Missouri Sales Tax Guide for Businesses
- Sales Tax Rate
- Local Taxes
- Department of Revenue
- Tax Line
We wrote this guide for online sellers who want to know if they even have to bother with sales tax in Missouri, and if so, how best to tackle the sales tax situation in the Show-Me State.
After reading this, you’ll know:
- Do you or don’t you need to collect Missouri sales tax?
- Which customers do you collect from?
- How much do you collect?
- What do you do with all the sales tax you’ve collected?
- Way more than you probably ever wanted to know about Missouri sales tax!
Do you have sales tax nexus in Missouri?
Good news! You only have to begin thinking about Missouri sales tax if you have sales tax nexus in Missouri.
“Sales tax nexus” is just a fancy way of saying “significant presence” in a state.
Missouri considers a seller to have sales tax nexus in the state if you have any of the following in the state:
- An office or place of business
- An employee present in the state for more than 2 days per year
- Goods in a warehouse
- Ownership of real or personal property
- Delivery of merchandise in Missouri in vehicles owned by the taxpayer
- Independent contractors or other representatives in Missouri for more than 2 days per year
Is what you’re selling even taxable?
You’ve probably read this far because you realized you have sales tax nexus in Missouri. Your next step is to determine if what you’re selling is even taxable.
Services in Missouri are generally not taxable. So if you’re a piano tuner or a roofer, you’re in luck and you don’t have to worry about sales tax. But watch out – if the service you provide includes selling, creating or manufacturing a product, you may have to deal with the sales tax on products.
Tangible products are taxable in Missouri , with a few exceptions. These exceptions include certain prescription medicine and medical devices, and machinery and chemicals used in agriculture and manufacturing, among other things.
You can find out more about what is taxable and what is non-taxable in Missouri here.
So if you sell musical instruments, then charge sales tax to your Missouri customers.
But if you’re a karate instructor, don’t charge sales tax to your Missouri customers.
If you have sales tax nexus in Missouri and your products are taxable, your next step is to register for a sales tax permit.
How to Register for a Sales Tax Permit in Missouri
Sellers with sales tax nexus in Missouri must apply for a Missouri sales tax permit.
Don’t skip this step! Many states consider it unlawful to collect sales tax in their name without a permit. Go here for more on how to register for a sales tax permit in Missouri.
How to Collect Sales Tax in Missouri
So you’ve determined that you have sales tax nexus in Missouri and what you’re selling is taxable. And you’re all set and registered for your Missouri sales tax permit.
The next step is to determine how much sales tax to collect.
The sales tax rate you collect in Missouri depends on whether you are based in Missouri or out-of-state.
How to Collect Sales Tax in Missouri if You are Based in Missouri
Missouri is an origin-based sales tax state. So if you live in Missouri, collecting sales tax is fairly easy. Collect sales tax at the tax rate where your business is located.
Example: You live and run your business in Ballwin, MO, in the 63021 zip code. The sales tax rate at your location is made up of the 4.225% Missouri state rate, the 2.888% St. Louis County Rate, and the 1% Ballwin rate, for a total of 8.113%.
Since Missouri is an origin-based sales tax state and you are based in Missouri, you would charge all of your customers in Missouri that 8.113% sales tax rate.
If you have more than one location in Missouri, then you would base the sales tax rate you charge on the point of origin of your sale.
How to Collect Sales Tax in Missouri if you are Not Based in Missouri
This is where things get trickier for online sellers. If you are not based in Missouri, but have sales tax nexus in Missouri you are considered a Missouri “remote seller.” This is where things get tricker, since remote sellers are required to collect “use tax,” which is similar to sales tax, but can vary slightly from Missouri sales tax rates. If you’re running into this problem as an online seller, no worries! Taxjar SmartCalcs will make sure you collect the right rate every time. (And if you sell on a platform like Amazon, their sales tax engine ensures you collect the right rate, too!)
Should you collect sales tax on shipping charges in Missouri?
If you sell online you will most likely need to charge sales tax on shipping charges unless you meet certain criteria.
Read a full explanation of sales tax on shipping in Missouri here.
|Rank||City||Population||County||Total Sales Tax|
|2||St Louis||319,294||St Louis||8.68%|
|9||St Charles||65,794||St Charles||7.45%|
|11||St Peters||52,575||St Charles||7.95%|
|16||Cape Girardeau||37,941||Cape Girardeau||7.98%|
|18||University City||35,371||St Louis||8.61%|
Caption: Top 20 Cities in Missouri and their Sales Tax Rates
When are Missouri Sales Tax Returns Due?
