-digit number and select “Verify Sales Tax IDs.” You will receive a message indicating if the number is active or inactive. Remember, this new service only validates Georgia Sales Tax numbers.

To find out more about this new sales tax verification tool, visit the Georgia Tax Center.

About the Author: Lauren Stinson, CMI, is Owner and President of Windward Tax, a sales and use tax consulting firm. She has more than 20 years of experience working with manufacturers on sales and use tax issues. Lauren is pleased to share her expertise with SalesTaxSupport readers. She is the Manufacturing contributor for SalesTaxSupport’s Industry blog and she is the Georgia Sales Tax contributor for SalesTaxSupport’s State blog.

Comments or questions may be submitted by using the on-page "Comment" feature, subject to disclaimer at bottom of page. More specific questions or requests may be sent to Lauren directly using the orange "REQUEST" link on Lauren's Firm Profile page.

Other recent “Georgia (GA)” posts by Lauren Stinson, CMI:

NOTE: All blog content, comments, and participation subject to disclaimer at bottom of page.

Comments

43 Responses to Georgia Exemption Certificates: Online Verification Now Possible !

  • Posted by Rob on August 28, 2017 6:20am:

    Can I accept sales tax exemption ST-5 without GA sales tax number? I am selling shipping cargo containers in GA to shipping company, who is not registered for sales tax in GA and the container will be used in interstate and foreign commerce by the shipping company. Please advise. Thank you,

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on August 30, 2017 6:10am:

      If your customer is not registered in Georgia, and wants to submit to you a Sales Tax Exemption Form ST-5, whether a tax id number is required depends on the exemption. The form includes the language “A sales and use tax number is not required for this exemption” for several exemptions. Please confirm with your customer which exemption they want to use and confirm if the terms apply to this sale.” If the exemptions do not apply that are listed on the ST-5, we would advise to contact the Georgia DOR at 877-423-6711. There are specific exemptions in the Georgia statutes related to interstate shipping companies and common carriers, and we do not have much experience in this industry.

  • Posted by Jeannie on September 14, 2016 3:23pm:

    Hi Lauren,
    I am trying to acquire a sales and use tax number as a sole proprietor business. I have registerd as an individual Ga. tax payer and registered the business name. My account information page on the web-site shows a completed status for a sole proprapriotor registration. Can/ How do I get the sales & use tax number from this point? Am I even close to the right path??
    Thanks
    Jeannie

  • Posted by Eliana on September 8, 2016 11:56pm:

    I really appreciate the time to answer my question.
    I have a ein and a sales tax id, I also printed the st-5 form for reselling purposes, but is the st-5 the same than seller certificate or the st-2 is the seller certificate. I am confused about those 2 forms. What's the difference I looked for more information but this is the only place where I found a more understandable explanation about taxes.

    Thank you again for your time.

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on September 20, 2016 9:57am:

      Eliana,
      The ST-5 is the form you would give to your vendors/suppliers in order to purchase items for resale. Mark box #1 for items you resell to others. Currently, Georgia doesn't offer an ST-2 form. The ST-3 is the sales tax return form filed by Georgia taxpayers. Most taxpayers complete this form online. I hope this helps.

  • Posted by Travis on August 28, 2016 8:40pm:

    Is their a website thats good to register for a business, license, sales tax id, and business tax id? As opposed to going to the very disorganized court house lol?

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on August 30, 2016 9:22am:

      The Georgia Tax Center is a great place to start. Open the site and click on Business. You'll find links to register your business in Georgia, as well as other helpful information.

  • Posted by Lanesha on August 7, 2016 5:06am:

    I want to start a online business selling cloths.What are my step i need to take.Ingetting everything i need..Cause i read one site and it say this.Than i read another site and it say that.Would you please point me in the right direction..And also is there a website of all the wholesalers in Ga..

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on August 10, 2016 12:16pm:

      All new businesses in Georgia selling tangible goods must have a sales/use tax account. Follow these steps:
      1) Access the Georgia Tax Center website https://gtc.dor.ga.gov/_/
      2) At the home page, select the "Business" tab, then click on the link to register a new GA business.
      3) Click on the link at the far right to follow steps for online registration.

      Remember, this is only for a Georgia business sales and use tax permit. For all other business taxes (withholding, corporate income, etc) and registration requirements, I recommend consulting with a licensed CPA or attorney.

  • Posted by Wanda on July 2, 2016 11:46am:

    Hello i was trying to purchase some handbags from a wholesale store and they told me that i needed a sales tax certificate,i have a sales tax number, how do i get one?

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on July 13, 2016 7:14am:

      In order to provide a wholesaler with a valid sales tax certificate of exemption, you must first be registered with the state of Georgia and have obtained a sales tax number. When you have obtained this sales tax number, you will use that number to fill out form ST-5 (a sales tax certificate of exemption). This is the form you can present to the wholesaler. More info on registering and locating needed forms can be found online at the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website.

  • Posted by Richard on May 31, 2016 10:58am:

    Are tools such as drills or inserts used for manufacturing subject to use tax if purchased sales tax free? (exempt from Sales Tax) The tool will not become part of the product for the end user just "used" by the Manufacture to make the product.

