FAQs for Sellers
What is the Alaska Remote Seller Sales Tax Commission?
Are businesses filing taxes with the State of Alaska?
No. The State of Alaska does not have a sales tax.
Is this part of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board?
Where can I find the sales tax rules?
The Uniform Code sets the rules for tax collection on remote sales. As jurisdictions join the ARSSTC and adopt the Uniform Code, the rules apply to that community.
The remote sales tax rules do not apply to sales and services that Alaskan businesses send out of the state.
When does this take effect?
The Commission passed the Uniform Code in January 2020. As jurisdictions join the ARSSTC, the rules go into effect the beginning of the month following 30 days after adoption.
Jurisdiction adopted Uniform Code on May 2
30 days following adoption is June 1
Beginning of next month is July 1
Business begins tax collection on July 1
There is no retroactive application or collection of sales tax.
The United States Supreme Court decision in S. Dakota v Wayfair, Inc focused on state-level taxes. Alaska does not have a state sales tax. How can the court decision be applied to local jurisdictions?
The United States Supreme Court ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair on June 21, 2018, that states may require sellers to collect and remit sales or use tax on sales delivered to locations within their state regardless of physical presence if economic nexus exists with the state. The Commerce Clause regulates commerce between the states, it is not subdivided among local jurisdictions within a states. In S. Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., 138 S. Ct. 2080 (2018), the Supreme Court identified a statewide threshold test as a safe harbor for meeting the Commerce Clause’s substantial nexus retirement. The Supreme Court in Wayfair held that “Here, the nexus is clearly sufficient based on both the economic and virtual contacts respondents have with the State. The [South Dakota] Act applies only to sellers that deliver more than $100,000 of goods or services into South Dakota or engage in 200 or more separate transactions for the delivery of goods and services into the State on an annual basis.” S. Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., 138 S. Ct. 2080, 2099 (2018). Accordingly, the economic nexus safe harbor established in Wayfair is a state-wide test. The Commerce Clause regulates commerce between the states. Once nexus is established with a state, the inquiry is over and a seller may not refuse to collect sales tax on the basis of lack of nexus.
Is business information and sales tax filing confidential?
All returns, reports, and information required to be filed with the Commission shall be kept confidential and
shall be subject to inspection only by:
- Employees or agents of the Commission and taxing jurisdiction whose job responsibilities are directly related to such returns, reports and information
- Person supplying such returns, reports and information
- Persons authorized in writing by the person supplying such returns, reports and information
- Subpoena, order of a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction and where otherwise required to do so by law
Publicly available information includes:
- Name and address of sellers
- Whether a business is registered to collect taxes under the uniform Alaska Remote Sellers Sale Tax Code
- Name and address of sellers that are 60 days or more delinquent in filing and/or remitting sales tax
- Statistical information related to sales tax collection without any identifiable information for a specific
seller or marketplace facilitator
Who must register with the Commission and use the portal to file sales tax for Alaskan municipalities?
Any remote seller who met the criteria/threshold in the previous calendar year and conducts sales in a jurisdiction that has adopted the uniform Alaska Remote Seller Sales Tax Code. The threshold is $100,000 statewide annual gross sales or 200 individual annual transactions. Sellers may only use the portal for filing taxes for jurisdictions that have adopted the code. Sales in jurisdictions that have not yet adopted the code need to continue to be filed directly with the jurisdiction using their own sales tax forms.
Does a business use only taxable transactions to determine if they meet the economic threshold?
Does a business that meets the economic threshold but only delivers into non-taxing communities need to register?
Does a business that meets the economic threshold but only delivers non-taxable products into taxing communities need to register?
What if a seller has physical presence in a jurisdiction but sell remotely to other places in Alaska?
Remote Seller and Point of Delivery
What is a remote seller?
A seller or marketplace facilitator making sales of goods or services delivered within the State of Alaska, without having a physical presence in a taxing jurisdiction or conducting business between taxing jurisdictions, when sales are made by internet, mail order, phone or other remote means. A marketplace facilitator shall be considered the remote seller for each sale facilitated through its marketplace.
Where is the Point of Delivery?
Point of Delivery means the location at which property is received or service is rendered. Goods are received when the purchaser takes possession of the property. Transfer of goods to a common carrier or certified shipper does not constitute receipt by the buyer – the Point of Delivery occurs when the shipping company transfers the goods to the buyer in the taxing jurisdiction. The remote seller must collect and remit the sales tax for the final destination as known to the seller regardless of delivery to a common carrier or certified shipper.