Missouri sales tax returns are always due the 20th of the month following the reporting period. You’ll be assigned a sales tax filing frequency when you apply for your Missouri sales tax permit.
How often you are required to file and pay Missouri sales tax depends on how much state tax (not including local taxes) that you collect.
If you collect $500 or more per month in state sales tax, you’ll be required to file on a monthly basis.
If you collect above $100 per quarter but less than $500 per month in state tax, you’ll be required to file on a quarterly basis.
If you collect less than $100 per quarter in state tax, you will be required to file on an annual basis.
Here are the Missouri sales tax filing due dates:
2016 Missouri Monthly Sales Tax Filing Due Dates
|Taxable Period||Due Date|
|January||February 22, 2016*|
|February||March 21, 2016*|
|March||May 2, 2016*|
|April||May 20, 2016|
|May||June 20, 2016|
|June||August 1, 2016*|
|July||August 22, 2016*|
|August||September 20, 2016|
|September||October 31, 2016|
|October||November 21, 2016*|
|November||December 20, 2016|
|December||January 31, 2017|
2016 Missouri Quarterly Sales Tax Filing Due Dates
|Taxable Period||Due Date|
|Q1 (Jan - Mar)||May 2, 2016*|
|Q2 (Apr - Jun)||August 1, 2016*|
|Q3 (Jul - Sep)||October 31, 2016|
|Q4 (Oct - Dec)||January 31, 2017|
2016 Missouri Annual Sales Tax Filing Due Dates
|Taxable Period||Due Date|
|Year 2016||January 31, 2017|
*indicates a due date pushed back due to a weekend or holiday
Click here for a chart of Missouri sales tax filing due dates for 2016.
How to File Sales Tax in Missouri
When it comes time to file sales tax in Missouri you must do three things:
- Calculate how much sales tax you owe
- File a sales tax return
- Make a payment
We’ll walk you through these steps.
How to Calculate How Much Sales Tax You Owe in Missouri
Calculating how much sales tax you should remit to the state of Missouri is easy with TaxJar’s Missouri sales tax report.
All you do is connect the channels through which you sell – including Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Square and more – and we’ll calculate exactly how much sales tax you collected. All the information you need to file your Missouri sales tax return will be waiting for you in TaxJar. Start by logging in to TaxJar!
How to File and Pay Sales Tax in Missouri
You have three options for filing and paying your Missouri sales tax:
File online – File online at the Missouri Department of Revenue. (If filing from out of state, choose “Vendor’s Use Tax.”) You can remit your payment through their online system. High-volume sellers (who have made payments of $8,000 or more in the prior tax year) are required to file online. In some cases, quarterly filers may be required to pay online, too.
File by mail – You can use Form 53-1 and file and pay through the mail. The Missouri Department of Revenue will issue you this form. You will not receive paper returns in the mail if you have previously filed electronically (unless you contact the department and request future paper returns.)
AutoFile – Let TaxJar file your sales tax for you. We take care of the payments, too. You’ll never have to worry about spreadsheets, calculations or filling out complex sales tax returns.
Other Facts You Should Know about Missouri Sales Tax Filing
There are a few more things you should know about sales tax in Missouri:
- Late Filing Penalty – 5% of tax due per month or fraction (maximum 25%).
- Late Payment Penalty – 5% of tax due.
Other penalties for fraud or serial offenses include higher penalties and even criminal charges.
Missouri requires that any seller with a sales tax permit file a sales tax return on your due date even if you don’t have any sales tax to report or pay. Click here for a list of states that require zero sales tax returns.
Many states understand that collecting sales tax is a difficult burden on merchants, and will provide a discount to help alleviate some of this burden. As long as your sales tax return is postmarked before the due date, Missouri grants you a 2 percent timely payment allowance. Just take the amount due and subtract 2 percent. Click here for more about state sales tax discounts.
Missouri Sales Tax Holidays
Missouri has 2 sales tax holidays in 2016:
April 19-25, 2016: “Show Me Green” Sales Tax holiday (energy efficient appliances) August 5-7, 2016: Back to School Sales Tax Holiday
Check here for more information about Missouri’s sales tax holidays including how to handle sales tax holidays as an online seller.
And that’s it. You’ve mastered Missouri sales tax filing! Now that sales tax is out of the way, you can get back to what you do best – running your business.
Missouri Sales Tax Resources
For more about Missouri sales tax, check out the Missouri section of the TaxJar blog.