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Generally speaking, all businesses with annual gross receipts of at least $100,000 are required to file annual use tax returns with the SBE. Once the business has sales of $100,000 in one year, is it required to file the use tax return every year thereafter until the business is dissolved.
The question whether you used a resale certificate when you purchased your inventory. If you haven't then the state most likely believes that you purchased the good for self you and if purchased out of state then the company is liable for use tax. Therefore:
1. If the shop that is selling the inventory is collecting sales tax generally you would not have to pay the use tax but the burden of proof is on you that this is in-fact the merchandize that you purchased in the past and that the transaction between you and the shop selling the gear now was done with the resale certificate of the store
2. As noted you should nto have to pay the use tax however in general to reduce the value of the good you can apply the standard depreciation scale that the IRS may have for such goods in addition to using the final sales price as the ultimate value.
3. A new business license will not cancel the existing obligations of the 'current' business
4. realistically you need to straighten the filings that were made (or should have been made) in connection with the goods when they were initially purchased for resale. You may need to file an amended use tax returns or submit an appeal to the board. This is fairly advanced so you should retain an accountant or a tax attorney. I realize that this will cost however the existing liability will not go away. In fact you will not be able to dissolve the company if there is an existing tax liability.
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