BNA Sales & Use Tax Rates and Forms Customer Support
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the form heading include the term "SUB" when the original form provided by the jurisdiction does not? E.g. DC Form FR-800M SUB.
Some jurisdictions require "SUB" in their specifications to indicate that this is a substitute form, rather than a state issued original. It helps the taxing jurisdictions differentiate between state issued originals, Website versions, and substitute versions created by vendors.
How many state sales and use tax forms are in the SURF program?
There are approximately 1500 sales and use tax forms in the SURF program.
Are all the forms contained in the program approved by the respective states for filing?
Almost all the forms are approved by the state or locality for filing. If the form has not been approved, a message denoting this appears when the form is displayed on the screen.
Does the program contain excise tax forms?
Excise taxes are only covered to the extent that a municipality calls an excise tax a sales or use tax and charges a separate sales tax. Examples of excise taxes are taxes on cigarettes, alcohol stamps, and taxes on telephone carriers.
I'm not sure which one of several state application forms is the right one. Do I always have to go back and select the state and then the form each time I look at a different form?
You can highlight the forms you are interested in viewing and then select Cascade from the Windows menu to view them sequentially.
How many of the forms on the SURF disc are calculable forms?
Our goal is to make all forms that involve calculations calculable, so there will be additional calculable forms on future releases. New forms are sometimes included on the CD before they are made calculable in the interest of providing the form for the user's benefit.
Are all state and local sales and use tax forms included?
Every effort has been made to include all state and local sales and use tax forms. However, if some locality has been missed and you send us a copy of the form, we'll try to get it approved and added to the product.
Do the forms access the rates in the Rate Table to calculate the Sales and/or Use Tax?
The forms and the rates are independent of each other. The forms that calculate (listed in green) use the rates that are programmed into the form or a rate that the user supplies.
Is the program compatible with OS/2?
Is there an import/export feature in the program?
If you have purchased the Rate File Generator feature, you may export the rates into a comma delimited text file.
The program does not currently have an import feature.
Can I customize the rates database so I can quickly access the jurisdictions I'm concerned with?
Yes. When you are in the Sales and Use Tax Rate Lookup dialog box you can click on the Add to Favorites button to add the currently selected location to the "Favorites" database. You can then click on the Favorites button to access the custom database and quickly check the rates. You can use this feature to keep the rates for your company's tax exposure locations in a separate "Favorites" database for easy access.
Can I copy the SURF program to a hard disk?
Yes, you can copy the entire program to a hard disk for quicker access or for access through a network (network licensees only). It will take up about 65 megabytes of space on your hard drive.
Is the Program Compatible with Sun Solaris or other Unix Platforms?
How can I find out about new rates changes that are adopted between monthly updates of the SURF disc?
te changes that come to our attention after an update disc has been shipped will be posted to the Software Updates Page at this Web site. You can go to the page by clicking the Learn More button on the right side of this page under the header Software Updates.
How can I find out what has changed on the new update disc I get every month?
There is a "What's New" database in the program that describes which forms and rates have been added or updated. To access the database, click Help on the command line and choose What's New.
Can you see the rates while you're filling out the tax form?
Yes, both the rates and forms can be active at the same time.
In some states there are certain specialty sales taxes, e.g., grocery and alcohol, that are not mentioned in the program. Food stores deal with this mixed sales tax situation. Will this issue be addressed in a future version?
There are no current plans to address this issue. The program finds tax rates by locality, not by type of product.
Does the program cover industry-specific taxes such as those for utilities, hotels, farm equipment, or leasing?
No, the program does not currently cover these types of tax.
Sometimes charitable organizations get special rates. Are these situations listed in the program?
No, the program does not cover these situations.
What is the purpose of the Rates File Generator?
The Rates File Generator (RFG) creates a flat file, also referred to as a comma delimited ASCII file, for any state selected.
This file is basically a spreadsheet that includes all the sales and use tax rates, sorted by ZIP code, for the selected state or states. You can import the file into Microsoft® Excel, your accounting software, or your point of sale (POS) software.
For example, the accounting software includes the sales numbers, the RFG the tax rates. By merging the two, you can calculate the tax amounts on sales.
When looking up rates for different ZIP codes, we notice that some localities have no ZIP codes. Why is that?
In our program we try to include all of the cities for which you may wish to look up tax rates. You are able to view the tax rates for a particular city after you do a search based on a state name, county name, city name, or ZIP code. A search done based on a state name, county name, or city name may produce a listing that includes some cities without a ZIP code. The US Post Office gives a city its own ZIP code only if a US Post Office building exists in that city; in the case of a city having no US Post Office building, depending upon the size of that city the US Post Office may assign for use for that city the ZIP code of a nearby city. Thus, due to their size, there are a number of cities for which the US Post Office has neither given, nor assigned, ZIP codes.