Sales and Use Tax

Why can’t I submit Form ST-51 showing $0.00 due?

Because the ST-51 is not required to be filed for periods in which less than $500 is due, there is no provision for the online filing of a “zero” monthly return. While the quarterly return (Form ST-50) must be filed regardless of the amount due, the monthly sales tax return (Form ST-51) must only be filed for each month in which the amount of tax due exceeds $500. When the amount due for any period covered by Form ST-51 is $500 or less, payment for that month may be remitted with the next quarterly return (Form ST-50). Visit the Division’s Web site for additional information.

When I try to file online and make my quarterly sales tax payment by e-check, the system will not let me enter today’s date as the settlement date. Today is the due date. What should I do so that my payment is not late?

When you file online or by phone and make your payment by electronic check (e-check), the earliest settlement date (date the payment will be debited from your account) you can select is the next business day. No matter which payment method you select, if your payment transaction is initiated by 11:59 p.m. on the due date, your payment will be considered timely even if the settlement date is after the due date.

What is the New Jersey sales tax rate?

The State of New Jersey’s sales and use tax rate is seven percent (7%). However, there are exceptions to this statewide rate. In Urban Enterprise Zones, UEZ-impacted business districts, and in Salem County, sales tax may be charged at 3.5% (50% of the regular rate) on certain items. In addition, local sales taxes are imposed on sales of certain items sold in Atlantic City and Cape May County. For additional information, see Tax Topic Bulletin S&U-4, New Jersey Sales Tax Guide.

View a sales tax collection schedule (ST-75) for the Statewide 7% sales and use tax.

Are shipping and handling subject to sales tax?

Effective October 1, 2005, the law provides for a new definition of “delivery charges.” For transactions occurring on or after October 1, 2005, handling charges are included within the definition of delivery charges, and are therefore exempt from tax whether or not they are separately stated to the purchaser.

Prior to October 1, 2005, a separately stated charge for the transportation (shipping) of tangible personal property from the vendor to the customer was not subject to New Jersey sales tax. Depending on the circumstances, a separately stated “handling” charge could be considered part of the taxable receipt (amount on which sales tax is due) because it occurs prior to actual shipment. However, when “shipping and handling” charges were billed together, both amounts were considered exempt transportation charges for New Jersey sales tax purposes.

As of October 1, 2006, the exemption for delivery charges imposed by the seller is repealed for taxable goods and services. For deliveries on and after October 1, 2006, if a shipment includes both taxable and exempt property, the seller should allocate the delivery charge based on either the total sales price or the total weight, and collect tax on the portion of the delivery charge allocated to the taxable goods. In such mixed transactions, if the seller does not allocate the delivery charge, the entire delivery charge is taxable.

Andres Minaya
AM Professional Services, INC
353 Livingston Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: 732-545-8580