The State of Oklahoma has what can be at times complicated sales tax regulations that differ depending on both county and city. Because of this, calculating and tracking sales tax collection in the state can be complicated. From determining if you have nexus in the state to calculating the amount that needs to be collected, there are several factors to consider.
The base sales tax rate in Oklahoma is 4.5%. However, there are additional tax rates in both the counties and major cities of Oklahoma. As a result, the combined sales tax rate can vary quite a bit. For example, in Oklahoma City, the combined rate is 8.375% and in Muskogee it is 9.15%. There are several additional factors involved as well, including the types of goods being purchased and the method through which they are purchased.
Oklahoma is a destination based state, meaning sales tax is charged based on the location of the recipient of a shipped good. Another important factor to consider is remote seller status. If you are not based in Oklahoma but are determined to have nexus in the state, you are considered a Remote Seller and must collect “use tax” which can vary from sales tax and must be calculated separately. The Oklahoma Tax Commission offers more detail on these rates and how they apply to different types of businesses.
Before collecting sales tax in Oklahoma, you must determine if you have nexus in the state. This refers to anyone who currently has business operations in the state as defined by:
In addition to the above qualifications, a 2016 law was passed called the Oklahoma Retail Protection Act. This new law is designed to assign sales tax nexus even to those out of state sellers who have no presence in the state under the standard guidelines. The new law makes three important changes:
In effect, the state is urging retailers to become tax compliant in the state, even if they don’t have nexus there, but because of the lack of state reporting requirements, it’s unclear how the state will fully enforce the new guidelines.
Like most states, Oklahoma only assesses sales tax on certain goods. So it’s important to know if what you are selling even applies.
There are only a small number of exceptions in the state. Combined with the updated and refined nexus laws, it’s important to ensure you know exactly what goods or services you offer that might be subject to Oklahoma sales tax.
For any business that is considered to have sales tax nexus in the state, you must register for an Oklahoma sales tax permit. To do so, you can register directly through the state’s online portal at The Taxpayer Access Point. There is also a paper application available in Packet A – Oklahoma’s business registration paperwork. Be sure to check for this on the Oklahoma Tax Commission website, however, to ensure it is still available. Oklahoma also allows businesses to file in person in Oklahoma City or Tulsa.
To complete the form, you will need all of your relevant business information, including business identification and personal identification numbers, business entity type, date of incorporation, and a list of the types of products you sell. There is a $20 application fee for filing the application as well, and it will take a minimum of 5 days to process the permit (when filed online). It is possible to have it processed sooner if you file in person.
The initial permit you receive is on a probationary period of six months. The permit automatically renews after the initial period for 30 months.
Sales tax is collected and filed in the following ways:
When you apply for your sales tax application, you will be assigned a payment frequency based on the total amount of sales tax collected. This number will be updated on a routine basis if your liability changes.
By default, most businesses are assigned a monthly filing frequency which can be updated per the total liability. Those with $2500/month or more will be required to pay via EFT.
Quarterly: Quarterly filing deadlines for 2017 are:
|January – March (Q1)||April 20|
|April – June (Q2)||July 20|
|July – September (Q3)||October 20|
|October – December (Q4)||January 20|
Monthly: Monthly filing deadlines for 2017 are:
Semi-Annual: For businesses with a tax liability of $50/year or less, semi-annual filing is required on July 20, 2017 and January 22, 2018.
Those who register for sales tax collection in Oklahoma are legally required to file by the above listed deadlines or face a potential penalty. The late filing penalty for those who do not file within 10 days after written demand is 25% of tax due. Late payment penalty is 10% of tax due when not paid within 15 days of delinquency.
For those who miss filing or payment repeatedly, there may be more severe penalties or even criminal charges.
Zero returns are required to be filed on your indicated due date regardless of whether you have liability. Those who do pay on time, however, will also receive a 1% discount on sales tax owed with a maximum discount of $2500 per month.
Because of the complexity of Oklahoma’s sales tax collection process, with a base state rate, county and city rates, and remote seller status for out of state sellers, there are a lot of factors to consider. It’s important to have a system in place that can quickly manage the different rates, filing deadlines, tax holidays, and shifting laws in the state. TaxTools offers such resources, allowing you to easily review sales data, ensure proper payments are made on time, and that everything integrates effectively with your existing eCommerce platform. With a single portal that offers comprehensive integration with the Oklahoma sales tax system, it’s much easier to manage your online sales, especially when selling in multiple states. To learn more about TaxTools or sign up for a free trial, click here and start evaluating the software for your business.