Frequently Asked Questions

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+ Use Tax
+ What is subject to use tax in Missouri?
All sales of tangible personal property that are purchased from out-of-state and shipped into Missouri are taxable unless there is a specific exemption listed in Chapter 144.
+ Should I pay sales tax or vendor's use tax?
Sales tax is applicable on all sales made from a location within the state of Missouri.  Vendor's use tax is applicable on all sales made by out-of-state vendors where goods are shipped into Missouri and where title passes within the state of Missouri.
+ When am I required to file my use tax returns?
Vendor's Use Tax Out of state sellers collecting and remitting Missouri use tax are required to file on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.  Your filing frequency is determined by the amount of state tax (4 percent for regular locations and 1 percent for food locations) due.  Local tax is not included when figuring your filing frequency.  The filing frequency is determined by the total state tax due on the return as a whole, not by each location.

If you collect state taxes of $500 or more per month, please report on a monthly basis.

If you collect over $45 per quarter but less than $500 per month, you should file on a quarterly basis.  The quarters are as follows: January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December.

If you collect less than $45 per quarter, please file on an annual basis.

Consumer's Use Tax Purchasers filing consumer's use tax should file returns on a quarterly basis.

If you have made cumulative taxable purchases of less than $2,000 this calendar year, check the box which states: "I do not have cumulative taxable purchases totaling more than $2,000 this calendar year" and file the return.  You would not owe consumer's use tax at this time.  Consumer's use tax is only due on the total purchases once you have exceeded $2,000 in a calendar year.

Example A sweater is purchased from an out-of-state vendor in May for $25.00.  No consumer's use tax is due.

A pair of shoes is purchased in September from the same vendor for $75.00.  Your total annual purchases for the year now equal $100.00.  No consumer's use tax is due.

A computer is purchased in November from another out-of-state vendor for $1,950.00.  Your total annual purchases now equal $2,050.00.  You would owe consumer's use tax on your total annual taxable purchases of $2,050.00.

*The $2,000 is a threshold for filing and not an exemption.

Note: The timely 2 percent payment allowance is not allowed when paying consumer's use tax.
+ Will my filing frequency ever change?
Your filing frequency is reviewed by the Department of Revenue on an Annual basis.  If this review indicates that your filing frequency should be changed, the change will be made and notification will be sent to you.

Note: It is very important you keep your address information current with the department.
+ What are the due dates for filing my returns?
Monthly returns are due on or by the 20th of the following month, except on quarter ending months.  For example, your monthly February return is due on or before March 20.  The due dates listed on the chart for quarterly returns should be followed when filing quarter ending months such as March, June, September and December.

Quarterly returns are due on or before the last day of the month following the end of the quarter.  For example, your return for the January through March period would be due on or before April 30.

Annual vendor's use tax returns are due on or before January 31 of the next year.  Annual consumer's use tax returns are due on or before April 15 of the next year.

Monthly ReportingQuarterly ReportingAnnual Reporting2006 Actual Due Date
January  February 21
February  March 20
March1st Quarter May 1
April  May 22
May  June 20
June2nd Quarter July 31
July  August 21
August  September 20
September3rd Quarter October 31
October  November 20
November  December 20
December4th QuarterYearJanuary 31

Download a copy of the Department of Revenue's current tax year calendar indicating due dates for all tax types.
+ What if the due date to file a return falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday?
When the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday, your return will be considered timely filed if it is postmarked by the next business day.
+ Is a use tax return required even if my sales/purchases equal zero?
Yes.  Every business registered for use tax is required to file a return even though no sales/purchases were made during the period covered by the return.
+ Can a negative taxable sales/purchases be filed for a use tax location?
No.  Negative taxable sales/purchases cannot be filed for a location on the return. 

When the credits allowed are greater than the tax collected, an amended return and Application for Refund/Credit Form 472B pdf file must be filed for the period in which the sales/purchases were actually filed.
+ What is the difference between "gross receipts" and "taxable sales" on my use tax returns?
Gross receipts equal the total amount of sales your business had for the period in which you are filing the return.

Taxable sales equal the total amount of sales your business had for the period in which you are filing the return plus/minus any sales on which you did not collect use tax.  These are claimed in the adjustments column of your return.

Note: Your taxable sales should always equal your gross receipts plus/minus any adjustments.
+ Am I required to complete the gross receipts and taxable sales box on myreturn? Can't I just report the amount of tax I owe?
Every vendor must file a use tax return showing the amount of taxable sales to his/her customers, as required by law.
+ If I have included my use tax in my gross receipts, can the tax amount be backed out?
The amount of use tax collected should not be included in your gross receipts.  If the use tax is included in your gross receipts, it should be backed out.  To back this out, take your total amount of gross receipts, including the sales tax, divide (100% plus your current tax rate).

Example Gross Receipts including Sales Tax = $2,500
Current Sales Tax Rate = 5.725%
Divide $2,500 by 105.725% = $2,364.63
Your gross receipts should be reported as $2,364.63

Note: A record of the adjustment claimed on each return must be maintained in your files.  The Department of Revenue will review this information if you are audited.
+ How is the two percent timely payment allowance calculated?
On all vendor's use tax returns filed and paid by the required due date, you are granted a 2 percent timely payment allowance.  Take the amount of tax due times 2 percent.  Then subtract this amount from the amount of tax due. 

