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Georgia House Goes a Step Further to Collect Sales Taxes

Georgia House to Require “Marketplace Facilitators” like Uber, Airbnb, and Ebay to Collect Sales Taxes

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2018 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., a number of states have quickly moved to require out-of-state Internet-based sellers to collect and remit sales taxes on in-state purchases. For example, a new law took effect in Georgia on January 1, 2019, mandating retailers collect that state’s 4 percent sales tax for all online sales.

Now, Georgia legislators may go a step further and compel “marketplace facilitators” like eBay, Uber, and Airbnb to collect state sales tax on transactions completed by their users.

House Bill 276

On March 4, the Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 276 by a vote of 158-6. HB 276 proposes to expand the definition of what businesses qualify as “dealers” required to collect and remit sales tax. Specifically, the bill states anyone who “[a]cts as a marketplace facilitator to facilitate retail sales” in excess of $100,000 per year is now a dealer.

A “marketplace facilitator,” in turn, is any business that provides services designed to “facilitate a retail sale that is taxable” under Georgia law.

This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • providing any physical or electronic infrastructure to to bring “purchasers and marketplace sellers together”;
  • transmitting or communicating any offers (or acceptance of offers) between purchasers and sellers;
  • processing and collecting payments from purchasers on behalf of sellers;
  • taking orders or reservations on behalf of sellers; or
  • providing advertising, marketing, or other promotional services.

To put this in practical terms, HB 276 would likely apply to the following situations:

  • A resident of Macon, Georgia, purchases a computer on eBay from an out-of-state seller. HB 276 requires eBay to collect and remit the Georgia sales tax on this purchase.
  • A group of friends in downtown Atlanta arrange for a ride via the Uber app. HB 276 requires Uber to collect and remit the sales tax on this sale.
  • Out-of-state tourists arrange to stay in a private home in Augusta by making a reservation using Airbnb. Now Airbnb must then make sure to collect and remit the sales tax.

In other words, this Bill shifts the burden of dealing with sales taxes away from the individual sellers; many of whom may be too small to register with Georgia authorities; and places it on the companies that “facilitate” transactions with the purchasers.

GA Stands to Receive Millions from Online Sites

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April 01 date

April 2019 Sales & Use Tax Rate Changes

Must Be Spring Fever – Many Sales Tax Changes effective April 1st.

 

ALASKA

The State of Alaska does not levy a sales tax; however, several municipal governments do.  Here are the local changes effective April 1st.

  • Seldovia on Kenai Peninsula
  • Sitka in Sitka County
  • Dyea in Skagway Hoonah Angoon County
  • Skagway in Skagway Hoonah Angoon County
  • Whittier in Valdez Cordova

ALABAMA

  • Evergreen in Conecuh County
  • Florence in Lauderdale County

ARKANSAS

April 1st rate changes in the cities of:

  • Gentry
  • Hector
  • Redfield
  • Wabbaseka
  • Prairie Grove
  • Scranton
  • Waldenburg
  • Wilmot

April 1st rate changes in the counties of:

  • Saline County
  • Sharp County
  • Fulton County
  • Grant County

CALIFORNIA Read more

March 2019 Sales Tax Rate Changes

Just two sales tax rate changes for March 2019.

West Jefferson, Alabama Has a new local rate of 4.0% which bring the new total rate to 10.0%

Mesa, Arizona in Maricopa County has a new total rate of 8.3%.


Sales and Use Tax Rates by StateWhether you need a quick sales tax calculation with our Online Lookup (with free desktop and mobile apps), or something more extensive; we have an affordable solution for you.  See our Service Comparison Chart here.  Then give me a call, chat, or email and let me simplify your sales tax!


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Do Employer Sponsored Cafeterias Have to Collect Sales Tax?

Missouri Supreme Court Says Operator of Federal Reserve Cafeteria Must Collect Sales Tax

Most states apply some form of sales tax to the purchases of meals and drinks. But what if a business or public employer maintains an employee cafeteria? Does the cafeteria operator need to charge sales tax on the meals and drinks sold to the employees?

The Missouri Supreme Court recently confronted these questions in a case, Myron Green Corporation v. Director of Revenue, that also involved the interaction of federal and state law. The plaintiff in this case, Myron Green Corporation, is a private company that provides food services to clients in Kansas City and several other Midwestern cities. One of Myron Green’s customers was the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

FRB of Kansas City contracted for employee cafeteria.

cafeteriaThe Bank contracted Myron Green to run its in-house cafeteria which is restricted to Bank employees due to security needs. But, if cleared to enter the Bank, visitors could also purchase food and drink at the cafeteria.

