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Online Sellers’ Guide to the Multistate Sales Tax Amnesty

Jennifer Dunn

Jennifer Dunn

Contributor at Fundera
Jennifer Dunn is a small business contributor for Fundera and owner of Social Street Media. She is also the community manager at GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping, and her long-standing life goal is to learn something new every day.
Jennifer Dunn

For two months in the fall of 2017, online marketplace sellers can take advantage of something unprecedented—a multistate sales tax amnesty specifically designed to help marketplace sellers become sales tax compliant with minimal effort and no out-of-pocket expense.

What is a sales tax amnesty?

In the past, individual states would from time to time offer sales tax amnesty to retailers who, for whatever reason, were not sales tax compliant. In exchange for limiting the amount of past due sales tax, penalties, and interest the seller had to pay, the state would get the seller registered to collect sales tax going forward.

But this amnesty is a little different. A government organization, the Multistate Tax Commission, worked with 23 states and Washington, D.C., to offer a massive sales tax amnesty to online marketplace sellers.

Why?

It was clear that online sellers who use marketplaces like Amazon FBA were unclear that they even had to collect sales tax. (Read about where to collect sales tax as an Amazon FBA seller here.) So rather than penalizing these business owners, this collection of states is offering a total sales tax amnesty. (With a couple of exceptions, listed below.)

The Multistate Sales Tax Amnesty, Vital Details

When?

Sellers can apply for amnesty between August 17, 2017, and October 17, 2017.

How do I apply?

Fill out an application at MTC.gov’s amnesty website. You cannot take advantage of the amnesty by registering with individual states, and you must go through MTC.gov’s application process.

I can’t decide whether I should apply. What do I do?

Check out our Sales Tax Amnesty Q&A. We give tips on whether the sales tax amnesty is right for your business.

Which states are taking part?

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado (upcoming Amazon state; Colorado will waive sales and use tax, but will not waive income tax if you also owe back income tax. Read more here.)
  • Connecticut (Amazon state)
  • Florida (Amazon state)
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas (Amazon state)
  • Kentucky (Amazon state)
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts (Amazon state)
  • Missouri
  • Minnesota (Amazon state)
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey (Amazon state)
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota (with provisions; read more here)
  • Texas (Amazon state)
  • Tennessee (Amazon state)
  • Utah (upcoming Amazon state)
  • Vermont
  • Washington DC (may have a look back period; read more here.)
  • Wisconsin (Amazon state, with provisions including a limited look-back period; read more here)

I hope this post has helped you assess your options regarding the ongoing sales tax amnesty. If you have questions or comments, I’ve added a couple of resources below!

More Resources

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Jennifer Dunn

Jennifer Dunn

Contributor at Fundera
Jennifer Dunn is a small business contributor for Fundera and owner of Social Street Media. She is also the community manager at GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping, and her long-standing life goal is to learn something new every day.
Jennifer Dunn

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