How Much Do We Collect? Sales Tax Liability for Nonprofit Sales

It’s no surprise to pay sales tax when buying goods at stores.  But what happens when a nonprofit organization sells goods, through a website, at periodic conferences, or as part of its program activities?  Must the nonprofit collect sales tax too on its sales of T-shirts, books, or other items made available to others, just like a store?  Aren’t nonprofits exempt from taxes?  If a nonprofit’s sales are not exempt, under which state sales tax law will it owe sales tax?

How Much Do We Owe? Multi-State Nonprofit Sales Tax Exemptions for Retail Purchases

Does your nonprofit organization purchase tangible goods at retail, like office supplies, furniture, or computers?  If so, it may qualify for exemption from state sales tax on such purchases, with substantial resulting savings. That’s great news!  Keep in mind though that sales tax exemption is state-specific.  Each state has its own exemption qualification requirements, application process, and renewal aspects. So if a nonprofit buys goods elsewhere, such as for out-of-state conferences or a new program office, it may need to apply for sales tax exemptions in other states. 

Unpacking Trump’s Religious Liberty Executive Order

On May 4, 2017, the National Day of Prayer, President Trump issued his much anticipated Executive Order titled “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.”  Initial reactions span a wide spectrum, with some calling it meaningless, some warning that it is toxic and will result in dreaded “dark money” for political campaigns, and still others leveraging it as a cry for entire repeal of the nonprofit political campaign ban (sometimes known as the Johnson Amendment) as unconstitutional.


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