Under Myron Green’s contract, Bank employees could pay for their purchases using their identification badges. The Bank would then deduct the purchase amounts from the employee’s next paycheck. Employees and visitors could also pay for purchases in cash, although roughly 80 percent of all sales were paid for using payroll deduction.

Actually, the bank paid Myron Green a lump-sum every two weeks using its own credit card. The Bank then reimbursed itself from the amounts deducted from individual employees. The Bank further subsidized the overall cost of food such that the employees and other customers paid below-market prices at the cafeteria.

Under federal law, Federal Reserve banks are exempt from paying all state and local taxes (aside from property taxes). Myron Green believed this federal exemption meant it did not have to collect Missouri sales tax on any products sold in its cafeteria at the Kansas City bank.

Sales are to employees, not the bank itself, thus taxable.

The Missouri Department of Revenue determined that all the cafeteria’s cash and payroll-deduction sales were made to individual employees, not the bank itself, and the exemption only applied to the latter. After an administrative hearing commissioner upheld the Department’s determination, Myron Green sought judicial review directly with the Missouri Supreme Court.

Missouri Supreme Court Upholds Determination

In a unanimous decision published on January 15, 2019, the Court agreed with the Department of Revenue and the commissioner’s reading of the law.

First, the Court noted that Missouri law imposes a sales tax any place where “meals or drinks are regularly served to the public.” The Court said there was a difference between a company-owned cafeteria and one maintained by an outside contractor like Myron Green. In a 2003 decision, the Supreme Court said a Missouri company that operated its own employee cafeteria did not need to collect sales tax because the firm’s “main business was not operating company cafeterias.” In contrast, Myron Green’s main business was “operating on-site cafeterias for corporate clients.” And the fact that access to the Federal Reserve building itself was restricted did not matter, as Myron Green’s cafeteria sold food or drink to anyone who had cash, i.e. it “regularly served” the public.

Second, the Court also rejected Myron Green’s argument that the Federal Reserve’s institutional sales tax exemption extended to individual employees. The Bank did not purchase food or drink directly from Myron Green. Rather, Myron Green purchased its own food at wholesale and offered it for resale to individual employees. Even though most Bank employees paid for purchases using their employee IDs, this “merely provided an avenue through which bank employees could pay.”


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Desktop Widget Version 2.2.1 is Here

Our Best Desktop Widget Version Ever!

widget iconSome of our subscribers live and breathe through the Zip2Tax Desktop Widget.  I know I do!  When it went down last Fall, the Zip2Tax Development Team decided to update it with all the improvements subscribers have asked for over the years.     

It took a bit longer than we thought.  

But it was worth the wait!

 

On December 1, 2018 we introduced our new and improved Desktop Widget version 2.2.0 to our subscribers.  Then, we tweaked it even more and put version 2.2.1 out there for download.


So What’s New?

Spot-On™ subscribers will be pleased to know that the new version now accommodates your precise queries! You don’t have to switch tabs either.  If all you know is the ZIP code, go ahead and type just that in your tab.  Complete as much or as little information you have available.

widget Tabs


The Calculator is now an option button so if you just use the rate details, the calculation box will be out of sight until you need it.

widget Calculate Tab


Here is my favorite part – The Print Screen!  Now you can print easily and with a date – perfect for your audit files.

 

widget rate print


Awesome improvements so far, right?  But wait, there’s more!

 


If you subscribe to the Use Tax add-on, you now find a Use Tax column in the Details.  Not only for your specific lookup, but if you have another Community sharing that ZIP code, click on that and ….. wow!

widget Columns

 


You’ll never use your browser again.

Once you download and start using this app, you will never do queries using your browser again.

The Zip2Tax Desktop Widget is free to all Online Lookup Subscribers.  It downloads and installs in seconds.  For easy to follow step-by-step instructions, go to our Desktop Widget page.  When you are done, make sure before you log in you see the Version 2.2.1.

Once you start the widget, just minimize it to your task bar for easy and fast retrieval at your fingertips.d

widget taskbar


Please let us know how it works for you!  I think you’ll agree; it is a great tool for sales and use tax queries.


Join Us for Updates and Information


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Zip2Tax, LLC, 1740H Dell Range Blvd #449, Cheyenne, WY, 82009, http://www.zip2tax.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

 

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