The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has recently determined that electronically downloaded software licensed by a Utah corporation to Texas customers constituted physical presence in Texas sufficient to establish sales and use tax nexus. According to the decision, nexus was established because the software was characterized as tangible personal property and the Utah corporation retained all property rights in the software, which was physically present and generating revenue in Texas. The Comptroller upheld an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) determination that the corporation had an obligation to charge and collect use tax from customers, and denied refund claims of sales tax paid and an interest waiver. [201409970H; SOAH Docket No. 304-13-5657.26; CPA Hearing No. 106,632, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (9/19/2014)]
With the availability of high speed Internet access, smart phones, and tablets, it is not surprising that the global retail industry is experiencing a fundamental shift in how individual consumers research, select, and eventually purchase products. Individuals are shopping through a variety of different channels, some physical, some virtual, making for an easier and more streamlined shopping experience. E-commerce has quickly become a key channel for retailers to reach their customers. This embrace of digital technology and social media is creating a new landscape for retailers as they ensure that their policies and practices support these changes. These shifting business models are creating unique consumption tax issues for global retailers selling within and into the United States.
On May 23, 2013, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed H.F 677, which makes significant changes to Minnesota’s sales and use tax, including taxing digital goods, adding click-through nexus provisions, authorizing multiple points of use exemption certificates, and requiring remote sellers to collect and pay sales and use tax consistent with federal legislation.
On July 5, 2013, Missouri enacted S.B. 23 which provides affiliate and click-through nexus standards for sales and use tax purposes.
Out-of-state vendors selling taxable products or services to Missouri customers should review whether activities of in-state affiliates or third parties create a sales and use tax registration and filing obligation with the state. This is relevant also for ecommerce vendors.
Effective January 1, 2014, West Virginia expands the definition of a “retailer engaging in business in this state” for sales and use tax purposes to include affiliates which operate a website or Internet business within the state. Specifically, “any retailer that is related to, or part of a unitary business with, a person, entity or business that . . . is a subsidiary of the retailer, or is related to, or unitary with, the retailer as a related entity, a related member or part of a unitary business” that meets one of the following criteria will be required to collect and remit taxes in West Virginia: Find out more
As reported, the US Senate on May 6 passed, by a vote of 69-27, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, which provides that full member states of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement and non-member states that meet certain minimum simplification requirements may require remote sales tax collection. The Senate also passed a perfecting amendment by a vote of 70-24.
S. 743 is identical to the original version of the bill, S. 336, introduced on February 2. The legislation grants remote seller collection authority to states that are full members of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA). States that are not SSUTA Find out more
On April 16, 2013, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a new bill – S.B. 83, which generally creates a presumption that out-of-state retailers are doing business in the state for sales and use tax purposes based on the activities of other persons, applicable starting July 1, 2013.
The bill also adopts “click-through” nexus, applicable to sales made 90 days after the bill is published in the Kansas Register. Out-of-state retailers should be aware that, following the enactment of S.B. 83, the activities of an unrelated entity or person could potentially create sales and use tax nexus in Kansas.