Category Archives: Sales Tax

FOCUS ON NEBRASKA

Chimney Rock National Historic Site is a Landmark located in western Nebraska.

This month, we take a journey out west to Nebraska, where early settlers roamed the state. It used to be nicknamed the “Tree Planter’s State,” but was changed in 1945 to the “Cornhusker State.” Husking corn was done by hand by early settlers of course (before the invention of husking machinery). The University of Nebraska athletic team is called the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska is a Midwestern U.S. State encompassing the prairies of the Great Plains, the towering dunes of the Sandhills and the panhandle’s dramatic rock formations. Lincoln, the capital and a vibrant university town, is distinguished by its soaring state capitol. The city of Omaha is home to the Durham Museum, which honors the state’s pioneering past in a converted railroad depot.

Continue reading

More Amnesty on the Way!

What states are coming up with amnesty programs of their own?

Across the U.S., amnesty seems to be a popular topic these days. The Multistate Tax Commission’s (MTC) special amnesty program for marketplace retailers recently ended. And a few other states have recently announced their own amnesty programs so that they can benefit from potential increased compliance as well. Connecticut (CT), Ohio (OH) and Rhode Island (RI) are the latest states to roll out amnesty programs of their own. And we expect others to follow. The states administer amnesty programs because they want to induce companies to become compliant by waiving, or limiting penalties and interest for prior unpaid taxes.

 

Recent MTC amnesty program

Many states just took part in a special amnesty program. The MTC had negotiated this special program for online sellers using marketplace fulfillment services (such as Fulfillment by Amazon) that created nexus and thereby had sales tax and income tax obligations. Twenty five states participated, including CT and RI. To find out more about this amnesty program, click here.

This special amnesty program waived taxes in addition to interest and penalties. We’ve cautioned our clients not to expect amnesties to be that generous in the future. Most state amnesties allow taxpayers to waive penalties and some interest, but rarely the tax itself.

Continue reading

FOCUS ON MICHIGAN

Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula.

This month takes us to the Wolverine State of Michigan. The origins of this name are obscure, but may be derived from a busy trade in Wolverine furs during the 18th Century.

Its largest city, Detroit, is famed as the seat of the U.S. auto industry, which inspired Diego Riviera’s murals at the Detroit institute of Arts. Also in Detroit is Hitsville U.S.A., the original headquarters of the Motown Record Company. Michigan is home to many great musicians including The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Bob Seger, Kid Rock and Alice Cooper.

Continue reading

12 Important Details: Sales Tax & WA’s New Marketplace Facilitators

Don’t miss these details about Washington’s new Marketplace Fairness solution.

We recently shared an overview of Washington’s New Marketplace Fairness solution. While we’re skeptical it will help rather than hinder, it’s important you know additional details about marketplace facilitators and sellers.

Marketplace Facilitator Overview

  1. Starting in January 2018, marketplace facilitators will need to collect sales tax on behalf of marketplace sellers that have not established a physical presence, or nexus, within the state.
  2. Facilitators are responsible for collection of sales tax if they themselves have nexus in Washington State or $10,000 or more in retail sales within the state. This can include their own products as well as sales they make on behalf of a remote seller.
  3. What exactly do these facilitators need to do? As the Department of Revenue explains:
    • Collect and pay sales tax on sales to Washington consumers
    • Follow the use tax notice and reporting requirements [as explained].

Continue reading

What is WA’s Marketplace Fairness? New Online Sales Tax Solution

Piggy bank with flag coating over it isolated on white - state of Washington

Did you hear about WA’s Marketplace Fairness?

For years, Washington State has been one of the states passing online sales tax legislation. From statutes expanding nexus (making more businesses responsible for the state’s taxes and fees) to its five-point internet sales tax solution, the Evergreen State is quick to come up with more solutions to make the marketplace “fair.”

The latest attempt to level the playing field makes some fairly aggressive changes in the state’s sales tax collection policy for marketplace facilitators.

While the state says it will make the marketplace more fair to brick and mortar retailers, we’d actually argue it’s a compliance burden and onerous on the seller. Why? The “solution” designates three additional definitions businesses will need to examine in order to determine how they apply if the definitions do apply, the business needs to pay close attention to another piece of legislation that may change again in the future.

An Overview: Marketplace Fairness

Here’s an overview of the new marketplace fairness solution.

