Subject Matter Experts

Dillon Tax Consulting provides tax advisory and compliance services and solutions to companies across all industries, ranging in revenue size from several hundred thousand dollars to multi-billion dollars. We are your subject matter experts regarding the following State & Local Tax matters:

  • Sales & Use Tax
  • Transaction Tax
  • Admissions/Meals Tax
  • Business License Tax
  • Gross Receipts Tax
  • Use & Occupancy Tax
  • Income/Franchise Tax
  • Capital Stock Tax
  • Personal Property Tax

Blog: Dillon Tax Consulting

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State Efforts to Define “Cloud Computing” Spell Opportunity for Taxpayers

11/27/2013

A recent Massachusetts letter ruling refines its definition of cloud computing, a rapidly evolving computer medium that includes, among other things, the Internet provision of Software As a Service (SAaS), Infrastructure As a Service (IAaS), and Platforms As a Service (PAaS). SAaS - the most common form of cloud computing – involves the provision of access to software applications hosted on the server of the application service provider.

Many states have yet to provide sales tax guidance regarding the taxability of these services. In years past, states defined the sale of application software in a box off the shelf as a sale ...

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AMAZON AFFILIATE NEXUS

10/16/2013

I was recently approached regarding a nexus question by a company that was physically located in one state. The company was considering entering into a contractual arrangement with a third-party marketing company located in numerous states. The marketing company proposed to market and promote the company through links on the marketing company’s website. I had to advise the company that this arrangement opened the company to potential sales tax compliance in a number of states that have enacted Amazon affiliate nexus standards. By way of background, April 2008 legislation enacted in New York presented a new approach for getting ...

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SALES TAX

10/16/2013

When I am referred in to a new client, the client and I go through a set of diagnostic questions designed to help us evaluate the company’s taxable presence, current sales tax compliance, and historical sales tax exposure. Often times, as I begin asking the CFO, Controller or tax personnel these questions, I get a blank stare, which tells me that they were unaware that the company has sales tax compliance responsibilities in multiple states.

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SALES TAX AUDITS

10/16/2013

It’s no secret that states are running the most significant budget shortfalls in the Post-WWII era. As a remedy, they can either raise tax rates, increase the base, add more taxes, or heighten enforcement. Clearly the most pragmatic thing, and least politically problematic thing to do is heighten enforcement. And the best way to do this is through sales tax audits, which represent the most-overlooked area of corporate tax compliance, and the largest source of audit revenue for states.

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STATE TAX AMNESTIES PROVIDE A LIMITED TIME OFFER

10/16/2013

These programs are typically only open for 8 to 10 weeks (LA, Louisiana and Connecticut’s essentially end in November 2013, and Vermont’s ends by May 1, 2014). These programs typically provide waiver of all penalties and some interest, and a taxpayer must qualify for the program. Qualification typically means that you cannot be under audit, legal proceedings, or have been contacted by the state for the taxes for which you seek amnesty.

For taxpayers sitting on exposure, and those unaware of their exposure (i.e., they have not reviewed their compliance processes and “don’t know what they ...

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MASSACHUSETTS SALES TAX ON COMPUTER SERVICES

10/16/2013

In case you missed the recently effective sales tax in Massachusetts on certain computer services, its over. Effective September 30, 2013, recent legislation, St. 2013, c. 95, retroactively repeals recently effected imposition of the Massachusetts sales and use tax to certain services relating to computer system design and to modification, integration, enhancement, installation, or configuration of standardized or prewritten software. Those changes were effective July 31, 2013 and have now been repealed retroactively to that date. Vendors that have collected and remitted the sales tax can go to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue website (http://www.mass.gov/dor) for ...