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on June 30, 2016 9:32am:

      Yes. Any equipment (including drills and inserts) used in the manufacturing process will qualify for exemption.

  • Posted by Penny on April 13, 2016 9:24pm:

    we have a small BBQ restaurant in GA and I need to get another copy of my resale tax certificatefor a new vendor we wish to use..can you tell me which one I need and where I can get it...thanks so much

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on April 14, 2016 10:15am:

      Penny,

      For your resale items, you should extend to your supplier a completed ST-5. You can get it from the Georgia Department of Revenue’s website. http://dor.georgia..gov

      For all your taxable purchases, you should pay the tax directly to your supplier or pay use tax on your sales & use tax return.

      I hope your restaurant is doing well. I love BBQ!

      • Posted by Penny on April 17, 2016 9:14pm:

        thanks, the ST-5 is what I thought...we have 2 different numbers showing one for our tax account thru ga and then there is another set of numbers the one is nine digits long (use and sales number) is that the one we use to fill in the ST-5 ? the other set of number is 11 digits long...

        • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on April 22, 2016 6:40am:

          Penny,

          You should use the number that is on your sales and use tax return.

  • Posted by joyce on January 28, 2016 1:07pm:

    when ever our church have a fund raiser when we pay the vendor they charge us taxes because we only have an IRS vin number, what do I need to get the Ga tax number for our church non-profit org

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on March 8, 2016 1:43pm:

      In general, no exemption is granted to churches, religious, charitable, civic and other non-profit organizations. They are required to pay the tax on all purchases of tangible personal property. Further, when such organizations engage in selling tangible personal property at retail, they are required to comply with provisions of the Act relating to collection and remittance of the tax (GA Regulation 560-12-2-.22).

      However, there are some exemptions for the sales made by churches under (CA Code Sec 48-8-3(15)(B). Sales by religious institutions or denominations are exempt from sales and use taxes if the following apply:
      • the sale results from a specific charitable fund-raising activity not exceeding 30 days in any calendar year;
      • no part of the gross sales or net profits from the sales inures to the benefit of any private person; and
      • the gross sales or net profit from the sales are used for the purely charitable purposes of relief to the aged, church-related youth activities, religious instruction or worship, or construction or repair of church buildings or facilities.

      Depending on your activities, your church may need to be registered to collect sales tax. If so, you can register online at the GA DOR’s website.

  • Posted by Cheryl on January 23, 2016 7:00pm:

    i was told as a non- profit organization with a 501c3 that we can purchase items for the church without paying the sales tax. I was wondering which form do we use, if any?

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on January 28, 2016 11:11am:

      Cheryl, unfortunately Georgia does not grant any exemptions to churches on their purchases used in their regular day to day operations. There are some exceptions if you are purchasing items for resale and then it depends on whether it is for a specific fundraising activity and some other criteria. Here’s a link to more information for not-for-profit organization on Georgia’s website: http://dor.georgia.gov/tax-exempt-nonprofit-organizations

  • Posted by laurel on January 20, 2016 5:17pm:

    Hi, I read through your comments and questions but wanted to make sure I was correct. I currently have the my pos license, my business tax certificate, business tax return, and ein. I plan on buying wholesale and selling online. My business is in Ga. I believe I need the st-5 to give to the dealers so they can sell wholesale to me. Correct? After I fill out that form, what do I do with it? (mail it to the state or take it in?) Also do I need to fill out any other forms to be able to sell to my customers? And does it matter if someone from out of Ga buys something?

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on January 28, 2016 11:10am:

      From reading your question, it sounds like you have done some great preparation for you new business. When you applied for a sales tax license with the Georgia Department of Revenue, you received a Georgia sales tax number. When you purchase items for resale, you give your suppliers a completed ST-5 with your business information and sales tax number at the bottom. This will allow your suppliers to sell you items for resale without tax.

      Then, when you make your sales, you collect sales tax from your Georgia customers. Make sure you are collecting the correct local tax. For example, if you are selling from a store, it would be the local tax where your store is. If you are selling online and shipping to your customer, it would be the local tax of where your customer is located.

      If you are making out-of-state sales, you do not have to collect Georgia tax. However, you should look to make sure you don’t have the legal responsibility to collect tax in other states by having nexus (a physical presence) in other states.

      Good luck with your new business!

  • Posted by Terri on January 1, 2016 2:41pm:

    Is my a sales tax number different than m EIN# if so where do I get one?

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on January 5, 2016 10:15am:

      Yes. Your sales tax number is different from your EIN#. Your EIN# is issued by the IRS. The sales tax number is issued by the GA DOR. You need an EIN# to get a sales tax number. If you need assistance with this process, we are here to help.

  • Posted by Terri on January 1, 2016 2:40pm:

    I have a small store of which I already have an EIN# for filing taxes. I am being told that number is different than the one needed for tax exempt purposes when buying product for my store.. where do I get this number if my EIN is not it?

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on January 5, 2016 10:15am:

      Terri,

      I am guessing that both of these posts are from the same person but I will answer separately. Your sales tax number is different from your EIN#. The sales tax number is issued by the GA DOR. Contact them to for this number. If you need assistance, please contact me.

