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March 07, 2011

New Sales & Use Tax E-Filing Option Means Convenience for Businesses and Savings for Taxpayers

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Revenue is now offering a new service that allows many businesses to file monthly sales and use tax returns online.

Since Feb. 22, most businesses (those with less than 150 locations) have been able to file their sales and use tax returns online with the Department of Revenue.  By law, businesses collect state and local sales and use taxes from their customers, then file their tax returns with the state.  The businesses must also send the actual collected receipts to the Department of Revenue, which in turn distributes the money to local governments and state funds.

The new online filing program is voluntary - not mandatory - for sales and use tax filers.

"The new filing system has a lot of advantages," said Alana M. Barragán-Scott, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue.  "This new option is more accurate, it's quicker, and businesses can file any time of the day without having to worry about mail delivery.  I urge eligible businesses to take a look at this new option and decide if it works for them."

In the past, businesses had to fill out paper forms and mail them to the Department.  The system implemented on Feb. 22 is paperless.  Each business has assigned personal identification numbers to access the new system.  There is also an option for businesses to use a third-party vendor to remit the taxes that are due once confirmation of the electronic return has been established.

The new system is more accurate because it automatically performs math calculations for the numbers that are entered on the return.  It also shows the correct tax rate for each business location, which will cut down on the number of businesses that use the wrong tax rate when completing their returns.  Businesses also receive a confirmation that acknowledges that their returns were received by the Department.

There are about 142,000 sales and use tax filers eligible to use the new system.  It is likely that this new system will primarily appeal to businesses with a smaller number of locations.

Use of the system will also save taxpayers money.  For example, if 25 percent of eligible businesses participate, taxpayers will save about $120,000 because the Department will not have to manually process the sales and use tax forms.  Taxpayers would also save an additional $80,000 because the Department could cut down on the printing and mailing of voucher booklets that businesses use when mailing in tax returns.

The first phase of the online project began in December of 2010.  That phase allowed businesses that owed no sales taxes to file electronically.  A third phase that will allow large businesses to directly send information from their own sales and use tax collection computer programs is scheduled for implementation in the spring.

More information about electronic filing of business sales and use taxes can be accessed at http://dor.mo.gov/online.php.    


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