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Avoid the top 10 Sales and Use Tax filing errors:

  1. Filing Late - File on time for each collection period, even if no tax is due. When you electronically file and pay on time, you can claim up to $30 as a collection allowance. If you file a paper return, you can sign up to receive an e-mail every collection period, reminding you of the due date. (Electronic filers are automatically signed up to receive reminders when they enroll.)

  2. Not Fully Completing the Front and Back of the Return - Complete all information on your return, including your signature and your preparer's signature.

  3. Not Filing for Each Collection Period - File a separate return for each collection period. Do not skip collection periods or add a partial collection period to the next return.

  4. Not Providing Discretionary Sales Surtax Information on Back of the Return - If you are reporting discretionary sales surtax (county tax) collected, you must complete the back of your return. Take our tutorial How to Calculate, Collect, and Report Your Discretionary Sales Surtax [You may need to disable blocking pop-ups for this site]

  5. Inaccurately Computing Tax - Compute the correct sales tax, including discretionary sales surtax (county tax), if any, using the appropriate bracket card.

  6. Including Tax Collected with Gross Sales - Tax collected should never be included in gross sales. If you include the tax collected in gross sales, it will increase your amount of tax due and you will receive a bill for additional tax due.

  7. Entering Transactions on the Wrong Lines - Sales reported on lines A through E of the DR-15 may have different tax rates. If you enter your transactions on the wrong lines, you could receive a bill for additional tax due.

  8. Calculating the Collection Allowance Incorrectly - When you electronically file and pay on time, you may take a collection allowance. The collection allowance is 2.5 percent (.025) of the first $1,200 of tax due, not to exceed $30. If you have less than $1,200 in tax due, your collection allowance will be less than $30.

  9. Not Computing Penalties and Interest - If your electronic return or payment is late, you cannot take a collection allowance and you must pay penalty and interest on the tax owed. A minimum penalty of $50 applies, even if no tax is due.

  10. Not Filing a Zero Return - File a return for each collection period, even if the amount due is zero. This could help you avoid penalties and follow-up contacts from the Department.