How to verify state-issued sales certificate/tax ID?
January 25, 2008 2:18 PM   Subscribe

How do you verify a state seller's permit/resale certificate and/or tax ID for US businesses?

I know you can verify some state issued certificates online (like CA, TX and MN) to make sure that declared resale certificates and/or Tax IDs are legitimate, but is there a site or place where you can do this for any/every US state?

Having a hard time navigating Michigan's gov website in particular.
posted by boygirlparty to Law & Government (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In my experience, I've only ever found the individual states' websites.

As long as the resale certificates you receive from your customers are completely filled out (and they're not just sending you a copy of their tax license), you should be in the clear. Although the burden is on the seller to keep and maintain resale or exemption certificates, the buyer also has a burden to make sure the information they provide is valid. This is why they have to sign and "certify" that the information provided is correct.

These are the guidelines I use when dealing with resale certificates:
* Only use or accept the resale or exemption certificates provided by each state (usually available as a PDF on their website). This will ensure that you have all the information required by individual states. Do not take multijurisdiction certificates because they often lack information.
* Don't alter the certificates after the buyer has signed them. This keeps the burden on the buyer to provide all the information needed.
* Make sure all certificates you receive are completely filled out - every field, every checkbox. I find that people often leave off the description of their business or the items to be purchased. In the "items purchased" field, your customer can always state "per purchase order" to cover all their purchases.
* Obtain new certificates from clients every three to four years.
posted by youngergirl44 at 12:23 PM on January 26, 2008

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