This month we travel to the “Show Me” state of Missouri. The people of Missouri have earned their motto as the “Show Me” state for their very practical skepticism of the fads that sweep other parts of the country. This attitude manifests itself in the state government’s approach to business encouragement and regulation. So, let’s look at the state and see how their approach could help your business.
The state is the 21st most extensive by area and is geographically diverse. North of the Missouri River, the state is primarily composed of rolling hills of the Great Plains and south of the Missouri River, the state is dominated by forests. The Mississippi River forms the Eastern Border of the State, eventually flowing into the swampy Missouri Bootheel.
Have you been following our series that chronicles how state tax legislation applies to various technology industry niches? So far we’ve covered medical device companies and software companies; today the topic is Software as a Service (or SaaS) companies.What multi-state tax issues do they face when it comes to nexus, sales and use tax, state tax legislation and more? Keep reading to find out.
An Overview of SaaS Companies
SaaS is defined as, “A way of delivering applications over the Internet – as a service. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you simply access it via the Internet, freeing yourself from complex software and hardware management.” Continue reading →
How do cloud-based services fit into the online sales tax debate?
We’ve written about online sales tax multiple times before, but it’s a complicated topic without a simple solution. And that’s why we keep coming back to it! In the past we’ve discussed how states are attempting to extend the definition of nexus to broaden their online tax reach, or potential legislation coming through Congress. But one area we haven’t really taken a look at is the question of cloud-based services. How do they fit into the online sales tax debate?
About Cloud-Based Services
More and more, consumers are opting for digital versions of software, music, DVDs and games over physical copies. They purchase the rights to use these goods online and stream them directly from the “cloud” to their computer, tablet or smartphone without ever holding a tangible item that can be taxed in the traditional manner.
Consumers aren’t the only ones relying on the cloud. Businesses are continuing to move their company’s storage to the ominous “cloud,” hiring third-party cloud-based organizations rather than needing to rely on their own data-management. Many companies are therefore entering the software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) models. Continue reading →
One of the hottest areas in the sales tax arena right now is the taxability of cloud-computing, cloud-based services, etc., collectively often referred to as Software-as-a-Service (or “SaaS”). The very moniker alone is enough to start the state tax conversation down an interesting path.
When we work with clients to determine how something should be taxed, we start with a few basic premises and then work from there.
Premise #1: The taxpayer must have taxable presence (or “nexus”) with a state before the state can require the company to collect and remit sales/use taxes. Nexus is created in a variety of ways, but it still refers to a physical presence, including such things as having employees in the state, third party contractors acting on the company’s behalf in the state, owning property (such as inventory) in the state, and owning or leasing office space in the state.
Premise #2: Once nexus is established, in general, the sale of tangible personal property by a retailer to a customer in a given state is generally taxable. We start there, and then review the transaction to see if there are any exemptions that would cause the sale of the property to not be taxable. Exemptions may fall under categories such as the nature of the product being sold (food, certain medical products, etc.), the purchaser of the property (the U.S. Government), and the use of the product (in manufacturing or for resale), to name a few. Continue reading →