Sales Tax

What is subject to sales tax in Missouri?

All sales of tangible personal property are taxable unless there is a specific statutory exemption.

All sales of services listed as taxable in Section 144.020, RSMo, including telephone and telegraph services, are subject to sales tax.

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Should I pay sales tax or vendor's use tax?

Sales tax is applicable on all sales made from a location within the state of Missouri.

Vendor's use tax is applicable on all sales made by out-of -state vendors where goods are shipped into Missouri and where title passes within the state of Missouri.

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What filing frequency should I use to file my sales tax returns?

Sales tax returns may be filed on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Your filing frequency is determined by the amount of state tax (4 percent for regular locations and 1 percent for food locations) due. Local tax is not included when determining your filing frequency. The filing frequency is determined by the total state tax due on the return as a whole, not by each location.

State taxes collected of $500 or more per month are to be reported on a monthly basis.

State taxes collected above $100 per quarter but less than $500 per month should be filed on a quarterly basis. The quarters are as follows: January through March, April through June, July through September, and October through December.

State taxes collected less than $100 per quarter should be filed on an annual basis.

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Will my filing frequency ever change?

Your filing frequency is reviewed by the Department of Revenue on an annual basis. If this review indicates that your filing frequency should be changed, the change will be made and notification will be sent to you.

Note: It is very important that you keep your address information current with the department.

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What are the due dates for filing my returns?

Monthly returns are due on or by the 20th of the following month, except on quarter ending months. For example, your monthly February return is due on or before March 20. The due dates listed on the chart for quarterly returns should be followed when filing quarter ending months such as March, June, September and December.

Quarterly returns are due on or before the last day of the month following the end of the quarter. For example, your return for the January through March period would be due on or before April 30.

Annual returns are due on or before January 31 of the following year.

2015 Sales Tax Due Dates

Download a copy of our current tax year calendar indicating due dates for all tax types.

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What if the due date to file a return falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday?

When the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, your return will be considered timely filed if it is postmarked by the next business day.

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Is a sales tax return required even if my sales equal zero?

Yes. Every business with a sales tax license is required to file a return even though no sales were made during the period covered by the return.

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Can negative taxable sales be filed for a business location?

No. Negative taxable sales cannot be filed for a location on the return.

When the credits allowed are greater than the tax collected, an amended return and Seller's Claim for Sales or Use Tax Refund or Credit (Form 472S) must be filed for the period in which the sales were originally filed.

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What is the difference between "gross receipts" and "taxable sales" on my sales tax return?

Gross receipts equals the total amount of sales your business had for the period in which you are filing the return.

Taxable sales equal the total amount of sales after you take into account those sales that are not subject to sales tax or add sales/purchases in which you did not pay tax, but now need to report tax.  These sales are claimed in the adjustments column of your return. Your taxable sales should always equal your gross receipts plus/minus any adjustments.

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Am I required to complete the gross receipts and taxable sales box on my return?

Every vendor must file a sales tax return showing the amount of gross receipts and taxable sales, as required by law.

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If I have included my sales tax in my gross receipts, can the tax amount be backed out?

The amount of sales tax collected should not be included in your gross receipts. If the sales tax is included in your gross receipts, it should be backed out. To back this out, take your total amount of gross receipts, including the sales tax, divide by 100% plus your current tax rate.

Gross Receipts including Sales Tax = $2,500.00
Current Sales Tax Rate = 5.725%
Divide $2,500 by 105.725% = $2,364.63
Your gross receipts should be reported as $2,364.63

Note: A record of the adjustment claimed on each return must be maintained in your files. The Department of Revenue will review this information if you are audited.

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How is the two percent timely payment allowance calculated?

On all sales tax returns filed and paid by the required due date, you are granted a 2 percent timely payment allowance. Take the amount of tax due times 2 percent. Then subtract this amount from the amount of tax due.

$100.00 tax due
$100.00 x 2% timely allowance = $2.00
$100.00 - $2.00 = $98.00
In this example, the amount of tax due is $98.00

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What determines if a return is timely?

Your sales tax return is considered timely if it is postmarked on or before the required due date. If a metered postmark differs from the U.S. Postal Service postmark, the U.S. Postal Service postmark will be used as evidence of timely filing.

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If I add a new location, will it appear on the next sales tax return received from the Department of Revenue?

The additional location may not appear on your next preprinted form. If it does not, please write it in at the bottom of the locations listed on the preprinted form.

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If I close a location, will it be deleted on the next sales tax return received from the Department of Revenue?

The location may still appear on your next preprinted sales tax return. Enter "Closed" and the date the business location closed in the gross receipts area of your return.

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Can I file a return that has been generated by my computer rather than the one received from the Department of Revenue?

You are required to get prior approval from the department before your computer -generated form is used. This return must contain all the information that appears on the preprinted return received from the department.

