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Calculate Local Sales Tax

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Retailers in the state of Texas are required to collect sales tax. There are some tax-free exceptions. Most regular items are taxed at the time of purchase. Sales tax is comprised of a state sales tax rate and various city and local sales and use taxes. Dallas and Fort Worth both support mass transit systems and collect taxes from participating cities.

Most cities also collect sales taxes. The state of Texas provides an online Sales Tax Rate Calculator to help determine the local rate. To use the rate calculator, type in the name of the city where the store is located (not necessarily the same city where you live).

1. Local Sales and Use Tax

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Lucas Lenci Photo/Iconica/Getty Images

The Texas state sales and use tax rate is 6.25%, but local taxing jurisdictions (cities, counties, special purpose districts, and transit authorities) may also impose sales and use tax up to 2% for a total maximum combined rate of 8.25%.

2. Local Sales Tax Rate Search

The state of Texas provides an online Sales Tax Rate Calculator to help determine the local rate. To use the rate calculator, type in the name of the city where the store is located (not necessarily the same city where you live). For information about the tax rate for a specific area, use the local sales tax rate search. If you have any questions about Local Sales and Use Tax Rate information, email tax.allocation@cpa.state.tx.us.

3. New and Additional Tax Rate Changes Effective July 1, 2010

In order to reduce printing and postage costs, there is no longer an annual Texas Sales and Use Tax Rates book printed. The information formerly found in the rates book is available at Window on State Government.

4. State Comptroller

The Comptroller is the chief steward of the state’s finances, acting as tax collector, chief accountant, chief revenue estimator and chief treasurer for all of state government. Susan Combs was elected in 2006 as the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. There are 30 field offices.

5. Apply for a Sales Tax Permit

New applicants may complete the Texas Online Tax Registration Application to get a Sales Tax Permit.

Here's what you need:

  • Sole owners need a social security number.
  • Partnerships need the social security number or federal employer's identification number for each partner.
  • Texas corporations must have their file number from the Texas Secretary of State.
  • All corporations need the social security number for each officer or director.
  • Every business must have an NAICS code
  • To print your signature form, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download Acrobat Reader if you do not have it.
  • You have to mail or fax the signature form to receive sales tax permit. Please allow 2-3 weeks to receive your sales tax permit.

    6. New: Late Filing Fee

    For reports due on or after Oct. 1, 2011, a $50 late filing penalty will be assessed on every report filed after the due date. The $50 penalty is due in addition to any other penalties assessed for the reporting period.

    7. Dallas County Tax Office

    Dallas County Tax Office, John R. Ames, CTA
    Tax Assessor/Collector
    500 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75202
    214-653-7811

    8. Certified Public Accountant for Small Businesses

    A CPA that's experienced in handling small business start-ups is an invaluable tool. One who specializes in small business is Dean Marth, CPA. He covers the entire Metroplex area. If you're busy creating that widgit, selling that product or service, he will file your 1099s and figure out your sales tax woes.

    Dean Marth, CPA
    214-336-8537
    deanmarthcpa@yahoo.com

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