FAQ – Uniform Sales and Use Tax Certificate Multijurisdictional
- To whom do I give this certificate?
- Can I register for multiple states simultaneously?
- I have received this certificate from my customer. What do I do with it?
- Am I the Buyer or the Seller?
- What is the purpose of this certificate?
- How do I fill out the certificate?
- What information goes on the line next to each state abbreviation?
- What if I don’t have an ID number for any (or some) state(s)?
- Who should use this certificate?
- Can I use this certificate?
- Which states accept the certificate?
- I am based in, buying from, or selling into Maine. Can I use this certificate?
- I am a drop shipper. Can I use this certificate?
- Do I have to fill this certificate out for every purchase?
- Can this certificate be used as a blanket certificate?
- Who determines whether this certificate will be accepted?
- I have been asked to accept this certificate. How do I know whether I should accept it?
- Is there a more recent version of this certificate?
- Whom should I talk to for more information?
If you are purchasing goods for resale, you will give this certificate to your vendor, so that your vendor will not charge you sales tax.
If you are selling goods for resale, and you have received this certificate from your buyer, you will keep the certificate on file.
A buyer must be registered as a retailer for sales/use tax in states where the buyer has sales/use tax nexus in a state. Registration in each state must be done separately with that state. See the state tax agency’s website. The Federal Tax Administrators (FTA) maintains a centralized list of links to state agency websites: https://taxadmin.memberclicks.net/state-tax-agencies. The Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, Inc. maintains a centralized registration system that can be used to register in states that are members. For more information, see www.streramlinedsalestax.org.
I have received this certificate from my customer. What do I do with it?
Once you have examined the certificate and you have accepted it, you will keep it on file as prescribed by applicable state laws. The relevant state will generally be the state where you are located, or the state where the sales transaction took place.
Am I the Buyer or the Seller?
If you are purchasing goods for resale, you are the Buyer. If you are selling goods to a buyer who is purchasing them for resale, you are the Seller.
What is the purpose of this certificate?
This certificate is to be used as supporting documentation that the Seller should not collect sales tax because the good or service sold to the Buyer, is exempt from the tax as a sale for resale or as an ingredient or component of a product manufactured by the Buyer and to be resold.
How do I fill out the certificate?
The individual filling out the certificate is referred to as the Buyer. The first two lines, “Issued to Seller” an “Address”, should be filled in with the name and address of the Seller. The rest of the information refers to
the Buyer (name and address of Buyer, business engaged in, description of business, property or services to be purchased). The line next to each state abbreviation should be filled out with the relevant state ID number.
What information goes on the line next to each state abbreviation?
The line next to each state abbreviation should be filled in with the relevant state ID number. This will be the sales/use tax registration or resale authorization number issued by the state (see next FAQ for an exception). For example, on the line next to AL, provide the sales/use tax registration number issued by Alabama. The relevant registration number may be given various names in the different states. Some of the terms for this number are State Registration or Seller’s Permit Number. Regardless of the name, this will be a number that has been issued by the state to the Buyer (see next FAQ for an exception). This number is generally associated with the reseller’s authority to collect and remit sales/use tax.
What if I don’t have a registration number for any (or some) state(s)?
The states vary in their rules regarding requirements for a reseller exemption or exclusion. Some states require that the reseller (Buyer) be registered to collect sales tax in the state where the reseller makes its purchase. Other states will accept the certificate if the registration number is provided for some other state (such as the resident state of the Buyer). You should check with the relevant state to determine whether you meet the requirements of that state.
Who should use this resale certificate?
A Buyer who is registered in one of the states listed on the resale certificate may be able to use this certificate to make purchases of tangible property or taxable services that are for resale tax-exempt. States vary in their policies for use of this certificate. Questions regarding your specific eligibility to use this certificate should be addressed to the revenue department of the relevant state.
Can I use this resale certificate?
The states vary in their rules for use of this resale certificate. You should check with the relevant state to determine whether you can use this resale certificate for purchases from sellers registered in that state. The footnotes to the certificate provide some guidance; however, the Multistate Tax Commission cannot guarantee that any state will accept this certificate. States may change their policies without informing the Multistate Tax Commission.
States listed on the certificate accepted this certificate. States may change their policies for acceptance of the certificate without notifying the Multistate Tax Commission. You may check with the relevant state to determine the current status of the state’s acceptance policy. See next FAQ.
I am based in, buying from, or selling into Maine. Can I use this certificate? Please contact Maine Revenue Services.
If you are the Buyer and your Seller ships directly to your customers, you may be able to use this certificate because you are a reseller. However, your Seller may be unwilling to accept this certificate if you are not
registered to collect sales tax in the state(s) where your customers are located.
If you are the Seller, and you have nexus with the state(s) into which you are shipping to your Buyer’s customers, you may be required by such state(s) to remit sales tax on those sales if your Buyer is not
registered to collect sales tax.
Do I have to fill this resale certificate out for every purchase?
In many cases, this certificate can be used as a blanket certificate, so that you will only need to fill it out once for each of your Sellers. Some states require periodic replacement with a renewed certificate (see notes on certificate).
Can this resale certificate be used as a blanket certificate?
In many states this certificate can be used as a blanket certificate. You should verify this with the applicable state. A blanket certificate is one that can be kept on file for multiple transactions between a specific Buyer and specific Seller.
Who determines whether this resale certificate will be accepted?
The Seller will determine whether it will accept the certificate from the Buyer. The applicable state will determine whether a certificate is acceptable for the purpose of demonstrating that sales tax was properly exempted. The applicable state will generally be the state where the Seller is located or has nexus or the state where the sales transaction took place, or where the Buyer is located. The Multistate Tax Commission does not determine whether this certificate will be accepted either by the Seller or the applicable state.
I have been asked to accept this resale certificate. How do I know whether I should accept it?
You should contact your state revenue department if you are not familiar with the policies regarding acceptance of resale certificates.
In order for the certificate to be accepted in good faith by the Seller, Seller must exercise care that the property or service being sold is of a type normally sold wholesale, resold, leased, rented or incorporated as an ingredient or component of a product manufactured by Buyer and then resold in the usual course of its business. A Seller failing to exercise care could be held liable for the sales tax due in some states.
Is there a more recent version of this certificate?
No. The most recent version is posted on our website (revised as of October 14, 2022). You may have seen a version that has been modified in an unauthorized manner. You should not use any version other than the one available on our website.
Whom should I talk to for more information?
For information regarding whether the certificate will be accepted in the applicable state, you should contact the revenue department of that state. The Multistate Tax Commission’s Member States page has links to revenue department websites.
Back to the Uniform Sales & Use Tax Resale Certificate page.