A frequently occurring error on computer-generated returns is the location code listing area. A location code is a code assigned by the department. The code consists of 12 digits and must appear in the code column area of your sales tax return(s). The location code should always be listed in the order in which they are printed on the form received from the department.

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Do I combine the figures for my food sales with the figures reported for sales subject to the full tax rate?

You should not include food sales in the figures reported on the full tax rate line. Food sales should be reported on the line for food sales only. If you qualify for food sales and you do not find a location for food on your return, please contact the Taxation Division, (573) 751-5860.

Nonfood Items/Food Items:
The term "non-food items" include those products not listed under the Federal Food Stamp Program.
The term "food items" include only those products and types of food for which food stamps may be redeemed pursuant to the Federal Food Stamp Program as contained in 7 USC Section 2012.

A business whose gross receipts from sales of food and drink prepared by the business for immediate consumption, either on or off the premises, and are 80% or less of its total gross receipts, must remit tax on its qualifying food sales at a reduced state tax rate of 1.225% plus any applicable local tax. Sales of qualifying food through vending machines are also subject to the reduced tax rate. See Section 144.014, RSMo, for further information.

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What is the correct sales tax rate for a particular city or county?

To obtain the current rate for a particular city and/or county and a rate chart, you may visit our Sales/Use Tax Rate Tables or contact us at (573) 751-2836.

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Will I be notified of local tax increases/decreases?

Local sales tax increases/decreases take effect on the first day of each calendar quarter. Your business will only be notified of the changes that directly affect your registered business locations. This information will be mailed to the address currently on file with the department. Failure to be notified does not relieve you of the tax.

Note: It is important to maintain accurate address information with the Department of Revenue.

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How do I calculate the interest on a late payment of my sales tax?

Interest may be calculated in two ways:

1. Multiply the total amount of tax due by the current annual percentage rate. Multiply the result by the number of days late. Then divide that amount by 365 (366 if within a leap year). The following are examples based on 5% interest rate.

$100.00 x 5% = $5.00 x 30 days late = $150.00
$150.00 divided by 365 = $.41

2. Multiply the total amount of tax due by the daily rate. Multiply the result by the number of days late.

$100.00 x .0001370 = $.0137
$.0137 x 30 days late = $.41

You may also use the departments interest and additions calculator.

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How often are the interest rates updated?

The interest rate is subject to change each year. Any change that may occur, will take effect on January 1.

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What are additions to tax and how are they computed?

Additions to tax is a penalty charged for failure to pay or failure to file the required sales tax return(s) by the due date.

When your sales tax return has been filed, but not paid by the required due date, you should calculate your penalty by multiplying the tax amount due by 5 percent. This penalty does not increase.

When no sales tax return has been filed, you should calculate your penalty by multiplying the tax amount due by 5 percent for each month you are late. This penalty increases each month you fail to file the return. The maximum amount of penalty is 25 percent.

Note: Interest should not be calculated on the amount of additions to tax due.

Please visit our website to use our interest and additions calculator.

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What is the "approved credit" line on the sales tax return?

The Director of Revenue will issue credits for any amounts overpaid on your account. This credit should be claimed on the appropriate line on the return.

Credits should not be taken without the prior approval of the department. The department will apply any credits to prior or future balances on your account without notification.

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How do I report my vending machine sales?

Persons selling tangible personal property other than photocopies and tobacco-related products through vending machines are making retail sales. The sale is deemed to take place at the location of the vending machine. The vendor is responsible for reporting and remitting, directly to the Director of Revenue, state and local sales tax on 135 percent of the net invoice price of the tangible personal property sold.

For additional sales tax forms, visit our Sales/Use Tax forms page.

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How do I report a sale made prior to a tax rate increase/decrease if the payment was not collected until another filing period with a different sales tax rate?

If you report your sales tax on a cash basis (you report tax at the time payment is received) and you do not receive payment until after a rate change occurs, you will need to report this sale differently from your other sales. This type of transaction is considered a "time sale".

To report "time sales":

  1. Fill out a separate return indicating the filing period in which the sales(s) was actually made.
  2. Write "time sales" on the face of the return. (If "time sales" is not written on the return there is a possibility that the return could be processed as a late filed additional return.)
  3. Calculate the tax due using the rate that was in effect at the time of the sale and put the rate on the return.

If you do not report your sales tax on a cash basis, you report the tax at the rate in effect on the date the sale took place, regardless of when payment is received.

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Do I need a special form to file an amended or an additional sales tax return?

No. A special form is not needed to file an amended or an additional return. A copy of the original form may be used. Indicate amended or additional return by writing it on the return.

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If you still have questions, please check out other Business Tax FAQs.

Can't find an answer to your question(s)? Email us! We look forward to hearing from you!