Leveling the Playing Field for Illinois Retail Act

Illinois Will Require Online Marketplaces to Collect Sales Taxes for Out-of-State Sellers Starting in 2020

Illinois was quick to jump on the post-Wayfair bandwagon in requiring out-of-state businesses to start collecting sales taxes on purchases made by in-state customers. Now the state has gone a step further. On June 28, 2019, Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 690, which impose new collection requirements on online marketplaces starting on July 1, 2020. SB 690 also directs Illinois officials to implement new automated systems to assist businesses in complying with the law.

Thresholds Set for Remote Retailers

SB 690, officially named the “Leveling the Playing Field for Illinois Retail Act” by the state legislature, says that a “remote retailer” must collect sales tax if its “gross receipts from the sales of tangible personal property to purchasers in Illinois are $100,000 or more,” or the retailer makes more than 200 separate sales transactions to Illinois buyers during the tax year. In this context, a remote retailer includes a business that facilitates transactions between a buyer and a third-party seller.

 

For example, if a small business in Oregon sells goods to Illinois customers through Etsy, then Etsy is considered the remote retailer and must take responsibility for collecting and remitting any applicable sales tax. As far as Illinois law is concerned, Etsy is the actual retailer as opposed to the third-party seller.

And while Etsy is obviously one of the larger online marketplaces, any platform whose total sales exceed the $100,000-or-200-transactions threshold meets the definition of remote retailer. This includes first-party sales made by the platform itself in addition to all third-party transactions.

 

The platform is also responsible for determining whether it meets the threshold. This determination must be made on the last day of the month for March, June, September, and December. If at each of these times the remote retailer made enough sales to meet or exceed the threshold during the preceding 12-month period, it must subsequently collect and remit sales taxes to Illinois for the following 12-month period.

The marketplace must also certify to its individual third-party sellers that it has assumed all responsibility for complying with Illinois sales tax rules.

For their part, third-party sellers must keep records of any sales they make to Illinois customers through an online marketplace starting no later than July 2020.  But to reiterate, the third-party seller is not liable for collecting taxes on marketplace sales, and such sales will not count towards the third-party seller’s individual threshold under SB 690. So if our hypothetical Oregon retailer makes all of her Illinois sales through Etsy, as opposed to filling orders directly, she is not responsible for collecting or remitting any tax on her own.

 

New Regulations for Service Providers, Automated Systems, Coming by the End of the Year

SB 690 directs the Illinois Department of Revenue to “establish standards for the certification of certified service providers and certified automated systems” to assist out-of-state businesses in complying with their sales tax collection obligations.

 

A certified service provider (CSP) is a business authorized by the Department to “perform the remote retailer’s use and occupation tax functions,” while a certified automated system (CAS) is any software used by the State to perform sales tax calculations. The Department must adopt CSP and CAS regulations no later than December 31, 2019, and have the systems up-and-running by July 1, 2020.

 

Remote Sellers – Did you enjoy your summer?

While you may have been enjoying the dog days of summer, you may not have noticed that some states implemented new Remote Seller rules.

 

Effective July 1st, rules were established for:

Arkansas

New Mexico

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Virginia

Connecticut revised their thresholds effective July 1st.

 

Effective August 1st, Ohio starts with their rules.

 

Also, coming this Fall, effective October 1st, watch for these new states to come onboard.

Arizona

Kansas

Texas

 

For a review of all the states with Remote Seller Rules, follow our handy chart below.  This is not legal advice, but guidance for your review.  The chart includes links to the individual states’ Web site pages and FAQ pages, where available.

 