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Recent Blog Articles

Recent Blog Articles

Sales Tax Update – March 2024

Sales Tax Update – March 2024

3/21/2024 12:00:00 AM EDT
3 months ago

Maryland Seeks to Broadly Expand Sales Tax to More Services

 

On March 11, 20224, Delegate David Moon (D) introduced H.B. 1515 to the House Ways and Means Committee of the Maryland General Assembly, through which he proposed to broadly expand the sales tax base to cover many services, while reducing the sales tax rate from 6% to 5%.  Delegate Moon proposed that expanding the sales and use tax to include services could result in a total revenue increase of approximately $1.4 billion in fiscal 2025 and $4.2 billion in fiscal 2029. This would significantly offset any rate reduction, resulting is significant increases to the State’s General Fund, according to Delegate Moon.

 

Sales Tax Update – December 2023

Sales Tax Update – December 2023

12/12/2023 12:00:00 AM EST
7 months ago

Online commerce provides the ideal environment for wholesale transactions and drop-shipments.  You can literally have no employees or inventory – just a website and you are in business.  BUT – if you are the wholesaler, every sale you make is considered a retail transaction by taxing authorities, and is subject to applicable sales tax, unless and until you can prove that it is exempt from sales tax (that is, present a valid resale exemption certificate).  This means that the wholesaler is subject to sales tax nexus rules, and is responsible to either (1) collect and remit sales tax, OR (2) collect, verify and maintain applicable resale exemption certificates.

Sales Tax: Strategic Thinking as Your Business Plans for 2024

Sales Tax: Strategic Thinking as Your Business Plans for 2024

11/21/2023 12:00:00 AM EST
7 months ago

As 2023 comes to an end, lets recap a few important sales tax changes and offer insight into what taxpayers can expect for 2024:

 

·      Economic Nexus Transaction Counts – Initially, more than half of the states adopting economic nexus thresholds included a transaction count element as part of the threshold, meaning that a remote seller would be deemed to have sales tax nexus with a state if sales exceeded either the revenue threshold or the transaction count threshold.  Not only are the transaction counts arbitrary and more burdensome to track for remote sellers, but they have an outsized impact on small businesses and sellers with high volume / low price point sales per transaction.  For example, a business with an average sale of $20 can exceed a state’s 200 transaction threshold with only $4,000 in sales. This point has been made and observed by The General Accounting Office’s November 2022 “Report to Congressional Requesters, Remote Sales Tax, Federal Legislation Could Resolve Some Uncertainties and Improve Overall System”.  As of August 2023, Louisiana became the latest in a growing number of states that have dropped the transaction count from their sales tax economic nexus threshold.  South Dakota dropped its transaction count effective July 2023, in addition to 8 other states that had previously adopted a transaction count as part of their nexus threshold (CA, CO, IA, ME, MA, ND, WA, WI).  You can learn more about both measures in the linked Economic Nexus chart on our website.  The Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) Governing Board, and its State and Local Advisory Council also seek to remove the transaction count component from SST states, as a best practice

2022 – the Year of the Sales Tax Audit

2022 – the Year of the Sales Tax Audit

12/8/2021 12:00:00 AM EST
2 years ago

2022 is expected to bring heightened enforcement and increased sales tax audit activity for remote sellers.  Charles Maniace, a vice president at the tax software firm Sovos, states that “States are now truly ready to [start] being fairly aggressive in their enforcement against existing online sellers.”  [Forbes, Sales Taxes in 2022 – Issues to Watch for Online Retailers, by Liz Farmer (November 30, 2021)]

2021 Sales Tax Highlights and Advice for 2022

2021 Sales Tax Highlights and Advice for 2022

11/12/2021 12:00:00 AM EST
2 years ago

As 2021 comes to an end, lets recap a few important sales tax changes and offer insight into what taxpayers can expect for 2022:

  • Economic Nexus – As of July 2021, two states, Florida and Kansas, have sales tax economic nexus. While both measures impose a safe harbor threshold of $100,000 in annual sales, below which remote sellers do not have to register to collect sales tax, the measures have distinct measurement criteria for determining whether a remote seller has sales tax nexus.  You can learn more about both measures in the linked Economic Nexus chart on our website.

