Submitting the ST-9 Online (or: Virginia Sales Tax, Redux)

I got a nice note in my PO box last month from Virginia Department of Taxation… which politely said ‘Use Our Online Forms or PERISH!’

Well, okay, not perish… more like ‘Oh look, the internet exists! Let’s use that instead!’

But since I’ve been wanting to file online (and save myself the stamp), now’s as good ever to make the switch.

Choosing a Method for the Madness

There are three ways to file online: eForms, iFile, and Web Upload.

eForms are pretty straightforward. You fill out an online version of the form and while it will offer to remember some key items– there’s no requirement to register.

I can’t use iFile because it requires a FEIN to register and I have no employees (and thus no Federal Employer Identification Number). I’ve actually been grumpy about this for a while, so it’s nice to finally see online alternatives.

Web Upload looks interesting since not only do you get to send in the data without having to cut and paste everything, but it also gives you a history of your uploads. Right now I don’t really need the history, since everything has been ‘zero tax owed,’ but someday I’ll make some profit and I may as well get in the habit…


Web Upload Rundown

It was actually a LOT easier to get the XLS formatting set up than I expected. I created a new File Layout using the File Layouts link to the left and it not only gave me the default formatting for the ST-9, it also gave me a premade ST-9 template with example data already filled in.

The collumn headers on the template match the lines on the ST-9, so there’s no confusion as to which amount goes where. I was a little worried that they’d be a bit more obtuse about things, but it seems they’ve really kept the endusers in mind. *is inordinately pleased*

So all in all it took me about ten minutes to register, get the template filled out, and upload it. Next month the ST-9 will take me only a few minutes to fill out and upload.

Great job, oh Virginia Taxation programmers! 😀