 STATE$ Gross Receipts
Limit
# Retail Sales
Transactions
EFFECTIVE DATEDOR LinksFAQs
Alabama>$250,000October 1, 2018AL InfoFAQs for AL
Arkansas>$100,000200July 1, 2019AR InfoFAQs for AR
Arizona>$200,000 in 2019
>$150,000 in 2020
>$100,000 in 2021 +
October 1, 2019AZ Info
California>$500,000April 1, 2019CA InfoFAQ for CA
Colorado>$100,000December 1, 2018CO Info
Connecticut$100,000"and" 200December 1, 2018
Revised July 1, 2019
CT Info
Delaware
District of Columia>$100,000"or" >200January 1, 2019DC Info
Florida
Georgia>$250,000 in 2019
>$100,000 in 2020
"or" >200January 1, 2019GA InfoFAQs for GA
Hawaii$100,000 +"or" 200July 1, 2018HI Info
Illinois$100,000 +"or" 200October 1, 2018IL InfoFAQ for IL
Indiana>$100,000"or" 200October 1, 2018IN InfoFAQ for IN
Iowa$100,000January 1, 2019IA Info
Kansas0October 1, 2019KS Info
Kentucky$100,000 +"or" 200October 1, 2018FAQs for KY
Louisiana>$100,000"or" 200January 1, 2019LA Info
Maine>$100,000"or" 200July 1, 2018ME Info
Maryland>$100,000"or" 200October 1, 2018MD Info
Massachusetts>$500,000"and" 100October 1, 2017MA InfoFAQs for MA
Michigan>$100,000"or" 200October 1, 2018MI InfoFAQs for MI
Minnesota>$100,000
in 10+ transactions
"or" 100October 1, 2018MN InfoFAQs for MN
Mississippi>$250,000September 1, 2018MS Info
Nebraska>$100,000"or" 200January 1, 2019FAQs for NE
New Jersey>$100,000"and" >200October 1, 2018NJ Info
New Mexico> $100,000July 1, 2019
New York>$300,000"and" >100January 1, 2019NY InfoFAQs for NY
North Carolina>$100,000"or" 200November 1, 2018NC InfoFAQs for NC
North Dakota$100,000"or" 200October 1, 2018ND InfoFAQs for ND
Ohio>$100,000"or" 200August 1, 2019OH InfoFAQs for OH
Oklahoma>$10,000
>$100,000 in 2019
July 1, 2018
November 1, 2019
OK Info
Pennsylvania>$100,000July 1, 2019PA Info
Rhode Island$100,000"or" 200July 1, 2019RI Info
South Carolina>$100,000November 1, 2018SC InfoFAQs for SC
South Dakota>$100,000"or" 200November 1, 2018 SD Info
Texas$500,000October 1, 2019TX Info
Utah>$100,000"or" >200January 1, 2019UT Info
Vermont$100,000"or" 200July 1, 2018VT InfoFAQs for VT
Virgina>$100,000"or" 200July 1, 2019VA Info
Washington>$100,000"and" 200October 1, 2018WA Info
West Virginia>$100,000"or" 200January 1, 2019WV Info
Wisconsin>$100,000"or" 200October 1, 2018WI Info
Wyoming>$100,000"or" 200February 1, 2019WY Info

 

 


Need help with filing sales and use taxes in all your new state obligations?

We recommend contacting Brian Greet at TaxConnex.  Brian and his team have been assisting our clients with sales tax filing and consulting long before “remote sellers” became a common phrase in sales tax business.

Visit www.taxconnex.com or call 877-893-5304 for an initial, free consultation.


 

 

 

July 2019 Sales and Use Tax Changes

As usual, July 1st of each year brings many sales and/or use tax changes.  Here is our list:

 

ALABAMA

The Dallas County Commission has imposed an additional one-half percent sales tax for public
school purposes.

The City of Phenix City has increased their sales tax rate by .50% which will increase the total rate depending on if the sale is in Russell County (9.5%) or Lee County (12.0%).

 

ARIZONA

Flagstaff, in Coconino county has increased to 9.180%.  Benson Use tax is now 3.5%

 

ARKANSAS

The City of Hampton has a sales tax rate of .50% starting July 1, 2019.  There were also 6 annexation actions that affected rates for Centerton, Pea Ridge, Highfill, Lake City, Flippin, and East Camden.

 

CALIFORNIA

Rate increases include San Mateo County, the cities of Glendora, Belmont, Burlingham, East Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Mateo, and South San Francisco.

 

COLORADO

The city of Durango rate is increasing to 3.5%.  The Pueblo Use tax rate was corrected to 3.70%.  The Ute Pass Region Ambulance District special tax hike of 1/2 of a cent was added to: Westcreek, Platte Springs, Tarryall, Lake George, Divide, Florrissant, and Woodland.

