Sales Tax

I recently found out that the state of Florida requires window washing companies to charge sales tax to their commercial customers. Not knowing this until now, I have not been charging sales tax. :o Is anyone else here required to charge sales tax by the IRS, and if so, how often do you send it in? Every month, year? Any help or advice is welcomed. Thanks :smiley:

Maryland is required to pay sales tax on commercial as well, not residential. The state should tell you how often you are required to file. I file online quarterly and receive a timely discount, it’s not much but better than nothing. Some customers don’t understand why I’m charging sales tax and I just tell them I contacted the Comptroller of MD and they said I have to collect. I also keep a copy of my license in my sales binder that I carry with me. As far as informing your customers just tell them straight out that you have to start collecting, shouldn’t get too many complaints.

In Jersey we have to charge sales tax regardless of res or com. Commercial can be tax exempt if so they will be provided with a # given to them. They must provide the number in order to not be charged sales tax.

Fact is collecting is GOOD for your business if it’s legal. Reason being it will help so the correct gross your company brings in. When or if, you go to a bank in the future for a potential loan to grow your business you will need to show proof of income. Nothing better then a set of tax returns for that. You can have all the fancy trucks, uniforms tools, etc. But if you dont have the proof you won’t get the loan. I tell my customers, if I don’t charge tax it hurts my business. It’s also illegal. Once you mention illegal they will shut their mouths quick and stop asking you to not chare it. Keep in mind if you are required to charge it in your state you can get in a ton of trouble if you don’t. And who knows, one of your customers maybe trying to test you. A $1000.00 job here has a sales tax of $70.00. $70 is not worth me losing my company because I customer wants to save some money.

you are :eek:

I also file quarterly. It’s 6% in Maryland. Along with the discount you will be charged a penalty fee if you are late. Sending mine off this week.

I have had no problems with any of my customers complaining about the small increase to their bill, however, I just want to make sure it’s not the IRS that comes to me with complaints. Thank you all for your reply. Hopefully I can get this all squared before Uncle Sam notices.

I charge tax on some, but not every single one…oppps…

Hey Clearview, is there a page on IRS.org that shows that tax statement?

I don’t think it’s the IRS you need to worry about. Sales tax is (most of the time) a state thing. IRS is mainly Income Tax. But let’s put it this way. If you screw up your state taxes I’m sure a red flag will go up for the federal (IRS). Either way, it’s best to be on the ball and stay on top of it. I just paid my sales tax today. Just a little advice. IF you had any customers who paid “Cash” you better not have put that in as income towards your business. Your state is going to want the sales tax from it and you will have to pay it yourself. The sales tax for me is no biggy. I could careless as it’s not my money. Many people who own service oriented businesses where as getting “Cash” is a common place screw themselves when tax season comes around. They take the cash, never report it. But when it comes to income (federal) they try to write off every little thing pertaining to that job. Next thing you know the numbers are not adding up correctly and the red flags go up. It’s just best to be honest and pay the both taxes correctly. It’s my view that 1/4ly taxes are a way for the state to make sure you are not BSing them. Simple example for my state: If you pay $70 in sales tax for the whole year, that means your business only did $1000.00 for the entire year. Better not try and be slick and state you made $50,000.00 and have $25,000 worth of write offs. Cause the state is going to wonder where the sales tax is for the other 49 grand.

Best thing. Talk to your accountant, not me lol I owed money back in the day…

You don’t have to charge the customer for it (i.e. included in the price), but make sure you pay the government for it (i.e. calculate the tax back out.)

for what ever reason the started statement of this topic made is sound like tax must be added according to the IRS in Florida, because if that’s the case I would be in trouble… This is going to be my first full tax year and don’t want to screw up…
I figured you could include it, but hearing that made me say “oh sushi” :smiley:

In New York I file quarterly…and annually is an option also. I wasnt sure when I started my business up but did search on the internet and found out yes…there was a court case a couple of years ago in upstate NY…a maintenance company/window cleaning company wasnt charging sales tax for 3 years…she took the state to court and LOST…had to pay about $25,000 in past sales tax.
llaczko…check into that “including it in the price”…I was informed make sure it states on the invoice what the tax is and written…that way in case of any audit…the proof is in the writitng…if they see an invoice for $200 and no tax…they can assume you were paid in cash. I used to include it in the beginning also…the way around that is if you include it in the price…write on the invoice thats included in the price.

thanks for that informative post, I’ll be looking more into it.

Don’t forget in Florida you must charge sales tax on residential if you are hired by a property manager. EDK

really…wtf, what’s all this!

Maryland gives you two numbers to input. Your gross sales and sales that are taxable, this seems a little strange to me that the state wants to know my gross sales even though they aren’t taxable(resi, sub’d, or exempt) but it makes it easier at the end of the year to add up gross sales on my quarterly state tax to get my total for the year. I think you’re also supposed to pay the fed in advance for an estimated tax or something for the next quarter. I haven’t done this and will have to see how it goes this year.

Although I have slept at a Holiday Inn Express in the past, I am not a lawyer. However, anyone using my legal advice (and it wasn’t) will surely need one.

I also heard that you don’t have to charge sales tax for an outside only clean on commercial. I could be wrong but I remember somebody in the “tax place” telling me that. I called and asked them about it when I had commercial accounts. (I don’t anymore)

i’m in florida too.

Uncle Sam bites…

What do you care – you’re in Canada now.