If you're selling goods or services in Pennsylvania, you probably need a sales tax license. Pennsylvania also applies a sales and use tax on digital goods, so even if you're only selling online, you likely need a Pennsylvania sales and use tax license, sometimes also called a seller's permit.
A sales tax license enables your business to collect and remit sales tax. Once you have it, you can begin selling goods and services in the state.
Pennsylvania sales tax license applicability
In its document Pennsylvania Tax Obligations for Out-of-State Vendors (Rev-778), the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue states: “Any entity making taxable sales or performing taxable services in Pennsylvania must be licensed to collect and remit sales tax." That definition encompasses full-time wholesalers and retailers as well as those who sell goods on a nonpermanent basis, such as at craft fairs and holiday festivals.
How to apply for a Pennsylvania sales tax license
You can apply online using PA Enterprise Registration Form (PA-100) and supplying information about your business such as its name, address, date of incorporation, and employer identification number (EIN). There is no application fee. You must renew your sales tax license every five years.
You can go through the process of getting set up for Pennsylvania sale taxes yourself, but for added assurance that you have all of the paperwork filled out correctly, you may want to seek out the services of an attorney or online legal services company.
Reinstating a revoked sales tax license
If you or your business have outstanding tax debts of any kind, including personal and corporate, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue could revoke your sales tax license, but you can get it back if you follow the proper steps. This process includes filing any overdue tax returns and paying any amounts owed, although a payment plan with the Department may be possible.
Reactivating an expired retail sales tax license
If your sales tax license has expired, you may be able to reactivate it by once again completing form PA-100, although you must do so by sending a hardcopy version to the Department of Revenue; you cannot complete the form online.
Be careful to check all of the appropriate boxes concerning the reactivation of your license and to also update any information about your business that may have changed from your original license.
Failure to comply with Pennsylvania sales tax license requirements
Potential penalties for noncompliance with Pennsylvania sales tax license requirements can be quite severe and even include imprisonment of up to 30 days. Generally, fines range between $300 and $1,500 for each offense.
For more information on how to get set up to collect and remit sales taxes in Pennsylvania, check out the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue's publication, Retailer's Information (REV-717), which goes into all of the above information in much more detail.