How to File and Pay Sales Tax in Maine
Quick Answer: This blog provides instructions on how to file and pay sales tax in Maine using form ST-7. This is the really the only form that is currently available to file both sales and use tax at the same time. Please reference Maine’s form page to be sure that you are using the appropriate form. This is the most commonly used form to file and pay sales tax in Maine.
Do You Need to File a Maine Sales Tax Return?
Once you have an active sales tax permit in Maine you will need to begin filing sales tax returns. Not sure if you need a permit in Maine? No problem. Check out our blog, Do You Need to Get a Sales Tax Permit in Maine?
Also, If you would rather ask someone else to handle your Maine 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 and File a Return on Maine’s Website
Let’s start with simple step-by-step instructions for logging on to the website in order to file and pay your sales tax return in Maine.
Step 1: Follow this link, https://portal.maine.gov/salestax/, to come to this screen:
Step 2: Sign in with your username and password.
If you do not have a username and password, then your first step is getting that all set up. These login credentials are generally created when you submit registration paperwork for a sales tax permit.
Step 3: You will be directed to the dashboard for the state.
I consider these next two screens the dashboard for the state. Think of these pages as your home base. You can always come back when you get lost.
Take a minute here to familiarize yourself with these pages. Notice the “Exit Application” button that you see on both pages. You can press this if you wish to go all the way back and re-enter your login information.
Also notice that your business name should be displayed at the top of the first page if there are any alerts that need your attention.
On this first page, select the activity that you wish to complete. If you are filing an original return, choose that option from the drop down menu and select “Next”.
After that you will see the “second dashboard” page. Here you will need to select the period start date for the period that you wish to file. Most states ask for the period end date and not the period start date so don’t let that confuse you. For example, if you are trying to file the November 2019 return, select 11/01/2019.
After selecting the correct period, click “File Return”.
Step 4: Key in Sales Data
At first glance, this return can look intimidating. It’s actually not that confusing if you break it down into sections.
First we have lines 1-4.
This is where you give Maine your gross and taxable sales for this period. You do this by first entering in your gross sales in line 1. After that you can enter in your exempt sales, bad debts, or industrial energy sales. If these don’t apply to you, just skip over them. After doing that, you should see the taxable sales value displayed on line 4.
Now let’s look at lines 5-14.
This is where you provide Maine with a breakdown of those taxable sales. If you engage in Marijuana or rental sales you need to look closely at lines 7-13. Otherwise, you will likely just need to enter your taxable sales numbers on lines 5 or 6, whichever applies to you. However, be sure to read each line and make sure that you are entering your data where it belongs.
(Hint: If you are confused about what should be included in a specific line, click the blue “?” near the line you are confused about. A notification will pop-up and provide you with helpful guidance.)
Now let’s look at lines 15-24.
Lines 15 and 16 are related to use tax. If you made purchases where Maine sales tax has not been paid and should have been paid, you need to consider these lines. Again, click the blue “?” next to each line for more information.
Be sure to read lines 17-21 to see if they apply to you. If you engage in sales of gasoline, diesel, tires, or lead-acid batteries you may need to use these lines to report those sales.
Lines 23 and 24 have to do with credits from a prior period. If you do not have any credits, just skip over these two lines. After you are sure that everything is entered correctly, you can click “Next” at the bottom of the return.
You will now be faced with a summary page that displays the tax that you owe the state of Maine. Again, look over this page thoroughly to be sure that you have keyed in all of your data correctly and that the tax due looks correct.
After verifying that all data is correct, select the “Confirm” button to submit your Maine sales and use tax return. If you wish to pay the tax due with this return, reference the next section.
Free State Audit Risk Guide
See which states pose the greatest risk to your business.
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How to Pay Maine Sales Tax
If you wish to pay your sales tax due while submitting the sales tax return, select that option after filing your return or go back to the main dashboard and select that option from the dropdown menu.
You will see a screen that looks like the one below.
Carefully, fill in your bank information, the amount due, and select the appropriate due date. Make sure your payment date is scheduled no later than the due date of the tax return. Nobody likes late fees!
Once you are sure that everything is entered correctly, hit “Submit”.
Things to Consider After Filing a Sales Tax Return in Maine
If you forgot to print or save a copy of your sales tax return, no need to worry. You can easily go back into the period to view and/or print the return that you just filed. Go back to the dashboard and select “Reprint Return” from the drop down menu. Then you will need to select the return that you wish to print.
Once the return is displayed, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Download Return”. This will allow you to save or print the return for your records.
How to Get Help Filing a Maine Sales Tax Return
If you are stuck or have questions, you can contact the state of Maine directly at (207) 624-9693 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST. You can also find additional resources at the Maine Department of Revenue (DOR) website.
Instead, 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.