At Planning Center, we are dedicated to making your church administration work more efficient and effortless. We look for complex things and try to make them as simple as possible. Today, this complexity revolves around one inevitable part of life - taxes.
Navigating the Tax Maze
Although the bulk of our US-based customers are non-profit organizations, exempt at the federal level, state tax laws vary in complexity and scope.
Many states have recently changed their tax code to specifically include or specifically exclude "Software as a Service" (SAAS) products like Planning Center. Some states automatically exempt religious non-profits. Some states have no exemptions at all. Some states let customers (you) provide vendors (us) with Tax Exemption Certificates furnished by the state tax agency. Many states have a thresholds where tax must be collected only at a certain volume of sales in the state. Believe it or not, Planning Center's tax "nexus" is also impacted by where our employees live! It's complicated.
We've worked closely with two companies to make sure we're doing this right. On the advisement side, Avalara helps define our tax obligations in each state. From the technical side we've implemented Stripe Tax is integrated into our billing system to streamline the collection and remittance of sales tax.
Sales Tax and You
We aim to make this introduction of sales tax as unobtrusive as possible. Depending on your state, the changes may range from non-existent to small increases on your invoice.
If you're in a state that doesn't charge sales tax, you'll see no change. If you're in a state that doesn't allow for SaaS or non-profit exemptions, you'll see that familiar sales tax line item at the bottom of your monthly invoice. If your state permits Tax Exemption Certificates, then you received an email from us almost 2 months ago letting you know to get that in place.
Staying Compliant, Moving Forward
This new system is somewhat complex on our end but, if we did our job right, should be simple to manage on your side. In the long run it ensures that Planning Center stays compliant in all the states we operate in and is well situated for the changes in tax law that will inevitably come.
If you have any questions about sales tax, please reach out to our support staff. While we can't provide advice or navigate tax law, we can guide you through how we manage sales tax within our system.