Beginning in the New Year, “Certain marketplace facilitators, remote sellers, and referrers have new obligations related to the collection of sales or use taxes or the providing of notifications.” Continue reading

FOCUS ON KENTUCKY

Kentucky is known for its horse races, particularly the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

This month we travel to the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. The nickname is based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to its fertile soil. The state’s largest city, Louisville, is home to the Kentucky Derby, the renowned horse race held at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May.

The Red River Gorge is a canyon system on the Red River in east-central Kentucky. Geologically, it is part of the Pottsville Escarpment, a resistant sandstone belt of cliffs and steep sided, narrow crested valleys. The prevalence of sandstone allowed the Red River to cut a magnificent gorge through the mountains. It is a rock climber’s paradise and is some of the best natural area around!

Kentucky is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world’s longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, the longest of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River.

Continue reading

Reminder to CA Manufacturers: Sales Tax Exemption!

Does your manufacturing equipment qualify for the CA partial exemption? Read this article to find out more.

Remember when the California Manufacturing Sales Tax Exemption first came into fruition, on July 1, 2014? It seems like so long ago. But maybe it’s a good time to remind companies about this useful partial exemption available to manufacturing companies.

What exactly is this exemption?

It allows certain manufacturers and biotech companies to exempt a portion of California sales and use tax on purchases of qualified equipment used in manufacturing and R&D (research and development).

This exemption went into effect July 1, 2014 and applies to any sale, purchase, and lease of qualified tangible personal property on or after this date.  The exemption was formerly set to sunset on July 1, 2022. However, the Governor of California recently signed Assembly Bill (A.B.) 398, which extends the exemption for manufacturing and research and development equipment to July 1, 2030. The bill has also expanded the exemption to include additional companies (see below).

Continue reading

Ongoing Amnesty Program: Act Soon!

An update on the new amnesty program.

Last month, we updated our readers on an ongoing amnesty program for state taxes that is currently taking effect. As this program could be helpful to sellers utilizing fulfillment marketplaces, we wanted to provide an update on this program so qualified companies can take advantage of the potential benefits of the amnesty.

 

 

What exactly is it?

Despite certain online sellers, like Amazon, volunteering to collect tax across the U.S., many online sellers are not collecting tax in states where they may have (intentionally or inadvertently) created nexus. Amnesty programs encourage companies to become compliant in a given state. This one is a grand-scale amnesty, covering many states.

The nexus committee of the Multistate Tax Commission (MTC) approved the MTC to participate in a multistate sales tax amnesty program for third-party sellers whose only nexus with a state is the use of fulfillment services offered by third-party marketplaces. The Multistate Voluntary Disclosure Program (MVDP) provides a way for a taxpayer with a potential tax liability in multiple states, to negotiate a settlement, using a uniform procedure.

Continue reading

How is Indiana Advocating for Online Sales Tax? With a Lawsuit

Indiana us state law, code, legal system and justice concept with a 3d rendering of a gavel on the Indiana state flag on background.

Have you heard the latest online sales tax news coming out of Indiana?

Every time we turn around, it seems there’s a new development in the online sales tax debate. As states continue to get involved and look for new ways to bolster their revenue, the issue continues to grow larger and more complex. Now Indiana is looking to the courts to settle the matter.

Indiana’s Online Sales Tax Lawsuit

On August 29, IndyStar reported that Indiana’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit asking Marion Superior Court (in Indianapolis) to find the state’s online sales tax law constitutional. ” The law, which went into effect July 1, requires out-of-state businesses to collect and remit the same sales taxes as Indiana-based businesses.”

This isn’t the first lawsuit Indiana’s online sales tax law, House Enrolled Act 1129, has been involved in. American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice argued the legislation was unconstitutional back in June. Continue reading

FOCUS ON MAINE

A lighthouse in Portland, Maine.

This month we travel all the way to the northeast corner of the country to the state with the rocky coastline and maritime history of Maine, the Pine Tree State.

Maine is the northeasternmost state in the contiguous United States. It is known for its jagged rocky coastline, low, rolling mountains, heavily forested interior, picturesque waterways, and its seafood cuisine, especially clams and lobster.

During the last ice age, the receding glacier left artifacts that we find interesting today- millennia later. Much of Maine’s geomorphology was created by extended glacial activity at the end of the last ice age. Prominent glacial features include Somes sound and Bubble Rock, both part of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island. Carved by glaciers, Somes sound is considered to be the only fjord on the eastern seaboard and reaches depths of 175 feet. The extreme depth and deep drop-off allow large ships to navigate almost the entire length of the sound. These features also have made it attractive for boat builders, such as the prestigious Hinkley Yachts.

Continue reading