Business iFile Changes

Some important changes to virginia's retail sales and use tax went into effect on july 1, 2013, including new tax rates. As a result, the st-9 and st-8 returns in business ifile have been modified to calculate your taxes correctly.

We have made other changes as well to streamline the forms. This short video will get you up to speed. Before we begin, i'd like to remind you that business ifile offers you complete account management features.

Please make sure your information, especially your business location address, is correct before you file your next return. Now let's start with the new st-9 return. this is for businesses with either a single location or with all of its locations within one locality.

On the first page, instead of asking questions like " what are your gross sales for this period, " the new return simply asks for your " gross sales and/or rentals." if your business locality exempts sales of home heating fuel, you'll see a single line for reporting your exempt sales.

If not, you'll see lines for both local exempt sales and state exempt sales. If you sell home heating fuel in a locality where such sales are not exempt from the local sales tax, you will include your home heating fuel sales on the state exempt sales line, along with any other exempt sales.

On the local exempt sales line, you will enter the total of any state exempt sales you reported less your home heating fuel sales. In other words, your local exempt sales total will be less than your state exempt sales total.

Your deductions are now reported on one line instead of being itemized, as they were on the old return. If you need help with this or any other area of the return, review the notes at the bottom of the page.

Once you complete this page, click calculate tax. If you are eligible for a dealer's discount, the dealer's discount page will appear. The only change on this page is that the factors have been updated to incorporate the new tax rate structure.

Click calculate tax to bring up the new review page. This page now displays two tables -- sales reported at the top and taxes computed below -- instead of one large table used in the old version.

The taxes computed table includes a line for the new regional sales tax, which will be added if your business is in a locality where the regional tax applies.

At this point, you can click modify to make changes, save your draft to finish later, or file your return. After filing your return, you'll see a new confirmation page that is also in the two-table format.

Next, let's look at the changes to the new st-9 return for consolidated filers. If you've filed a consolidated st-9 using business ifile before, you know that information is collected at the local level first on this return.

The localities you've previously reported automatically appear on the return. The new format resembles a spreadsheet and calculates taxes for each locality for you, including the new regional sales tax, if it applies.

If you are an st-8 filer, you will want to follow along here because the information in this schedule is the same format that you will be using. Just to clarify, if you are a remote seller reporting use tax as an out-of-state dealer, that means you are an st-8 filer.

Note that there are columns in the table for heating fuel sales and qualifying food sales. The heating fuel sales column will be grayed out for localities that do not tax these sales. If the column is not grayed out, fill in the amount of the home heating fuel sales.

Another notable change is entering qualifying food sales by locality, rather than as an aggregate amount, as it was on the old return. Deductions were itemized on the old st-9co return, but are now entered collectively by locality on the new st-9 consolidated return. finally, the number of prepaid wireless items sold is entered here, and the tax is computed for you.

The dealer's discount page on the st-9 consolidated return looks the same as on the st-9 return that we covered earlier.

Once you have entered all your information and selected the correct amount on the dealer's discount page, click calculate tax to go to the new review page. At the top are your sales by locality, followed by your computed taxes. explanatory notes are at the bottom if you have questions.

The make a payment section at the top has not changed, but the new two-table format is now used to show your sales and taxes.

If you are an out-of-state dealer, you'll notice that the st-8 return format has also changed. The first page in the old version of the return has been replaced with an alphabetical listing of all virginia cities and counties. select the localities where you had sales and click create schedule.

Some locality names are very similar -- such as richmond city and richmond county -- so make sure you select the correct ones. The rest of the st-8 return looks just like the st-9 return for consolidated filers that we covered earlier.

You'll complete this the same way. This means you will be entering up to six pieces of information rather than the single entry you used prior to july 2013. This information should help you transition to the new retail sales and use tax returns and make your filing experience a little easier.

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