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The Ultimate Guide To New Jersey Sales Tax

Welcome to our handy guide on New Jersey sales tax. We'll walk you through everything you need to know, from the specific sales tax rates in different counties and cities across New Jersey to answering some of the most common questions. Plus, we'll guide you on how to efficiently collect and file your sales tax in New Jersey.

Sales Tax Rate

6.625%

Local Rate?

No

Website

New Jersey Division of Taxation

Sales Threshold

$100,000

Tax Line

(609) 292-6400

Transactions Threshold

200

What is Nexus?

You'll need to collect sales tax in New Jersey if you have nexus there. There are two main ways that sellers can be tied to a state when it comes to nexus: physical, or economic.

Physical nexus means having enough tangible presence, or activity in a state to merit paying sales tax in that state.

Economic nexus means passing a states' economic threshold, for total revenue, or the number of transactions in that state.

Calculating Nexus in New Jersey

Physical Nexus

Physical nexus happens if your business has a real, tangible presence in the state. This includes:
  • Operating an office, warehouse, or store
  • Having employees, sales reps, or agents working in New Jersey
  • Using a fulfillment center or warehouse for inventory in the state

Economic Nexus

You've got economic nexus if your sales or transactions in New Jersey reach these levels:
  • Over $100,000 in gross revenue from taxable goods or services, or
  • 200 or more separate transactions for taxable goods or services in the current or previous calendar year
Remember, these thresholds can change, so keep an eye out for updates.

Affiliate Nexus

Affiliate nexus is all about your business relationships in New Jersey, like:
  • Ties to a parent company, subsidiary, or sister company in the state
  • Using a New Jersey-based affiliate for advertising or sales promotion

Click-Through Nexus

Click-through nexus applies if you're partnering with a New Jersey affiliate who sends customers to your site using a link or promo code, and your sales from these referrals top $10,000 in the last four quarters.

Marketplace Nexus

Marketplace nexus is for those selling on platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, where the platform is responsible for the sales tax stuff in New Jersey. They handle collecting, filing, and remitting sales tax for you.
Did you know logo

In New Jersey, fur clothing is exempt from sales tax if it costs more than $175. It's as if New Jersey is saying, "Go big and furry, or go home... tax-free!" This peculiar law adds a touch of luxury to your winter wardrobe choices, at least from a tax perspective.

Sales Tax Registration in New Jersey

How to Get Your New Jersey Sales Tax Permit

Getting a sales tax license in New Jersey is pretty straightforward, and you can do it online or by mail. Here’s how you go about it:
  1. Gather Your Info: Before you start, get all your important details together. This includes your business name, contact info, legal structure, and your Federal Tax ID Number or EIN. Don’t forget details about what you’re selling.
  2. Create an Account: Head over to the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services website and set up an account. This is your gateway to the online registration process.
  3. Fill Out the Form NJ-REG: Now it's time to tackle the Business Registration Application (Form NJ-REG). You can do this online or get a paper copy from the website. This form will ask for all the essential details about your business.
  4. Submit Your Application: Once you’ve filled out the form, you can submit it online or mail it in. Online submissions usually get processed quicker.
  5. Get Your License: After your application is approved, you’ll receive your New Jersey sales tax license, also known as a Certificate of Authority. Make sure to display it prominently at your business.

Cost of Registering for a New Jersey Sales Tax License

Good news – it doesn’t cost anything to register for a sales tax license in New Jersey. The application and license are totally free.

Federal Tax ID for New Jersey Sales Tax License

Yep, you’ll need a Federal Tax ID Number, or EIN, to register for your sales tax license in New Jersey. This is a unique number from the IRS for your business. If you don’t have one, you can easily apply for it on the IRS website.

Other New Jersey Registrations to Consider

Your business might also need to register with other agencies in New Jersey, depending on what you do and where you are. These could include:
  • New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development: Especially important if you have employees. You’ll need to register for things like unemployment insurance and workers' comp.
  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection: If your business affects the environment (think manufacturing, construction, waste disposal), you might need permits or licenses here.
  • Local Municipalities: Your city or county might have additional requirements for licenses or permits. It’s a good idea to check with them to see what you need.

Guide to collecting sales tax in New Jersey

Is New Jersey an Origin or Destination Sales Tax State?

