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  #81  
Old 08-08-2018, 10:38 AM
Throttlesteer Throttlesteer is offline
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For the record, State and Federal tax revenues are at all time highs. Government can sing a sad song about losing revenue to internet transactions. The bottom line is, they have more money than ever.
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  #82  
Old 08-09-2018, 09:01 AM
BobC BobC is offline
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For the record, State and Federal tax revenues are at all time highs. Government can sing a sad song about losing revenue to internet transactions. The bottom line is, they have more money than ever.
Yes, but the cost of everything those taxes pay for is also likely at all time highs as well. I don't like paying taxes anymore than anyone else does, it is just a fact as well that most things cost more today than they did 10, 15 , 20+ years ago, and so on.
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  #83  
Old 08-09-2018, 10:13 AM
steve B steve B is offline
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Thought this might be of interest to some of you regarding a follow-up to the recent Supreme Court case involving Wayfair in South Dakota. Here's a link to a recent article in accountingToday that talks about the possible ramifications of the ruling and potential reactions from other states going forward.

https://www.accountingtoday.com/news...les-of-wayfair

The interesting thing here to note is that under this Remote Seller's Law, originally enacted by South Dakota and effective back on May 1, 2016, is that their threshold and definition of a large online retailer/seller is anyone with more than $100,000 in sales to South Dakota residents/businesses in a current or prior year OR 200 or more transactions with residents/businesses in a current or prior year. Hitting $100K in sales may be a little tough for smaller sellers but, having over 200 transactions may not be so tough, especially for anyone selling a lot of smaller value cards. This puts outfits like PWCC and Probstein right in their cross hairs as 200 transactions a year only amounts to about 16-17 sales a month, which is really not that many and will likely impact quite a few sellers on Ebay.

Also, this recent Supreme Court ruling is not the final action. The case actually went back to South Dakota courts then for final resolution, so the actual law has not yet officially been put into full effect yet and still has to get over some additional constitutional hurdles. Here's another article talking about the history of this and where it now stands. Still, this should start being enforced sooner than later I would think as the South Dakota courts had already aligned with the state on the legality of this. Thankfully it sounded like South Dakota was only going to enforce this going forward, and not put any added burden on businesses by trying to make the law retroactive as trying to go back and collect sales tax after the fact is virtually impossible in my opinion.

https://www.salestaxinstitute.com/re...constitutional

Another interesting question is what exactly counts as a "transaction" towards the 200 per year threshold. If someone buys from a catalog or off a website from a seller like say Kit Young or Wayne Varner, i would think the total number of things they purchased at the same time would be bundled and sold altogether as one transaction. However, if such a seller also sells items on Ebay, which I'm pretty sure both of these guys I mentioned do, I'm not sure if each individual listing being sold on Ebay would be considered as a separate transaction or not, even if someone purchased several items all at once and then bundled and paid for them through checkout in one payment. I'm guessing that is something the South Dakota sales tax department will have yet to determine and opine on.

Also, sellers have to remember that if they sell through catalogs, websites, Ebay, or via other means, the $100K and 200 transaction thresholds are for total sales and activity through all those venues added together, not just Ebay sales and transactions. Ebay sales and transactions are probably the most visible and easiest for the states to go look at though, which is another reason Ebay is very unhappy about this because they are so big and visible to the states. Sellers trying to get around this may just reduce their activity on Ebay, or get off it entirely, so South Dakota doesn't come looking for them. Ebay knows this will likely have some negative impact for them going forward, just how much, no one knows yet. Also, it will possibly put Ebay in the middle if the South Dakota sales tax department comes asking them for information on sales into their state, or detail on seller's activity such as sales amounts or the number of transactions with SD residents/businesses. They won't have much of a choice and will likely have to comply with any such requests, so this will probably cost them additional time and effort as well.

This could become real interesting, and not necessarily in a good way!!!
What I wonder is how they expect sellers on the edge of either of those thresholds to handle the collection of taxes. Are they required on sales After the threshold has been crossed? Or on all sales, so sort of retroactively.
What happens if I collect tax, and end up at say 199 transactions and under 100K? Do I refund the tax collected (which would be proper, as it wasn't required) Or do I still pay it (Which is also proper as I've collected it on their behalf, so it's owed to them)

And, if I have a competitor who hasn't met the threshold and hasn't been collecting tax because they know they won't pass that level. Can I then stick it to them by having a friend make a bunch of purchases right near the end of the year putting them over and possibly being on the hook for the taxes they'd now owe.

What a mess.
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  #84  
Old 08-09-2018, 02:09 PM
BobC BobC is offline
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What I wonder is how they expect sellers on the edge of either of those thresholds to handle the collection of taxes. Are they required on sales After the threshold has been crossed? Or on all sales, so sort of retroactively.
What happens if I collect tax, and end up at say 199 transactions and under 100K? Do I refund the tax collected (which would be proper, as it wasn't required) Or do I still pay it (Which is also proper as I've collected it on their behalf, so it's owed to them)

And, if I have a competitor who hasn't met the threshold and hasn't been collecting tax because they know they won't pass that level. Can I then stick it to them by having a friend make a bunch of purchases right near the end of the year putting them over and possibly being on the hook for the taxes they'd now owe.

What a mess.
Those are great questions, and things that need to be addressed by South Dakota ultimately. You're right in that it is sometimes impossible to predict exactly when you would hit these thresholds and thus become responsible for collecting and remitting the sales tax. I would suggest to anyone that felt they were going to hit these thresholds that they just start charging the sales tax and filing with SD. The thresholds are only for when it becomes mandatory under the state law, it doesn't mean that a person or company that hasn't reached the volume of sales or transactions to hit the threshold yet can't still go ahead and start to charge and collect the sales tax before they reach that point.

