Effective July 1, 1997 the Georgia Department of Revenue's Sales and Use Tax Division introduced its new ST-3 form for reporting monthly sales and use tax collections. In the interest of providing timely and informative replies to frequently asked questions by retailers/dealers and tax practitioners, the Sales and Use Tax Division has supplied the following questions and answers. Anyone having a particularly tricky question relating to the new ST-3 is invited to contact the Division directly at the hot line number 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711) or contact one of our Regional Field Offices.
1. Why has the sales and use tax report form (ST-3) changed? The changes in the sales and use tax report form (ST-3) were implemented with the express intention of making filing easier, to accommodate an increased number of tax types, to improve the reliability of reported data, and to reduce the operational costs of data entry and repetitive entries in form preparation.
2. What month does the new report form become effective? The new report form took effect on July 1, 1997. July collections are reported and remitted (paid) on or before August 20, 1997.
3. Is there any change in the due date of the return? No. The report form is considered timely filed when postmarked by the 20th day of the succeeding month.
4. Can the old report form be used for reporting taxes for periods after July 1997? No. The old report form may only be used for reporting periods prior to July 1997.
5. Can a dealer use a computer generated form? Yes. A dealer may file a computer generated form during the initial year (July 1997-June 1998). The computer generated form must, however, contain a format identical to the Department's ST-3 form.
6. Are all lines on the form required to be completed? No. Only the lines that are applicable are required to be completed except when reporting "0" sales and use.
7. If my business had "0" sales and use, what lines are required to be completed? Total sales (line 1), total use (line 2), and total sales and use (line 3) are required to be completed when no sales or use has occurred. The report form must still be timely filed to avoid late filing penalties.
8. If my business has all exempt sales and use, what lines are required to be completed? Total sales (line 1), total use (line 2), total sales and use (line 3), total exemptions for each applicable tax type (lines A through I), and total taxable sales for each applicable tax type (lines 4 through 12) are required to be completed.
9. Is the exemption worksheet required to be submitted with the report form and tax payment? No. The exemption worksheet is furnished as a convenience to help you properly report the total exemptions for each applicable tax type on the front of the ST-3.
10. Are the vendor's compensation and penalty worksheets required to be mailed with the form and payment? No. The vendor's compensation and penalty worksheets are furnished as a convenience to help you properly calculate vendor's compensation and/ or penalty.
11. Does the new report form require the dealer to maintain any additional records? No. The new report form does not require a dealer to maintain or obtain any additional records for form preparation.
12. Are dealers required to complete the local county tax distribution section of the report form? Yes. The county tax distribution section is required to be completed by the dealer. This step is necessary to insure proper distribution of local taxes. Totals for each individual tax type must balance to the reported amounts on the front of the ST-3.
13. If my company distributes to more than ten (10) counties, how do I report local tax distributions? Your company will be required to specify the distribution for each applicable county on the county distribution sheets (covering all 159 Georgia counties) that are provided. Only the applicable pages pertaining to a company's distribution are required to be sent to the Department. Totals for each tax type must balance to the reported amounts on the front of the ST-3.
14. How does my company know what rate of tax applies in certain counties? The report form that is mailed to you--either monthly or quarterly--will contain an updated quarterly rate chart for all 159 Georgia counties.
15. How many pages will be required to be completed and submitted to the Department? Dealers reporting distributions to fewer than ten counties (ninety percent of all registered dealers) will be receiving a four-page book let containing the single-page report form, rate chart, instructions, and a worksheet. Only the report form is required to be completed and mailed to the Department. All other dealers will be required to submit additional pages to report their distributions of local taxes to greater than 10 counties or those reporting under a Master Account.
16. Where does my company obtain the county codes needed to fill out the distribution portion of the ST-3? Each booklet will contain a county rate chart listing the county name, county code, applicable county tax rate, and an index of the tax type(s) imposed in each county.
17. How can I get more information on the new ST-3 report form? Contact the DOR's Sales and Use Tax Division hotline at 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711) from 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday or contact one of our Regional Field Offices.