State Economic Nexus Standards

State Economic Nexus Standards

7/4/2021 12:00:00 AM EDT
3 years ago

State Economic Nexus Standards - UPDATED AS OF 8/1/23

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, states may now require remote sellers with no physical presence in a state to collect sales tax on sales of taxable products and services delivered to customers in that state.  This ruling does not simply affect online retailers, but all sellers of taxable goods and services who make sales into state in which they lack physical presence.  Attached as an informational reference tool is a listing of the states that have adopted some form of economic nexus standard.  

 

State Marketplace Facilitator Compliance Standards - UPDATED AS OF 8/1/23

Since Washington State first adopted a requirement that marketplace providers must collect and remit sales tax directly to the Department for all sales made on their marketplace, all states have chosen to impose sales tax compliance obligations on marketplace providers or facilitators. Attached as an informational reference tool is a listing of the states that have adopted some form of a marketplace facilitator nexud and compliance standard.  Though the deifnition of a marketplace facilitator must be determined on a state by state basis (and is beyond the scope of this article), typically a marketplace facilitator is a business that provides a forum or platform on which third party sellers can advertise and sell their products, and on which the marketplace also provides billing and collection (directly or indirectly), or sets prices, or provides inventory storage and/or fulfillment services, among other things. The more recent trend among states, including California, is to adopt a broader definition of “marketplace facilitator”, including any business that lists a marketplace seller’s items for sale on their platforms.

 

State Notice & Reporting Requirements

A number of states have also adopted Notice & Reporting Requirements, which compel remote sellers, typically whose annual sales exceed a certain threshold - often as low as $10,000 - to elect to either (1) to collect and remit sales tax on sales to customers in the state, despite lacking a physical presence, or (2) to notify customers on their website and on each invoice of the customer’s use tax reporting obligation, and to provide annual information to each customer and to the Department of Revenue regarding all sales customers in the state.  Failure to do so results in penalties that typically are larger than the remote sellers sales in that state.  For your consideration, attached as an informational tool is a listing of the states that have adopted notice and reporting requirements.

 

WHAT YOU MUST KNOW

As such, it is incumbent on every remote seller to proactively engage someone - externally or internally - to closely monitor these and every state regarding implementation and enforcement of these provisions.  Furthermore, every remote seller should implement processes to proactively monitor its sales activity - by revenue and transaction amount - both historically and prospectively, to ensure that they are meeting their obligations in each state and mitigating any historical exposure.  Lastly, to the extent that a remote seller has or had physical presence nexus in a state (eg., by virtue of inventory in a third party fulfillment center), that seller should engage an expert to discuss the options to register and/or negotiate resolution of historical liabilities. 

Maryland imposes sales and use tax on the sale of software and digital products

Maryland imposes sales and use tax on the sale of software and digital products

3/9/2021 12:00:00 AM EST
3 years ago

Maryland will begin imposing sales tax on the sale of digital products, starting March 14, 2021.  This is an abrupt change in tax policy for a state that has historically steered away from imposing sales tax on electronically delivered and remotely accessible software, digital products, and cloud-based data and information services.  These changes may be found primarily in Maryland Tax Code Sections 11-101(h) and 11-101(n).

The Comptroller’s office has published guidance on HB 932 21st Century Fairness Act which imposes sales and use tax on the sale of digital products.  The guidance can be found here:

 

City of Chicago Economic Nexus “Safe Harbor”, effective July 1, 2021

City of Chicago Economic Nexus “Safe Harbor”, effective July 1, 2021

1/26/2021 12:00:00 AM EST
3 years ago

As we have previously reported, since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, 585 U.S. __ (June 21, 2018), forty-four (44) states (all except Florida and Missouri) have adopted economic nexus provisions for sales tax compliance purposes.  Even the Alaskan local jurisdictions have gotten in on the action, adopting an intergovernmental agreement to establish a Commission that will provide governance over a streamlined, single-level administration of sales tax collection and remittance.