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Sales Tax and Your New Business


The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts wants to make doing business in Texas as easy and friendly as possible. Apply for a sales tax permit using our Texas Online Sales Tax Registration System. An application can also be downloaded from our Tax Forms Online page. You can also obtain an application by calling (800) 252-5555 or by visiting one of our enforcement field offices.

If you are purchasing an existing business, please read the following tax publication: Buying An Existing Business (98-117)

Note: Applications and forms are pdf files. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you will need to download the latest version to view and print these items.

Registering for a Texas Sales and Use Tax Permit

You must obtain a sales tax permit if:

  • you are an individual, partnership, corporation, or organization engaged in business in Texas; and
  • you are selling tangible personal property or providing taxable services in Texas to customers in Texas; and/or
  • you acquire tangible personal property or taxable services from out-of-state suppliers that do not hold a Texas permit; or
  • you sell or resell telecommunications services, such as the electronic transmission of tax returns or other information, the provision of phone service for a charge to tenants or hotel guests, fax services, or paging services, or you are a telecommunications utility or a mobile service provider collecting and paying telecommunications receipts under Texas Tax Code, Chapter 151; or
  • you are a telecommunications utility, a mobile service provider, or a business service user that provides local exchange access, equivalent local exchange access, wireless telecommunications connections, or intrastate long-distance service, and you are responsible for collecting emergency communications charges and/or surcharges under Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 771; or
  • you collect tax on the retail sale of fireworks; (You are required to charge both the sales tax and the fireworks tax.) or
  • you collect tax on sale of health spa memberships; or
  • you sell, lease, or rent off-road, heavy duty diesel powered equipment (You are required to charge both the sales tax and the surcharge.); or
  • you are an out-of-state winery direct shipping wine to consumers in Texas.
    (You are required to obtain an Out-of-State Winery Direct Shipper permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.) or
  • You sell cigarette and/or tobacco products (You are required to obtain a cigarette/tobacco retailer's permit, AP-193. Refer to Cigarette/Tobacco Products under Texas Taxes.)

Both wholesalers and retailers must apply for a sales tax permit. Internet and catalog sellers engaged in business in Texas must be permitted and are responsible for collecting and remitting the applicable state and local taxes on sales delivered to customers in Texas.

If you have any questions about selling in Texas or the sales tax permit registration process, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Register Online:

To apply for a sales tax permit online, go to Texas Online Tax Registration Application.

Register In Person:

You may register for a permit in person at one of our field offices.

Register by Mail:

You can download and print AP-201, Texas Applications for Sales Tax Permit, Use Tax Permit, and/or Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Assessment from our web page at: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/01-forms.html. The completed application can be delivered in person to any of our local offices or mailed to our main office at

Comptroller of Public Accounts
111 E. 17th Street
Austin, Texas  78774-0100

You can request to have an application for a sales and use tax permit mailed to you by calling (800) 252-5555.

Representatives are available to assist you with permit questions Monday through Friday (except State holidays) from 7:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. A registration packet will be mailed to you within 24 hours. You will generally receive your permit approximately two weeks after we have received your completed application. Incomplete applications may delay the process.

More Helpful Information for New Businesses:

New Taxpayer Seminars

The Texas Comptroller's office offers taxpayer seminars throughout the state four times each year. New taxpayers are especially encouraged to attend these overviews of tax responsibilities for buyers, sellers, and service providers.

A new schedule of seminars is set every month.

Advice on Starting a Business

The Texas Business Advisor helps identify the steps to opening a business.

Local Taxes

When you sell taxable items (tangible personal property or taxable services), you must collect state sales or use tax plus the appropriate local sales or use taxes. The information contained in our bulletin Guidelines for Collecting Local Sales and Use Tax will help you collect the correct local taxes.

More than half the Texas population lives in, or conducts business with retailers located in, one of the state's transit authorities. If you will need to collect the transit sales and use tax in one or more transit authority area, our web page, Transit Sales and Use Tax, lists each MTA and the tax rate.

Local sales tax rate information is updated on the first day of each quarter (January, April, July and October) with the most current information about Texas Sales and Use Tax Rates.

Forms

Depending on the anticipated sales volume for your business, you will file sales tax reports quarterly, monthly or yearly. We will send you preprinted report forms well in advance of the due date.

For your convenience, there are a variety of resources available from the Comptroller's office that can be used if you ever need forms:

  • Blank Sales Tax forms, including returns, resale certificates, and exemption certificates, are available online.
  • We can mail additional preprinted sales tax returns or other forms to you if needed. To order forms by phone, call (800) 252-1389.
  • Blank forms can be obtained at local Comptroller's offices.
  • We can fax forms to you (on a dedicated fax line only) - call (800) 531-1441 to order forms to be faxed to you through our Tele-fax system.

Electronic Sales Tax Return Filing

Electronic reporting services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can save time, money and paper by using these fast and easy services.

TeleFile

The Comptroller's office offers the opportunity to satisfy certain filing requirements by touch-tone phone. If you have a sales tax permit and have no taxable sales to report for the filing period, you can avoid filing a paper return by simply calling us at 1-888-4FILING (1-888-434-5464)

Sales for Resale

Texas does not issue special "Reseller's licenses or permits." If you will be making sales for resale, you must obtain a Texas sales and use tax permit. Other information and forms that you will need include:

  • The resale certificate, form 01-339
  • Rule 3.285, Resale Certificate; Sales for Resale

Rules

As a new business owner, tax rules you will find helpful include 3.286, Seller's and Purchaser's Responsibilities, and complete list of state sales tax rules to find those that apply to your particular business.

Publications

Review our list of tax publications and bulletins for information about sales tax requirements and exemptions pertaining to various industries.

There are various other types of tax ID numbers that a business may need depending on how the business is formed and what type of business you will be operating.

  • If the business has or will have employees then you will need to contact the Texas Workforce Commission for information on reporting to that agency. TWC can be contacted at www.twc.state.tx.us or by phone at (512) 463-2731.
  • For information about Federal Income taxes, contact the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS can be contacted at: www.irs.gov or by phone at (800) 829-1040.
  • Social Security information can be found online at: http://www.ssa.gov/.

You may also want to check with your local government entities, city or county appraisal districts, or local chamber of commerce to find out if there are any taxes or fees for which you may be responsible that are administered by a local government authority.

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