Understanding Direct Pay Permits and Their Tax Benefits

January 31, 2023
Azam Saghir

Direct pay permits, which allow taxpayers to pay sales tax directly to the state rather than sellers, are becoming more common. Many businesses see direct pay as an essential element to the management of their state and local tax obligations, however there are still many questions. How do direct pay permits work and how are they best utilized?

Key Points:

1. Direct pay allows qualified buyers to pay taxes directly to the state comptroller rather than to the seller

2. Offering direct pay for customers can generate significant long-term tax savings

3. Holders of direct payment permits may issue blanket exemption certificates in lieu of paying taxes when purchasing, leasing or renting taxable items

On the latest “Weaver Beyond the Numbers,” host Tyler Kern talked to Weaver’s Mayur Naik, Partner, State and Local Tax Services and Shane Stewart, Partner-in-Charge, State and Local Tax Services to explored how direct pay can simplify sales taxes.

“It’s a mechanism that’s offered by a lot of the states that allows a taxpayer or purchaser to pay the tax directly to the state instead of paying to their vendor,” said Naik.

Naik added that once a system is in place, direct pay can generate significant tax savings, and a well-designed process can provide granular reporting about the tax status of each item purchased.

Stewart further explained there’s not enough knowledge surrounding direct pay and his goal has also been raising awareness. “Many businesses are not aware these programs exist. We’re just trying to get the word out, so taxpayers know that this is not burdensome. It’s not administratively challenging to maintain compliance in this space and there are professionals on our team who specialize in helping clients manage and fully utilize their direct pay permits,” said Stewart.

With Weaver’s experience in dealing with complicated state and local tax issues along with a deep understanding of the direct pay permitting and compliance process, the team is equipped to make sure your business is minimizing its tax liability.

Subscribe and listen to future episodes of Weaver: Beyond the Numbers on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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