For residents who live outside a taxing jurisdiction but use a post office box located in the taxing jurisdiction, the point of delivery will be determined by where the product or service was delivered:
- If goods are sent via USPS or other private carrier to the post office box, tax would be assessed.
- If the goods are shipped via a private carrier and delivered to the residence outside the taxing jurisdiction, sales tax would not be assessed.
- Electronic services are considered “delivered” to the billing address – if that is the post office box, tax would be assessed.
- Please see Code Interpretation 2020-05 Sourcing for Goods for examples of different delivery scenarios.
What creates physical presence?
What if a seller has physical presence in a jurisdiction but sell remotely to other places in Alaska?
Is there a fee to register?
Does a business need to register with each taxing jurisdiction for which they sell products or services?
One registration with the Commission will cover all licensing requirements with jurisdictions that have adopted the Code. If a seller has transactions in a jurisdiction that has not yet adopted the Code, the seller will need to register directly with that jurisdiction. As jurisdictions adopt the code and register with the Commission, sellers do not need to adjust any account settings and will have permissions updated to file with new jurisdiction. Once registered, sellers will get notices of new Code adoptees.
Does the Commission mail the business registration?
How does a seller close its business?
How often do sellers file?
Can a business switch to quarterly or annual filing?
Contact a Program Administrator to change filing schedule.
Quarterly filing is available for businesses who have:
- less than $10,000 taxable sales across the state in the preceding 12 months, OR
- fewer than 12 individual transactions across the state in the preceding 12 months.
Annual filing is available for businesses who:
- do not meet the economic threshold but voluntarily collect sales tax;
- have less than $2,000 in taxable sales across the state in the preceding 12 months.
Does a business file even if they have no sales tax to report?
Does a business use different sales tax forms depending on taxing jurisdiction?
Can a seller file sales tax for a community that is not part of the ARSSTC?
How does a seller file their returns?
See ARSSTC How to Files Sales Tax Returns document
- Download the most recent filing template.
- Populate all jurisdictions lines in template.
- Enter 0 for communities where there were no sales
- Click on the appropriate tax filing link in Business Center.
- Upload filing template.
- Review tax form and calculations. The system will calculate applicable tax for each jurisdiction, late filing penalties and fees, and timely filing compensation.
- Submit tax form.
- Remit payment.
- Print receipt
How does a seller remit payment?
We accept payment via ACH debit/e-check, credit card, or ACH Credit.
- ACH Debit/e-check payments require the Commission’s Debit Block ID/Originator ID: 9000099340. A seller paying with Echeck or ACH Debit will need to enter their bank account information for each remittance. Payment information is not stored in the system.
- Credit card payments are assessed a three percent (3%) processing fee.
- ACH Credit payments are initiated by the seller outside of the filing portal and require ARSSTC’s bank information.
When is the filing deadline?
What happens if a seller files after the deadline?
An incomplete return or failure to remit all the tax due will be considered late or delinquent. There are multiple charges for late filing:
- Late filing fee of $25 per month delinquent up to a maximum of $100. This fee is assessed regardless of amount of tax due.
- Penalty of 5-20% of the tax principal (5% the first month late, and an additional 5% per month of delinquency until the maximum 20% is reached).
- Interest of 15% per annum of delinquent tax principal.
- A buyer, remote seller, or marketplace facilitator who knowingly or negligently submits false or concealed information in a document filed with the Commission is subject to a penalty of $500.
What about companies that file taxes on behalf of one or more other companies?
There are instructions specifically for bulk filers at the Commission’s Business Center/Quick Links. These bulk filers must register each individual company with the system and can use the provided XML Schema to register these companies all at once. Once registered, bulk filers can use the XML Schema for filing.
How does a business view and print sales tax forms?
The system will generate the jurisdiction-specific tax forms. A seller can access the forms through their Business Center. See How to File Sales Tax/Business Center Overview.
What happens if a payment does not process correctly?
Can a seller amend a previous tax filing?
What happens if a business overpays or has a smaller tax burden due to amended filings?
How does a seller know to exempt tax from a transaction?
For entity-based exemptions, all sales are considered taxable unless the buyer provides proof of tax-exempt status. Tax exempt entities that are in a taxing jurisdiction should have access to a tax-exempt certificate provided by their jurisdiction.
The buyer must present their proof of exemption to the seller to qualify for sales tax exemption. It is the buyer’s responsibility to maintain a current tax exemption certificate. It is the seller’s responsibility to request the certificate for every tax-exempt transaction or hold the certificate on file. The seller is required to maintain documentation of every tax-exempt sale and to provide documentation to the ARSSTC upon request.