Also, in cases where a person/company reaches the threshold during some year, I would just start the process of collecting and remitting the sales tax at that point, and going forward. Don't forget that before doing so, the person/company would also have to register with the state of South Dakota first to let them know they are now liable for collecting and remitting sales tax. Not 100% sure what that process is in South Dakota, but you normally have to register in whatever state(s) you're in and get some kind of license or ID #, and then start filing sales tax returns and remitting the sales tax collected going forward. The states know it isn't easy to go back and try to collect sales tax from prior customers, so I doubt they'll end up forcing any person/business to do so.

As for the idea of having a friend start buying from a competitor to push them over the threshold to have to start collecting sales tax in a particular state, how would you know how close to the thresholds someone is? You could have a friend end up spending a lot of time, effort and money, for nothing. Also, just because someone hits one of these thresholds doesn't mean they'll pay attention to it. And as of right now, no one knows to what extent South Dakota, or any other state for that matter, will go to check up on companies to enforce these laws. These states don't have the resources to go after every single person/business out there to enforce rules like this. They'll immediately go after the low hanging fruit and get the big companies, like Wayfair, Amazon and Overstock to comply, if they aren't already. As to how much time and effort they then put in to go after the smaller businesses.....that is a whole other question no one can likely answer as of right now. Since these vendors are by definition outside of the state they'll be collecting sales tax for, its not like some state auditor is going to pull up at their doorstep and ask to check their records. That's where I wonder if the states will try to get third party information from someone like Ebay to start determining who to go talk to.
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  #85  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:31 PM
Fastball Fastball is offline
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IMO a simple solution would be to begin the taxation at sales above the $100K threshold, that way once it is reached then retailer can begin collecting taxes.
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  #86  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:21 PM
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Buythatcard Buythatcard is offline
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A simpler solution would be not to have any taxes.
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  #87  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:54 PM
BobC BobC is offline
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A simpler solution would be not to have any taxes.
Amen brother!!!!!
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  #88  
Old 08-09-2018, 06:07 PM
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insidethewrapper insidethewrapper is offline
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I can't believe states just don't charge per year for a "sales tax license". In Michigan, the license is free ! Just paperwork for Michigan Sales at the present time. It would be simple to just charge all businesses , for example: $ 100 a year for the license, and high volume stores etc. would need to fill out additional forms.
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  #89  
Old 08-10-2018, 09:54 AM
BobC BobC is offline
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I can't believe states just don't charge per year for a "sales tax license". In Michigan, the license is free ! Just paperwork for Michigan Sales at the present time. It would be simple to just charge all businesses , for example: $ 100 a year for the license, and high volume stores etc. would need to fill out additional forms.
That sounds great in theory, but wouldn't be realistic in practice. Think about it, if all you had to do was obtain and pay an annual fee of say $100 for having a sales tax license (which is more often called a vendor's license in many states) and that was it, the states would be out so much money it wouldn't be funny. At a 7% sales tax rate a business would only have to have $1,428.57 of taxable sales in an entire year to fully cover the $100 annual license fee you suggested. So under your plan the state loses out on sales tax for any sales over that amount, which would be astronomical. The states couldn't afford to lose that much revenue. So if you decided then to raise the annual fee to generate more revenue, it would end up being a large amount per business. And if you made it a flat fee so everyone seller paid the same, many smaller retailers wouldn't be able to afford it and would argue they're being discriminated against and kept out of starting new businesses or being put out of business because of the ridiculous cost for a license. So if you then try to tie the fee to some measure of the volume of business being done, that is kind of what they are doing now by charging the sales tax, right? So you sort of end up in the same place with additional record keeping and tax filings and payments, just in a different way.

You did mention in your suggestion that larger, high volume stores would have to do additional paperwork, but what exactly does that mean? As I noted above, are you saying that over a certain amount of taxable sales they'd have to start paying in more money towards their sales tax license? If so, how are you going to figure that out and who decides what the threshold is for such additional payments, and on and on? And what you are suggesting is already in practice. For example, in Ohio there is a state sales tax in force that requires seller's to apply for a one-time vendor's license at a cast of just $25. After that they are required to file and remit any sales tax they collect, even if they have $0 to report, until they formally cancel their license with the state. In addition, back in 2005 Ohio enacted something called the Commercial Activity Tax, which sounds a little like what you may be proposing. It requires all businesses that sell to anyone in Ohio to record and report their qualifying Ohio based sales and pay in what is termed a Commercial Activity Tax for sales over certain amounts. Annual Ohio based sales from $0 - $150K per year you, don't have to file or pay anything. Annual Ohio based sales of $150K - $1MM a year, you register and pay $150 with a once a year report you then file. Once your annual Ohio based sales go over $1MM though, you then have to pay in $0.0026 per dollar of sales in excess of $1MM. And this is in addition to Ohio sales tax which can be as high as 8% in some counties. When they enacted this Commercial Activity Tax back in 2005 they did away with a state franchise taxes on businesses and business property taxes on assets and inventory owned by businesses. It was an offset of one new type for for two previous types of taxes.

This type of activity tax as Ohio calls it doesn't get charged directly to the buyers, but you can be sure that prices charged to them got increased to cover the additional Commercial Activity Tax cost increase to the sellers. Oh, and unlike sales taxes which often don't get charged for things like food, the Commercial Activity tax in Ohio does cover food sales as well, so those prices go up for everyone as well. There are so many nuances to these taxes, and what is deemed fair and equitable to everyone, it is not easy to simply replace what we already do with something simple.
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  #90  
Old 08-11-2018, 12:34 PM
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You would still have to pay the sales tax + the $100 ( example) fee, not instead of the fee.
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