New Jersey is all about destination-based sales tax. This means you'll charge sales tax based on where your customer is located, not where you're selling from. Remember to include any local sales taxes specific to your customer's location.

What Sales are Subject to Sales Tax in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, you're generally looking at sales tax on:
  • Tangible items like furniture, appliances, and electronics
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Software and digital downloads
  • Professional services like consulting and interior design
  • Installation, repair, and maintenance services

Is Software as a Service (SaaS) Taxed in New Jersey?

Generally, SaaS isn't taxable in New Jersey. But, there are exceptions, like if it's used for gaming or entertainment, or if it involves electronically delivered prewritten software.

What is Exempt from New Jerseyne Sales Tax?

There are quite a few exemptions from sales tax in New Jersey, including:
  • Prescription drugs and certain medical equipment
  • Unprocessed food items (like groceries)
  • Sales to certain nonprofits like schools and religious organizations
  • Newspapers and periodicals
  • Some energy-saving products and services

Who is Eligible for New Jersey Sales Tax Exemptions?

Typically, these groups can get a sales tax break in New Jersey:
  • Nonprofits with a valid exemption certificate
  • Government agencies
  • Resellers with a valid resale certificate
  • Certain contractors and developers on eligible projects

What To Do If Your Customer is Exempt from Sales Tax in New Jersey?

Got a customer who doesn’t need to pay sales tax? You’ll need to get a completed exemption certificate (Form ST-5) from them. Keep this form on file for audit purposes. Make sure everything on the certificate is filled out correctly and signed.

What if You Lose a New Jersey Sales Tax Exemption Certificate?

If you lose an exemption certificate, reach out to your customer for a new one right away. If you can’t get a replacement and can’t prove the sale was tax-exempt, you might have to pay the sales tax, plus any penalties and interest, if you're audited.
Did you know logo

Pumpkins are tax-free unless they're painted, carved, or decorated. It's like saying, "If it's spooky, it's taxable!"

Steps for Filing a New Jersey Sales Tax Return

In New Jersey, how often you file and pay sales tax depends on how much tax you collect. Here’s the breakdown:
  • Monthly Filing: Collect over $30,000 annually? File and pay each month by the 20th day after the reporting period ends. So, for January sales, you'd file by February 20th.
  • Quarterly Filing: Between $500 and $30,000 in annual sales tax? You’re on a quarterly schedule. File and pay by the 20th day after the quarter ends. For Q1, that's April 20th.
  • Annual Filing: If you collect less than $500 annually, you file and pay once a year by March 20th.

What If a Filing Date Falls on a Weekend or Holiday?

If your filing date in New Jersey lands on a weekend or holiday, the deadline gets pushed to the next business day.

How to File a New Jersey Sales Tax Return

Filing your sales tax return in New Jersey is pretty straightforward. Here’s what you need to do:
  1. Get Your Records Together: Make sure you have all your sales info – total sales, taxable sales, and the sales tax you've collected.
  2. Log Into Your Account: Visit the New Jersey Division of Taxation website and log in. If you don’t have an account, you'll need to set one up to file electronically.
  3. Fill Out the Form: Complete the Sales and Use Tax Return (Form ST-50/ST-51) online or get a paper copy from the website. This form asks for details about your sales and the tax due.
  4. Submit Your Return and Payment: Once you’ve filled out the form, submit it online or by mail. Include your payment – you can pay online with an e-check or credit card or send a check or money order if you’re mailing your return.
  5. Keep Records: Hang onto copies of your returns and any related documents for at least four years, as New Jersey law requires.

Penalties for Late Filing in New Jersey

If you miss a filing or payment deadline, here’s what could happen:
  • Late Filing Penalty: You’ll face a 5% penalty on the tax due for each month you’re late, up to 25%.
  • Late Payment Penalty: This is also 5% per month, maxing out at 25%.
  • Interest: Plus, you’ll owe interest on any unpaid tax and penalties from the due date to when you pay in full. The interest rate varies based on New Jersey law and can change each year.

Sales Tax Incentives in New Jersey

New Jersey offers a few incentives to encourage business growth:
  • Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZ): If you're in a UEZ, you might get reduced sales tax rates and other tax benefits.
  • New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Programs: The NJEDA has programs like tax credits and financing options for businesses in specific industries or locations.

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Top 5 Tips for Filing Sales Tax in New Jersey

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