Example $100.00 tax due $100.00 X 2% timely allowance = $2.00. $100.00 - $2.00 = $98.00 In this example, the amount of tax due would be $98.00.
+ What determines if a return is timely?
Your use tax return is considered timely if it is postmarked on or before the required due date.  If a metered postmark differs from the U.S.  Postal Service postmark, the U.S.  Postal Service postmark will be used as evidence of timely filing.
+ How does the local option use tax affect out-of-state vendors?
Out-of-state vendors may be required to collect and remit any local taxes that are due to a Missouri political subdivision that has imposed the local option use tax.

In the past, all use tax transactions could be reported as one location.  With the implementation of the local option use tax, these vendors are required to separately report their transactions by delivery location.
+ If my use tax return has more than one page, am I required to complete all pages?
Page one of your use tax return, with more than one page, is used to report your total vendor's and consumer's use tax.  Your actual tax liability must be broken down on the pages attached.  This is necessary to allow for the proper distribution of local use tax.
+ What is the location, "state tax only", listed on the second page of the use tax return?
Some counties/cities have elected to have a local use tax.  The counties/cities not listed on your return do not have a local use tax.  All the sales/purchases for these counties/cities may be combined and filed on the line marked "state tax only."
+ If I add a new reporting location, will it appear on the next use tax return received from the Department of Revenue?
The new location may not appear on your next preprinted form.  If it does not, please write it in again at the bottom of the locations listed on the preprinted form.
+ If I close a reporting location, will it be deleted on the next use tax return received from the Department of Revenue?
The location may still appear on your next preprinted use tax return.  Enter "Closed" and the date the business location closed in the gross receipts area of your return.
+ Can I file a return that has been generated by my computer rather than the one received from the Department of Revenue?
You are required to get prior approval from the Department of Revenue before your computer-generated form is used.  This return must contain all the information that appears on the preprinted return received from the Department of Revenue (department).

A frequently occurring error seen on computer-generated returns is the location code listing area.  A location code is a code assigned by the department.  The code consists of 12 digits and must appear in the code column area of your use tax return(s).  The location code should always be listed in the order in which they are printed on the form received from the department.
+ Do I combine the figures for my food sales with the figures reported forsales subject to the full tax rate?
+ Do I combine the figures for my food sales with the figures reported for sales subject to the full tax rate? You should not include food sales in the figures reported on the full tax rate line.  Food sales should be reported on the line for food sales only.  If you qualify for food sales and you do not find a location for food on your return, please contact the Customer Services Division, (573) 751-5860.

Nonfood Items vs. Food Items:
  • The term "food items" include only those products and types of food for which food stamps may be redeemed pursuant to the Federal Food Stamp Program as contained in 7 USC Section 2012.
  • The term "non-food items" include those products not listed under the Federal Food Stamp Program.

A business whose gross receipts from sales of food and drink prepared by the business for immediate consumption, either on or off the premises, and are 80% or less of its total gross receipts, must remit tax on its qualifying food sales at a reduced state tax rate of 1.225% plus any applicable local tax.  Sales of qualifying food through vending machines are also subject to the reduced tax rate.  See Chapter 144.014, RSMo , for further information.
+ What is the correct use tax rate for a particular city and/or county?
To obtain the current rate for a particular city and/or county and a rate chart, you may download the Department of Revenue's current tax rate table (listing all cities and counties) from the department's web site or you may contact the department at (573) 751-2836.
+ Will I be notified of local tax increases/decreases?
Local use tax increases/decreases take place on the first day of each calendar quarter.  Your business will only be notified of the changes that directly affect your registered business locations.  This information will be mailed to the address currently on file with the department.  Failure to be notified does not relieve you of the tax.

Note: It is important to maintain accurate address information with the Department of Revenue.
+ How do I calculate the interest on a late payment of my use tax(s)?
Interest may be calculated in a few ways (The examples below are based on the interest rate for tax year 2004.):
  1. Multiply the total amount of tax due by the current annual percentage rate.  Multiply the result by the number of days late.  Then divide that amount by 365 (366 if within a leap year).
    For example: $100.00 x 4% = $4.00
    $4.00 x 30 days late = $120.00
    $120.00 divided by 366 = $.33

  2. Multiply the total amount of tax due by the daily rate.  Multiply the result by the number of days late.
    For example: $100.00 x.0001093 = $.0109
    $.0109 x 30 days late = $.33

  3. Use the Department of Revenue's Interest and Additions Calculator
+ How often are the interest rates updated?
The interest rate is subject to change each year.  Any change that may occur, will take effect on January 1.
+ What are additions to tax and how are they computed?
Additions to tax is a penalty charged for failure to pay or failure to file the required use tax return(s) by the due date.

When your use tax return has been filed, but not paid by the required due date, you should calculate your penalty by multiplying the tax amount due by 5 percent.  This penalty does not increase.

When no use tax return has been filed, you should calculate your penalty by multiplying the tax amount due by 5 percent for each month you are late.  This penalty increases each month you fail to file a return.  The maximum amount of penalty is 25 percent.

Note: Interest should not be calculated on the amount of additions to tax due.

Please visit Department of Revenue's web site to use their Interest and Additions Calculator .
+ What is the "approved credit" line on the use tax return(s)?
The Director of Revenue will issue credits for any valid amounts overpaid on your account upon request.  This credit should be claimed on the appropriate line on the return.

Credits should not be taken without the prior approval of the department.  The department will apply any credits to prior or future balances on your account, without notification.
+ Do I need a special form to file an amended or an additional use tax return?
No.  A special form is not needed to file an amended or an additional return.  A copy of the original form may be used.  Indicate additional or amended by writing it on the return.  For additional sales tax forms, click here.
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