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Sales Tax Exemption Forms

We are doing business with a 501 C 3 group and when I asked them for their tax exempt paperwork they only provided me with a W-9 with the note about their status. Shouldn't they also have another form they can provide as appropriate backup when asked? I am not sure what specifically to ask for.


Leslie D'Alessandro
Title: Shareholder
Company: Wiltshire Whitley Richardson & English, ..
(Shareholder, Wiltshire Whitley Richardson & English, PA) |

I believe it will vary by state, but Florida issues a 13 digit sales tax exemption certificate for qualifying entities. The website at myflorida.dor also has a place where a vendor can enter the number and verify its authenticity. Hope this helps!

Artise Hardy
Title: Vice President
(Vice President, ) |

I'm in California and non-profits I have worked with have provided a a letter from the IRS that contains their Tax ID number and states that they have met the qualification for a tax-exempt status. Note: the status may be revoked if the organization does not meet some reporting criteria in the future. Ask them if they have submitted their tax exempt status application. You may also want to ask them who their accountant is and if he/she has helped them to prepare the application.

Topic Expert
Keith Perry
Title: Director of Global Accounting
Company: Agrinos, Inc.
(Director of Global Accounting, Agrinos, Inc.) |

I've got a small 501c that falls below the State filing we don't have anything except our fed filing info. This isn't atypical. Assuming the W-9 has their EIN, you have done your diligence.

Michael Jameson
Title: VP Finance
Company: Undisclosed
(VP Finance, Undisclosed) |

Yes, their W-9 is a legal document which they be jailed for forging. So folks don't do that lightly. However, to be certain, you can request a copy of their state or federal tax status documents. If they don't have those, then they are not tax-exempt, period. You can only be tax exempt if the proper taxing authority has declared you as such and they should be able to prove that via documents.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

If a company provides their W-9 or other, if applicable form, you are under no additional burden to verify its veracity as long as you believe it to be genuine.

Why make work for yourself, you are not paid by the government to collect their taxes.

Now I have received documentation I have rejected and given them my reasons. Strangely enough, no protestations on the submitting party.

Helen Dow
Title: Controller
Company: Goodwill Industries of Central Virginia
(Controller, Goodwill Industries of Central Virginia) |

You don't mention what state you are from. They are all a little different from each other. Some may accept federal docs, but with that disclaimer in, I don't know of any that do this for their state sales tax. W-9 is federal and its purpose is with federal withholding. Sales tax is state and needs a state document. Your responsibity is to collect sales tax when you sell. Ever been through an audit? If you can not provide the state authorized document on audit, you will be paying the tax whether collected or not. What I have found is that I cannot know every intracacy of the law but I can expect every org to be able to produce a state doc that I am familiar with or a copy of the state regs that says they don't need it. Collect the tax until you are comfortable. You can always refund sales tax if they provide documentation later ( in effect at time of sale). Helendowatgmail [dot] com

Joan Cox
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: HEAD START of Greater Dallas
(Chief Financial Officer, HEAD START of Greater Dallas) |

Each state is different so it is best to be safe and find out what is required by your state. Texas does not issue a sales tax exemption # but uses a form that the purchaser can provide to the vendor. It does not require a TIN but vendors often ask for the TIN # as well.

Dan Stern
Title: CFO
Company: Destiny Church
(CFO, Destiny Church) |

As the CFO for a non-profit in Missouri, I provide a copy of our state tax exempt letter and do not get asked any questions.


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