 

GEORGIA

County-wide sales tax changes are occurring in Dougherty, Elbert, Limpkin, Morgan, Upson, Whitfield, and Worth counties.

 

IOWA

You will see a 1% increase in the following Iowa cities:  Alleman, Altoona, Des Moines, Pleasant Hill, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights.

 

ILLINOIS

County-wide changes are occurring in Bureau, Fayette, Franklin, Jasper, Menard, Sangamon, and Union counties.

Illinois cities that have new tax rates include, Princeton, Berwyn, Frankfort (in Cook and Will counties), Lemont (in Cook, Dupage and Will counties), Lincolnwood, Elburn, Lake Forest, Wood River, McHenry, Milan, and Dakota.

 

KANSAS

Changes are occurring in the cities of Benton, Waverly, Caney, Pretty Prairie, Grandview Plaza and the county of Reno.

 

LOUISIANA

You will see a rate change for Allen Parish.

 

MONTANA

Isanta county Montana has a new rate increase.

 

MISSOURI

There are several Use tax changes in the cities of Pleasant Valley, Malden, Albany, Urich, Windsor, Maryville, Northmoor, Velda Village Hills, Pine Lawn, and Hollister.

City tax changes include Georgetown, Green Ridge, Hughesville, La Monte, Sedalia, and Smithton.

 

NORTH DAKOTA

Changes are occurring in New Rockford and Larimore.

 

NEBRASKA

Changes are occurring in Saint Edward, Newahwka, Coleridge, and Wauntetta.

 

NEW MEXICO

One change for Maxell in Colfax county.

 

OHIO

A county-wide rate increase is occurring in Crawford.

 

OKLAHOMA

Cherokee Sales & Use tax increased the total to 9.%%.  County wide changes are occurring in Rogers and Texas counties.

 

TEXAS

City rate changes include Charlotte, Primera, Cresson, and Mount Enterprise.

 

UTAH

County-wide rate changes are occurring in Davis and Summit counties.  The city of Bluff rate is increasing.

 

VERMONT

You will see changes in the city rates of Winooski and Brattleboro.

 

WASHINGTON

The sales tax rate for the city of Aberdeen is changing.

 

WEST VIRGINIA

The city of Kingwood, WV will see a 7.0% total rate.


sales tax by zip code app banner from zip2tax

The Full Breakout sales tax and use tax tables provide all tax rates broken down for every jurisdictional level including ZIP code, state, country, city, and special districts; and includes jurisdictional codes where applicable.

The sales tax and use tax tables provide the Primary Rate, which is the location within a ZIP code containing the USPS Office, and indicates whether shipping is taxable.

 

School Cafe

Are College Meal Plans Taxable or Not?

Many colleges and universities require students living on-campus to purchase a meal plan. The school typically contracts with an outside company to provide the meals, which students then pay for using their meal plan. But are such transactions subject to sales tax?

The Colorado Supreme Court recently addressed this question.

The specific dispute before the Court involved the City of Golden, Colorado, and Sodexo America, a well-known food service company that provides contractual dining services to the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), which is based in Golden. The City levies a 3-percent sales tax. Following a 2014 audit, the City determined Sodexo was liable for approximately $234,000 in unpaid sales tax on the sales of meals to meal-plan students at CSM.

Sodexo challenged the City’s decision in court. Although a trial judge sided with the City, an intermediate appeals court ruled in Sodexo’s favor. The Colorado Supreme Court then agreed to review the matter.

Colorado Supreme Court: Campus Dining Plan Meals Not Subject to City’s Sales Tax

The Court ultimately agreed with Sodexo and the intermediate appeals court. Justice William W. Hood III, writing for the Court, said there were two types of transactions at issue here. The first was CSM’s sale of meal plans to the students. The second was Sodexo’s sale of meals to CSM. The latter sale, Hood said, was a wholesale transaction not subject to the City of Golden’s sales tax.

“Sodexo didn’t directly charge the meal-plan students,” Hood explained. Rather, CSM billed the students each semester for the cost of the meal plan. CSM, in turn, paid Sodexo a fixed amount monthly for each meal served. Sodexo therefore had no responsibility (or ability) to take action against a student who failed to pay CSM for his or her meal plan.

