How to Get a Handle on State Reporting

Delaney McDonald | October 28, 2020

Expanding into new states can be great for your business’ growth, but it comes with added intricacy. Because each state has the authority to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of alcohol within its borders, state reporting can get complicated for alcohol producers and retailers. 

Just how complicated can it get?

When states determine what information and forms are required for filing, there is no template or standard. Some states are straightforward and only require you to submit filings annually, while others can require multiple filings as frequently as monthly. 

These filings can include a sales and use tax return, excise tax return, and shipper return. Keeping track of these filings for one state every month can be overwhelming—let alone for several. Within some state’s returns, they may require DOB of customers to be reported, the carrier that “fulfilled” the order, or even the tracking numbers associated with orders to be reported. Then when you add the step of reviewing which orders money has been collected for, or which orders ship on a monthly basis—things can get complicated quickly with each state shipped to.

So, how do you manage multiple state reporting?

When trying to manage state filing—whether it’s to 5 states or 45—there are varying approaches you can take:

No matter what approach you choose to manage state reporting, make sure you maintain transparency and control over your compliance process. State reporting doesn’t have to be overly complicated and stressful, but if mismanaged it can lead to some serious consequences—like audits, penalties and fines.