If you ever search sales tax rules for your state and profession, you’ll probably see a whole lot of “check with your state” and “ask an accountant.” This is due to the fact that every state has different sales tax rules and in most states, they aren’t very clear. After spending almost an hour researching some sales tax questions for a photographer and not finding a clear answer, I decided to just call.
Here are 4 easy steps to call your state tax department.
#1 Go to the bathroom first.
I’m not even kidding. I made this mistake just today and had to do a little dance while I waited to speak to someone at the Michigan Department of Treasury for over 20 minutes.
#2 Have your list of questions written out.
I’m the first to admit that sometimes I can get flustered and forget to ask certain things in the heat of the moment. They call come rushing back to me after I hang up, and then I have to sit through another round of PureMichigan ads as I wait to hear from someone.
#3 If possible, ask them to email you the “proof.”
By having documentation, you are protecting yourself if you are ever audited and the findings go against what you were told. If they don’t want to email you, at a minimum ask for their name and record the date and time you spoke with them.
#4 Don’t rely on your memory.
I like to have a Google Doc open with my questions ready when I call. Then, as I get the answers to my questions, I type word for word (as best as I can) what the state employee is telling me.