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How to File Sales Tax in Texas: A Step-By-Step Guide (2024)

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Updated 

February 12, 2024

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Selling your ecommerce products in Texas? As a business owner, you are responsible for collecting and remitting sales tax to the Texas State Comptroller. The sales and use tax rate in Texas stands at 6.25%, plus local taxes that cause rates to reach 8.25% in some areas.

Keep reading to learn exactly how to file your Texas sales and use tax return.

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Step-by-step guide to filing your Texas sales tax return

Filing your sales tax in Texas can easily be done online through the Texas Comptroller's website. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Create an account

Start by creating an account at comptroller.texas.gov

Under the Webfile section, click "Webfile System Login" then "Register Now".

Enter your business and user details on the registration form that appears.

Step 2: Log in to your account

Once registered, return to comptroller.texas.gov and log in using your new User ID and Password.

After you log in, you’ll be redirected to your dashboard, where you can file and pay sales and use or franchise tax. Let’s click “File and Pay” in the Sales and Use Tax box.

Step 3: Start your tax return

Under the Webfile menu, choose "File Original Return" to start a new return. 

Select the appropriate filing period from the monthly or quarterly returns dropdown menu.

Then, click continue to be directed to the disclaimer screen.

Step 4: Enter your sales tax details

On the next screen, review any special tax credits or exemptions that may apply, and answer the questions appropriately. In most cases, select "No" to continue.

Next, carefully enter your Total Sales and Taxable Sales amounts for the filing period. Taxable Purchases can be left at $0 if you did not make qualifying wholesale purchases.

Make sure to round sales amounts to the nearest whole dollar. Select the city or cities where taxable transactions occurred. 

The system will calculate amounts owed to Texas and those localities. Review totals then select continue.

Step 5: Submit your tax payment

Choose your preferred payment method - electronic bank check or credit card.

Enter the required details and account information for the payment type selected. Double-check for accuracy.

Select "Submit Payment" to process your Texas sales tax payment.

Step 6: Finalize your filing

You can now print or digitally save a copy of your completed Texas sales tax return for your records.

Congratulations, you have successfully filed and paid your sales tax in Texas through the state Comptroller’s website!

Texas sales tax in major cities

Here are the latest sales tax rates for the major cities in Texas that you need to charge customers:

City Sales Tax Rate
Houston 8.25%
Dallas 8.25%
San Antonio 8.25%
Austin 8.25%
Fort Worth 8.25%

FAQs

Got questions re: filing sales tax? We can help.

1. What records do I need to keep for Texas sales tax purposes?

Texas requires that you keep detailed records related to your sales and use tax obligations. Records should include Texas sales tax reports, books, and schedules used to prepare returns, resale and exemption certificates, bills/invoices of taxable items bought or sold, and related papers. Records must be kept for four years from the tax due date.

2. When are Texas sales tax payments due?

If you file monthly returns for your ecommerce store, payments are due to the Texas Comptroller on the 20th day of the month after the reporting period. For quarterly filers, payments must be received on the 20th day of January, April, July, and October for the preceding 3-month period ending in November, February, May, and August.

3. What are the penalties for late sales tax payments or filings in Texas?

Texas penalizes late sales tax payments at 5% per month up to a maximum of 25%. For unfiled returns, a penalty of 5% of tax owed accrues after 30 days late, up to a total penalty of 25%. Interest also applies to late balances at an annual rate the Texas Comptroller sets.

4. Does my Texas sales tax filing status ever need to change?

Yes. Once your total sales tax liability exceeds $500 for any month or $1,500 for any consecutive three months, you must begin filing monthly instead of quarterly returns. Notify the Comptroller if you meet or exceed these Texas sales tax thresholds.

5. Who do I contact if I have issues with my Texas sales tax filing or account?

If you experience problems with filing your Texas sales tax, have issues accessing your online account, or have other questions, contact the Texas State Comptroller's office for assistance.

Call the Texas Tax Assistance number at 800-252-5555. Agents are available Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm CT. You can also submit questions by email through the Comptroller's website or visit one of 20 regional field offices across Texas.

6. Do I need to collect sales tax on shipping charges to Texas customers?

If you ship taxable goods to customers in Texas, you generally need to charge the applicable state and local sales tax rates on delivery/transportation fees. Shipping and handling are part of the sales price of an item, according to the Texas Comptroller.

Some exemptions apply in limited cases, such as separately stated USPS shipping costs. Check current regulations to determine whether you should tax shipping on transactions with Texas-based buyers.

File sales taxes in just five minutes per month, only with Numeral

As you scale into multiple states, manually tracking registration requirements, tax calculations, and filings becomes extremely cumbersome.

That's why services like Numeral exist to handle end-to-end sales tax compliance with a 100% accuracy guarantee for ecommerce businesses running on Shopify and WooCommerce. Numeral's platform provides complete management including:

  • Automated nexus analysis and registration
  • Integrations to accurately calculate taxes in checkout
  • Easy connections to necessary business platforms
  • White-glove filing, payment, and correspondence with state agencies
  • Proactive notifications on important tax notices

With Numeral, sales tax compliance is reduced to 5 minutes per month or less. Given the penalties and interest that come with non-compliance, solutions like Numeral provide immense value.

