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TIA: Tennessee Inventors Association in Knoxville Tenn and Oak Ridge TN
Oak Ridge and Knoxville, TN  

October 2009 Meeting with Cathy Russell of the TN Dept of Revenue

Meeting Date: 
October 17, 2009

Tenn Inventors Assoc meeting with TN Dept of RevenueJoe Martin conducted the monthly meeting held on October 17, 2009. The meeting was well attended with several visitors present. Our speaker was Cathy Russell, Regional Supervisor of Tennessee’s Department of Revenue.

Cathy provided those attending with a package of information regarding registering businesses in Tennessee and paying sales taxes. The package included the following relevant Tennessee State Websites:

TN Department of Revenue
Law – OR
Pay Tax Online
TN Secretary of State
TN Secretary of State Rules

Cathy took some time to go over Tennessee’s Application for Registration of your business. It was pointed out that you do not need a tax identification number if your gross sales DO NOT exceed $4,800, your taxable services DO NOT exceed $1,200 AND all of your suppliers collect TN sales taxes.

When you become registered, Cathy told us that you receive a certificate. One should post the certificate along side the business license. Cathy told us that the purchases between businesses in the chain that leads to a sale to the end user are NOT TAXED. Once registered, the business should get a certificate of resale so that purchases of raw materials, sales to wholesalers, etc are not taxed.

Cathy shared several tips for small businesses. She encouraged everyone to take a shot at running a business and not to let the fear of taxes create an impassable barrier to success. The team of tax experts at the department of revenue are happy to help the business owner understand taxation including reporting and paying appropriate taxes.

The information package contained valuable tips for small businesses, among those tips were the following:
1) Check with each governing agency for registration requirements including the federal (IRS), state, county, and city governments
2) Keep all records – incoming invoices, outgoing receipts, and expense invoices
3) Notify each agency requiring registration of ANY changes in the business such as address, name, and the closing of the business
4) Use the contact information provided by each agency for help with questions and problems
5) Keep track of your filing period and watch for your returns to come in – call is there is a delay in receipt of the returns

A final word of advice was to watch for home improvement contractors who charge sales tax. There should be no sales tax on installation of carpet, windows, etc. The contractor pays the taxes on the materials and should not charge the customer sales tax on the installation service.

As required by our Constitution and By Laws, the TIA Board met after the regular meeting and discussed the upcoming elections. After determining who was term-limited and who was leaving, we nominated new officers and a replacement board member.