In other words, Hood said, there was never a taxable “sale” that took place between Sodexo and the meal-plan student. The sale occurred when the student purchased the meal plan, not when they swiped their card at the dining hall to use one of their allotted prepaid meals. The students “didn’t provide any consideration to Sodexo for the meals,” Hood said.

Ruling Does Not Affect Cash Sales

It is worth noting the Supreme Court’s ruling only covers students who purchase meals at a campus dining hall via a prepaid meal plan. It does not apply to a student, or anyone else, who purchases food or beverages from the same dining hall using cash or their own credit card. Indeed, even prior to this litigation, Sodexo collected and remitted sales taxes on cash and credit sales to the City.

Canada Considers “Netflix Tax” Again

streamingReport: Canadian Government Fails to Collect $169 Million in Sales Taxes Annually on Digital Goods & Services

Canada loses approximately $169 million annually in sales tax revenue, according to a recent report from the nation’s interim auditor general. These losses are the result of Canadians failing to pay taxes on digital purchases from foreign vendors. As a result, the auditor general’s office noted Canadians often pay more for domestic digital goods than their foreign counterparts.

Interim AG: Most Canadians Do Not Pay Their Own Sales Tax on Foreign Purchases

Interim Auditor General Sylvain Ricard submitted a series of five performance audits to the Parliament of Canada on May 7. One of these audits focused on the taxation of e-commerce. The audit noted the rapid rise of e-commerce, particularly with respect to “digital products” for music and video, creates “challenges for assessing” the federal goods and services tax (GST) and the harmonized sales tax (HST).

 

Domestic sellers of digital goods and services are required to collect GST and HST from individual consumers and remit those payments to the government. But foreign vendors with no “permanent establishment” in Canada are not required to make such collections under federal law. This does not mean that foreign sales are exempt from taxation. Rather, if an individual consumer’s total purchases of foreign digital goods results in a GST or HST tax liability of more than $2, it is that consumer’s responsibility to fill out a form and pay the applicable tax.

 

In practice, most Canadian consumers simply ignore this duty. According to Ricard, while approximately two-thirds of Canadian adults “purchased digital products from both foreign and domestic vendors between July 2017 and June 2018,” only 524 people filed GST or HST forms on those purchases. And the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) only has “limited authority” to ensure compliance.

 

For instance, Ricard noted, while the United States government requires all payment processors to provide their financial data to the Internal Revenue Service, the CRA lacks a similar ability to collect such third-party information without first obtaining a court order. This, in turn, reduces the CRA’s ability to “detect and deter non-compliance.”

 

The costs of this non-compliance are not insignificant. Ricard’s office estimated the total GST losses for the 2017 fiscal year alone was $169 million. And given the increasing role of cross-border e-commerce in Canada’s economy, Ricard recommended the CRA “implement mechanisms to track, monitor, and report the number of compliance activities it conducts to manage the risk of non-compliance.”

Cross-Party Opposition to Any “Netflix Tax”

But it may not be that simple. Enforcing sales tax collection on foreign digital goods, especially popular U.S.-based services like Netflix, is unpopular with Canadian politicians. During the 2015 federal election, then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper released an ad saying his Conservative Party was “100 per cent against a Netflix tax,” according to a recent report in the Toronto Star. Harper’s rival, Liberal Party leader and current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, also came out against efforts to require Netflix and other non-Canadian vendors to collect the GST and HST.

province flags

Some Canadian provinces, however, are taking a harder line. The auditor general’s report noted the British Columbia provincial government has independently “reached an agreement with a major foreign accommodation sharing platform” to “voluntarily collect the provincial sales tax (PST) and remit it directly to the government.” Meanwhile, the Quebec National Assembly has passed its own legislation requiring foreign businesses to “register for, collect, and remit sales taxes,” regardless of whether they have a “permanent establishment” in Quebec or Canada.

 

As federal law currently stands, according to Ricard, the CRA lacks the “legislative authority or flexibility” to follow either British Columbia or Quebec’s example. And with the next federal election expected later this year, there may be little incentive for any of the major political parties to pursue the issue in the short-term.


Looking for Canadian Sales Tax Rates for your business?  Zip2Tax has easy, fast downloadable tables.  Or look here for general tax rates by province.


 

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