Click here to book a demo for Numeral's sales tax automation and see first-hand how technology can enable your business growth instead of creating a sales tax bottleneck.

Step-by-step guide to filing your Texas sales tax return

Filing your sales tax in Texas can easily be done online through the Texas Comptroller's website. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Create an account

Start by creating an account at comptroller.texas.gov

Under the Webfile section, click "Webfile System Login" then "Register Now".

Enter your business and user details on the registration form that appears.

Step 2: Log in to your account

Once registered, return to comptroller.texas.gov and log in using your new User ID and Password.

After you log in, you’ll be redirected to your dashboard, where you can file and pay sales and use or franchise tax. Let’s click “File and Pay” in the Sales and Use Tax box.

Step 3: Start your tax return

Under the Webfile menu, choose "File Original Return" to start a new return. 

Select the appropriate filing period from the monthly or quarterly returns dropdown menu.

Then, click continue to be directed to the disclaimer screen.

Step 4: Enter your sales tax details

On the next screen, review any special tax credits or exemptions that may apply, and answer the questions appropriately. In most cases, select "No" to continue.

Next, carefully enter your Total Sales and Taxable Sales amounts for the filing period. Taxable Purchases can be left at $0 if you did not make qualifying wholesale purchases.

Make sure to round sales amounts to the nearest whole dollar. Select the city or cities where taxable transactions occurred. 

The system will calculate amounts owed to Texas and those localities. Review totals then select continue.

Step 5: Submit your tax payment

Choose your preferred payment method - electronic bank check or credit card.

Enter the required details and account information for the payment type selected. Double-check for accuracy.

Select "Submit Payment" to process your Texas sales tax payment.

Step 6: Finalize your filing

You can now print or digitally save a copy of your completed Texas sales tax return for your records.

Congratulations, you have successfully filed and paid your sales tax in Texas through the state Comptroller’s website!

Texas sales tax in major cities

Here are the latest sales tax rates for the major cities in Texas that you need to charge customers:

City Sales Tax Rate
Houston 8.25%
Dallas 8.25%
San Antonio 8.25%
Austin 8.25%
Fort Worth 8.25%

FAQs

Got questions re: filing sales tax? We can help.

1. What records do I need to keep for Texas sales tax purposes?

Texas requires that you keep detailed records related to your sales and use tax obligations. Records should include Texas sales tax reports, books, and schedules used to prepare returns, resale and exemption certificates, bills/invoices of taxable items bought or sold, and related papers. Records must be kept for four years from the tax due date.

2. When are Texas sales tax payments due?

If you file monthly returns for your ecommerce store, payments are due to the Texas Comptroller on the 20th day of the month after the reporting period. For quarterly filers, payments must be received on the 20th day of January, April, July, and October for the preceding 3-month period ending in November, February, May, and August.

3. What are the penalties for late sales tax payments or filings in Texas?

Texas penalizes late sales tax payments at 5% per month up to a maximum of 25%. For unfiled returns, a penalty of 5% of tax owed accrues after 30 days late, up to a total penalty of 25%. Interest also applies to late balances at an annual rate the Texas Comptroller sets.

4. Does my Texas sales tax filing status ever need to change?

Yes. Once your total sales tax liability exceeds $500 for any month or $1,500 for any consecutive three months, you must begin filing monthly instead of quarterly returns. Notify the Comptroller if you meet or exceed these Texas sales tax thresholds.

5. Who do I contact if I have issues with my Texas sales tax filing or account?

If you experience problems with filing your Texas sales tax, have issues accessing your online account, or have other questions, contact the Texas State Comptroller's office for assistance.

Call the Texas Tax Assistance number at 800-252-5555. Agents are available Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm CT. You can also submit questions by email through the Comptroller's website or visit one of 20 regional field offices across Texas.

6. Do I need to collect sales tax on shipping charges to Texas customers?

If you ship taxable goods to customers in Texas, you generally need to charge the applicable state and local sales tax rates on delivery/transportation fees. Shipping and handling are part of the sales price of an item, according to the Texas Comptroller.

Some exemptions apply in limited cases, such as separately stated USPS shipping costs. Check current regulations to determine whether you should tax shipping on transactions with Texas-based buyers.

File sales taxes in just five minutes per month, only with Numeral

As you scale into multiple states, manually tracking registration requirements, tax calculations, and filings becomes extremely cumbersome.

That's why services like Numeral exist to handle end-to-end sales tax compliance with a 100% accuracy guarantee for ecommerce businesses running on Shopify and WooCommerce. Numeral's platform provides complete management including:

  • Automated nexus analysis and registration
  • Integrations to accurately calculate taxes in checkout
  • Easy connections to necessary business platforms
  • White-glove filing, payment, and correspondence with state agencies
  • Proactive notifications on important tax notices

With Numeral, sales tax compliance is reduced to 5 minutes per month or less. Given the penalties and interest that come with non-compliance, solutions like Numeral provide immense value.

Click here to book a demo for Numeral's sales tax automation and see first-hand how technology can enable your business growth instead of creating a sales tax bottleneck.

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About the author

Deb Mukherjee

Deb is the head of marketing at Numeral. He has worked with the likes of Shopify and Wonderment and has helped countless ecommerce stores scale through seamlessly. With a background in finance, he often finds himself advising stores on sales tax and good financial systems.

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