  • Posted by Marlene on November 19, 2015 11:43am:

    How can I locate my sales tax id number. I got it last year, while dealing with a sick husband. I can't find it now.

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on November 20, 2015 6:07am:

      Marlene,

      I'm sorry you had a tough year. Your sales tax ID number should be on your sales tax return. If you can't find it, call the GA DOR. They should be able to find it for you.

  • Posted by Ash on October 29, 2015 12:15pm:

    We are incorporated and have an EIN number we we've always used for resale purposes. Are we also required to have another Sales Tax ID specifically with the State of Georgia?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Posted by Lauren on October 29, 2015 1:30pm:

      If by "resale purposes" you mean that you give this number to your suppliers, then you need to make a couple of corrections. The exemption form you give suppliers (called an ST5) allows the supplier to sell to you without collecting sales tax from you. If your supplier is audited, exemption certificates with an EIN will be disallowed and the supplier would be assessed sales tax (which could be passed on to you).

      If you make sales in Georgia, you should obtain a GA sales tax account number. That is the number you give your supplier and is the account number the state uses when you submit the tax you've collected.

      If I can be of any further help, please contact me.

  • Posted by KP on October 27, 2015 8:22am:

    Hello

    I would like to become a reseller of hair products and one of the merchants asked me for a tax exempt certificate.

    I am so confused because I thought this was for non-profits only.

    I THINK this is the form I need. https://dor.georgia.gov/sites/dor.georgia.gov/files/related_files/document/LATP/Form/Sales_Tax_Dealer_or_Purchaser_Exemption_Certificate_ST5.pdf

    Can you confirm and also why I would need a tax exempt form?

    Thank you

    • Posted by Lauren on October 29, 2015 12:44pm:

      Yes, you do need to register for sales & use tax. (The form you saw is the correct form to give your suppliers once you register.) The reason you may need an exemption form is to relieve your suppliers from charging you sales & use tax on the products you purchase for resale. That form also assumes you have already registered to collect tax from your customers. That way the tax is actually paid by the ultimate user of the products (those to whom you sell). By the way, non-profits in Georgia are not generally exempt from sales tax. The only exemptions for them are exemptions from income tax and some property taxes. Please contact me if you have more questions.

      • Posted by Leslie on December 29, 2015 6:00pm:

        How about vendors who are outside of the state of Georgia? Will this form work for their needs too?

        • Posted by Author photo of Lauren Stinsonlaurenstinson on January 7, 2016 5:47am:

          Unfortunately, the online verification system can only verify companies registered for sales tax with the Georgia DOR. However there could be in-state companies as well as out-of-state companies with nexus in Georgia registered with the GA DOR.

  • Posted by WILLIAM on October 11, 2015 4:00pm:

    My church sells nothing, all monies goes to charitably org in the community, state and missionars. we are 125 years old. We have a Federal tax no. Do we need a state (Ga.) tax number?

    • Posted by Lauren on October 29, 2015 12:01pm:

      Normally, the only reason you would need a sales & use tax number is if you become a reseller of goods, such as operating a bookstore, used clothing store or some other kind of retail outlet.

  • Posted by larry on June 3, 2015 9:38am:

    I have a 501c3 I run a charity golf tournament in ga all proceeds go to a hospital in ga can we be exempt from paying sales tax on items and sevices we purchase we do not resell these items please help thanks 561-809-3620

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren StinsonLauren Stinson, CMI on June 3, 2015 1:28pm:

      Hi Larry, Unfortunately, the State of Georgia does have a special exemption for non-profit organizations (churches, religious, charitable, civic and other non-profits) They are required to pay the tax on all purchases of tangible personal property. If you need additional specific guidance for your organization, please contact me directly. Thanks!

  • Posted by Teresa on March 24, 2015 11:40am:

    Hi - I am a current business owner that is incorporated. I have my EIN and Georgia State tax number. How do I apply for a resale tax certificate? Thanks.
    My phone number 706-506-3213

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren StinsonLauren Stinson, CMI on June 3, 2015 1:47pm:

      Hi Theresa,
      Getting a resale certificate in Georgia is easy if you already have your sales tax number. You can go online to Georgia Department of Revenue (http://dor.georgia.gov/), Select Forms, and pull up the ST-5, Certificate of Exemption. Then just fill in all the pertinent information, including your sales tax number, and give it to your supplier.

  • Posted by Regina on February 5, 2015 7:34am:

    Does GA have a site that I can verifiy a dealers Sales and Use Tax Exempions Certificate? Corp office is in South Carolina but we have stores in GA. This would be very helpful to know that the number received is a true number.
    Thank you very much for your time,
    Gina Casey

    • Posted by Author photo of Lauren StinsonLauren Stinson, CMI on June 3, 2015 1:48pm:

      Hi Regina,
      Verifying a dealers sales tax ID is easy. Simply go to
      https://gtc.dor.ga.gov/
      Click Business
      Underneath Business click Sales tax ID verification
      And then you can enter your current sales tax id number for verification.
      I hope this information helps.

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