Idaho Sales Tax Guide
Chapter 5: Filing and paying Idaho sales tax
You're registered with the Idaho State Tax Commission and you've begun collecting sales tax. Congratulations! Remember, those tax dollars don't belong to you. As an agent of the state of Idaho, your role is that of intermediary transferring tax dollars from consumers to state and local tax authorities. Let's take a deeper look at how filing Idaho sales tax returns impacts your business.What does it mean to file an Idaho sales tax return?
Technically speaking, filing Idaho sales tax returns is a two-step process comprised of submitting the required sales data and remitting the collected tax dollars (if any) to state and local tax authorities.
In most states, there are a number of options for submitting sales tax data to the state. Business owners may complete a Idaho sales tax filing form and mail it to the Idaho State Tax Commission or they can file electronically online. In all states, filing online is recommended.
The filing process forces the business owner to detail their total sales, the amount of sales tax they have collected, and from where. The Idaho State Tax Commission wants to be kept up to date on your business growth (or lack thereof) to make sure they are getting the tax dollars due. By completing ongoing filing of monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual, or annual Idaho sales tax returns, they stay abreast of your growing company.When am I required to file my sales tax return?
The Idaho State Tax Commission will assign you a filing frequency. Typically, this is determined by the size of your business. State governments typically ask larger businesses to file more frequently. Visit our Idaho filing due dates page for more information.Am I required to file and pay my Idaho sales tax at the same time?
Idaho sales tax returns must be filed and paid at the same time and are governed by the same due date.I want to webfile my Idaho sales tax. What are my options?
Avalara has built the TrustFile product to allow business owners a quick and easy way to prepare and webfile Idaho sales tax returns. Users can sign up and use the service to prepare Idaho returns free for 30-days.
Filers may also file directly with the Idaho State Tax Commission by visiting their site and entering your transaction data manually. This is a free service, but preparing Idaho sales tax (breaking it down by jurisdiction) can be time consuming - especially for larger sellers.Can a 3rd party file my sales tax on my behalf?
Yes! Many business owners recognize they are not a tax professional and therefore, choose to outsource their sales tax sales and use tax filing to services like Avalara TrustFile or to an accountant or bookkeeper. This is a normal business practice that can save business owners time and help them avoid costly mistakes due to inexperience and a lack of deep knowledge about Idaho sales tax code.What happens if I file or pay my sales tax return late?
Delinquent sales tax returns are subject to a penalty of 5% of the outstanding tax due for each delinquent month or portion thereof. If no tax is due, no penalty is assessed. The maximum penalty is 25% while the minimum penalty amount is $10.00.
Interest accrues on delinquent sales tax payments from the due date until the balance is paid. The interest rate for 2015 is 4% per year.Do I need to file a return if I didn't collect any sales tax in Idaho?
Yes! Once you've successfully registered for and been issued a Sales Tax Permit, you are required to file at the completion of each assigned collection period regardless of whether any sales tax was collected. This is what is known as a "zero-tax filing".
Failure to submit a required zero-tax filing can result in penalties imposed on your business by the Idaho State Tax Commission so don't take this responsibility lightly.If I close my business, do I need to file a final sales tax return?
Yes! The Idaho State Tax Commission requires all businesses to "close their books" by filing a final sales tax return. This also holds true for business owners selling or otherwise transferring ownership of their business.Does the Idaho State Tax Commission offer a discount for filing on time?
At this time, the Idaho State Tax Commission does not offer sales tax filers a vendor discount.