How to File and Pay Sales Tax in Alabama
Quick Answer: Alabama offers a few different types of tax returns to help you file and pay sales tax to the state. This blog gives instructions on how to file and pay sales tax in Alabama with the Simplified Sellers Use Tax Return, a return commonly used by out-of-state sellers.
Do You Need to File an Alabama Sales Tax Return?
Once you have an active sales tax permit in Alabama, you will need to begin filing sales tax returns. Not sure if you need a permit in Alabama? No problem. Check out our blog, Do you need to get a sales tax permit in Alabama. Also, If you would rather ask someone else to handle your Alabama filings, our team at TaxValet can handle that for you with our Done-for-You Sales Tax Service. We specialize in eliminating the stress and hassle of sales tax.
How to Sign-in to Alabama’s Website to File a Return
First, we will start with simple step-by-step instructions for logging on to the website in order to file your sales tax return for Alabama.
Step 1: Follow this link: https://myalabamataxes.alabama.gov/_/
Step 2: Sign in with your username and password.
If you do not have a username & password then your first step is setting that up. Your username and password are generally created when you submit registration paperwork for a sales tax permit. If you are not interested in doing the work of getting the permit or a state login yourself, TaxValet can handle that for you with our Sales Tax Permit Registration Service.
Step 3: You will be directed to your dashboard for that state.
This is a great time to look under that Alerts banner to see if you have any unread messages. Often times these messages are return submission and payment submission notifications. However, it is still a good idea to make a practice of checking these just to be safe.
Step 4: Next, look in the middle of the viewing window.
Look under “Accounts” and select the appropriate account to file your return.
If you do not see an account listed under this tab, I find that the easiest solution is to call Alabama at (334) 242-1490 to identify the problem. Often times, it is a simple technical fix assuming that you have gone through the account setup process completely.
Step 5: After clicking into your account, you will then see a new banner that looks like this.
Under “Periods” you should see previous returns that you have filed as well as the current return due.
As you can see, this business is required to file sales tax returns monthly.
Step 6: Select the appropriate period. Next, we need to look for “I Want To” in the upper right portion of the screen.
It should look like this:
Select “File or view a return”
Step 7: Now under “I want to” again select “File a return”.
This will bring you to the page where you can enter your data related to this filing period.
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Steps for Filling out Alabama’s Sales Tax Return
Luckily, Alabama’s sales tax return is simple to understand. In order to complete the form, you will need to know your gross sales for the reporting period.
Enter your gross sales in the “Gross SSU Sales and Collections” line.
(Note: again, this is a simplified sellers use tax return. Depending on the type of return, the steps may not match exactly.)
Next, account for any deductions (generally shipping or refunds) that you may have in the “Deductions” row.
After supplying this information, the tax due should populate calculated at the rate shown.
If you look on the right side of the screen, you will see that Alabama gives you a discount for filing your sales tax return on time. This amount will auto-fill, leaving the tax owed in the “TOTAL AMOUNT DUE” row.
Let’s go back up to the “PLUS: Amounts Over-collected” row. If you collected more tax than is due in the corresponding filing period, you MUST remit all of this money regardless of whether it is due or not. It is illegal to collect sales tax and fail to remit it to the state. The “PLUS: Amounts Over-collected” row is where you need to account for this difference if any.
The other “LESS: Credit Claimed” row is there just in case you have a prior period over-payment for which you need to account.
How to Pay Alabama Sales Tax
After you have verified that all data is correct, click the “Next” button. You will be provided with a summary of your return. Be sure to submit your return and proceed with electronic payment. Also, make sure to schedule the payment at least by the due date if not before.
Nobody wants to pay late fees!
Once you have processed your return and payment, be sure to save all documentation.
Now you are done! You have officially filed your Alabama sales tax return.
As a final step, it is always a good idea to verify that the correct amount of funds were withdrawn from your bank account on the correct day.
Things to Consider After Filing a Sales Tax Return in Alabama
If you forgot to print or save a copy of your sales tax return, don’t fret. You can easily go back into the period to view and/or print the return that you just filed. Just go back to the dashboard, click into the period you would like to view, under “I Want To” click “File or view a return”, then click “View Submission”. From this page, you should see “I Want To” again in the top right portion of the screen where you can either view or print the return you just filed.
How to Get Help Filing an Alabama Sales Tax Return
If you are stuck or have questions, you can contact the state of Alabama directly at (334) 242-1490 between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. CST You can also find additional resources at the Alabama Department of Revenue (DOR) website, https://myalabamataxes.alabama.gov/_/
But, if you are looking for a team of experts to handle your sales tax returns for you each month, you should check out our Done-for-You Sales Tax Service. Feel free to contact us if you’re interested in becoming a client!
Disclaimer: Our attorney wanted you to know that no financial, tax, legal advice or opinion is given through this post. All information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your specific situation and is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Information is provided “as is” and without warranty.