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Missouri Use Tax – Are You at Risk?

By David Belpedio on January 8, 2013 in Articles, David Belpedio

David Belpedio works with mid-market companies nationwide to help minimize the amount of State and Local Taxes they pay. Learn more about MarksNelson's State and Local Tax Professionals. The State of Missouri imposes a use tax on Missouri businesses and individuals for the privilege of storing, using, or consuming tangible personal property in Missouri. While Missouri has imposed the use tax since the late 1950s, many purchasers are not aware of their responsibilities to report transactions and remit the appropriate tax.

If an out-of-state seller does not collect Missouri sales or use tax on a sale to a Missouri purchaser, the purchaser has a responsibility to file a Missouri Consumer’s Use Tax Return and remit any tax due directly to the Missouri Department of Revenue.  The amount of use tax due to Missouri is reduced by any sales or use tax paid to another state on the items purchased.

If you have purchased any tangible personal property for use in your business from out-of-state and no sales or use tax was paid on the purchase, you may be liable for Missouri use tax.  Common examples of purchases on which use tax may be due include:

  • Purchases from Internet sellers or catalogs
  • Purchases from out-of-state suppliers that were shipped directly to you from outside Missouri
  • Items you purchased from outside Missouri that you brought into the state
  • Goods imported from other countries
    (Items you have purchased for resale are not subject to use tax.)

Missouri law provides an exception from paying Consumer’s Use Tax if your total untaxed purchases are less than $2,000 during the calendar year; however, you must still file a return, indicating zero tax due.  Once your cumulative annual purchases on which tax has not been paid equals or exceeds $2,000, Consumer’s Use Tax must be paid with the Consumer’s Use Tax return.

The Missouri Department of Revenue has implemented new tools to help identify businesses and individuals that are not complying with Missouri’s use tax laws.  In addition, businesses selected for audit will have a three year look back period, instead of five years, if they have been filing returns.

This can be complicated and confusing, so if you believe you may have a Missouri use tax filing responsibility for 2012, please let us know.  We can help you determine whether your purchases qualify for any exemptions (such as manufacturing machinery and equipment) and assist you with preparation of the return.   Annual use tax returns are due April 15, 2013.

Most states do have a Consumer’s Use Tax filing requirement, so please contact your tax advisor if you have questions about other states.

Please contact your MarksNelson professional or Sandy Kelly at 816.743.7700 or if you have any questions.

About the Author

David BelpedioView all posts by David Belpedio
David Belpedio – Leader of MarksNelson’s State and local tax group. He specializes in providing State and local tax consulting and compliance services.


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