It's Black Friday and many businesses are open early to capture those important holiday shoppers on the first official day of the holiday season. But, Black Friday is not a sales tax holiday; it's a retail industry term for the first day after Thanksgiving, and it's no different from any other business day. If you sell a product or service that is subject to sales tax, you must:
- Collect the tax from the customer
- Put the tax in a separate account, so it doesn't get mixed up with your business income
- File reports periodically with your state totaling the amount of sales tax you have collected
- Pay the sales tax to your state when it's due.
The biggest question I get about sales taxes is whether a particular product or service is subject to sales tax. The issue is state, not national. Almost every product (except food and sometimes clothing, in some states) is taxable, but sales taxes on services vary greatly from state to state. To find out if your state requires you to collect tax, go to the website of your state's taxing authority or call directly to describe your situation.