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.”

 

Remote Seller + New Year = New Sales Taxes

Remote Sellers…..Are you ready?

Seven states implemented their economic nexus sales tax rules for remote sellers with the new year.

These States all have effective dates of January 1st.

  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • Utah

Do you have your sales tax rates in place for each state?  Do you know if you meet the thresholds? See our Economic Nexus Chart for a complete overview of the States and their guidelines.

STATE$ Gross Receipts
Limit
# Retail Sales
Transactions
EFFECTIVE DATEDepartment of Revenue Links
Alabama$250,000October 1, 2018AL DOR Announement
ArkansasProposed $100,000Proposed 200TBDHouse Bill 1002 still in discussion.
Colorado$100,000200December 1, 2018CO Info for Remote Sellers
Connecticut$250,000200December 1, 2018CT DOR Announcement
District of Columia$200,000200January 1, 2019DC Internet Sales Tax Amendment Act of 2018
Georgia$250,000200January 1, 2019GA Requirements
Hawaii$100,000200July 1, 2018HI DOR Announcement
Indiana$100,000200October 1, 2018IN DOR Tax Bulletin
Iowa$100,000200January 1, 2019IA DOR Announement
Kentucky$100,000200July 1, 2018KY Ruling FAQs
Louisiana$100,000200January 1, 2019Louisiana DOR
Maine$100,000200July 1, 2018ME Help for Remote Sellers
Maryland$100,000200October 1, 2018MD DOR Tax Alert
Massachusetts$500,000100October 1, 2017MA DOR rule has been in effect since 2017
Michigan$100,000200October 1, 2018MI DOR Document
Minnesota$100,000100October 1, 2018MN Bulletin for Remote Sellers
Mississippi$250,000September 1, 2018MS DOR Guidance for Online Sellers
Nebraska$100,000200January 1, 2019NE DOR News Bulletin
New Jersey$100,000200October 1, 2018NJ DOR Notice for Remote Sellers
New York$300,000100January 1, 2019NYS DOR Announcement
North Carolina$100,000200November 1, 2018NC DOR Directive
North Dakota$100,000200October 1, 2018ND DOR
Pennsylvania$10,000March 1, 2018PA DOR
Rhode Island$100,000200RI DOR FAQs for Remote Sellers
South Dakota$100,000200October 1, 2018 SD DOR Remote Seller Law
Texas$500,000October 1, 2019
Utah$100,000200January 1, 2019Online Sales Tax Amendments
Vermont$100,000200July 1, 2018VT DOR
Virgina$100,000200TBD
Washington$100,000200October 1, 2018WA DOR
Wisconsin$100,000200October 1, 2018WI DOR FAQs
Wyoming$100,000200Date TBDWY DOR Page

We Have The Tax Rates

Zip2Tax has Sales  and Use Tax Tables that offer a wide range of options to meet your needs.  Online shopping cart integration, ERP system platforms, call centers and invoicing programs. Single state, entire US and/or Canada, monthly subscriptions or one-time downloads…whatever you need.

All ZIP codes in every State included—over 12,000 jurisdictions!

Automate your online shopping cart with sales tax data at the point of sale. A secure sales tax API connects your database to the Zip2Tax constantly updated servers to power your e-commerce site with a real-time data when you need it.

arizona sales tax rate online lookup by zip2taxarizona az sales tax rate ecommerce api by zip2taxarizona sales tax rate from state sales tax rates tables from zip2tax

Use this handy comparison chart to match our services to your needs.

 

Internet Sales Taxes and Remote Sellers

internet shopperInternet Sales Taxes

The United States Supreme Court ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair on June 21, 2018, that states can require remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax on items delivered to locations within their state regardless of physical presence.

Remote Sellers

If you sell to a state, but do not have a physical presence in that state, you are now a Remote Seller.  As a remote seller, you will need to check with each state to determine if you are required to register in that state.

Who-What-Where-When-Why

Registration requirements, small business exemptions, effective dates, and other factors all vary by state.  Some states have not published their rulings yet; and other states don’t have plans to implement a ruling in the near future.

The following chart will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.  It is not legal advice, but it is an informative reference with links to the departments of revenues and their publications on the topic.

STATE$ Gross Receipts
Limit
# Retail Sales
Transactions
EFFECTIVE DATEDepartment of Revenue Links
Alabama$250,000October 1, 2018AL DOR Announement
ArkansasProposed $100,000Proposed 200TBDHouse Bill 1002 still in discussion.
Colorado$100,000200December 1, 2018CO Info for Remote Sellers
Connecticut$250,000200December 1, 2018CT DOR Announcement
District of Columia$200,000200January 1, 2019DC Internet Sales Tax Amendment Act of 2018
Georgia$250,000200January 1, 2019GA Requirements
Hawaii$100,000200July 1, 2018HI DOR Announcement
Indiana$100,000200October 1, 2018IN DOR Tax Bulletin
Iowa$100,000200January 1, 2019IA DOR Announement
Kentucky$100,000200July 1, 2018KY Ruling FAQs
Louisiana$100,000200January 1, 2019Louisiana DOR
Maine$100,000200July 1, 2018ME Help for Remote Sellers
Maryland$100,000200October 1, 2018MD DOR Tax Alert
Massachusetts$500,000100October 1, 2017MA DOR rule has been in effect since 2017
Michigan$100,000200October 1, 2018MI DOR Document
Minnesota$100,000100October 1, 2018MN Bulletin for Remote Sellers
Mississippi$250,000September 1, 2018MS DOR Guidance for Online Sellers
Nebraska$100,000200January 1, 2019NE DOR News Bulletin
New Jersey$100,000200October 1, 2018NJ DOR Notice for Remote Sellers
New York$300,000100January 1, 2019NYS DOR Announcement
North Carolina$100,000200November 1, 2018NC DOR Directive
North Dakota$100,000200October 1, 2018ND DOR
Pennsylvania$10,000March 1, 2018PA DOR
Rhode Island$100,000200RI DOR FAQs for Remote Sellers
South Dakota$100,000200October 1, 2018 SD DOR Remote Seller Law
Texas$500,000October 1, 2019
Utah$100,000200January 1, 2019Online Sales Tax Amendments
Vermont$100,000200July 1, 2018VT DOR
Virgina$100,000200TBD
Washington$100,000200October 1, 2018WA DOR
Wisconsin$100,000200October 1, 2018WI DOR FAQs
Wyoming$100,000200Date TBDWY DOR Page

We Have The Tax Rates

Zip2Tax has Sales  and Use Tax Tables that offer a wide range of options to meet your needs.  Online shopping cart integration, ERP system platforms, call centers and invoicing programs. Single state, entire US and/or Canada, monthly subscriptions or one-time downloads…whatever you need.

All ZIP codes in every State included—over 12,000 jurisdictions!

Automate your online shopping cart with sales tax data at the point of sale. A secure sales tax API connects your database to the Zip2Tax constantly updated servers to power your e-commerce site with a real-time data when you need it.

Use this handy comparison chart to match our services to your needs.  Then give us a call, email or Chat!

 

 

Sales Tax Holidays for 2018

Sales Tax Holidays

Sales Tax Holidays

STATEITEMS INCLUDED / MAXIMUM COSTMONTHDAYSLink to MORE DETAILS
AlabamaHurricane Preparedness
Generators - $1,000
Supplies - $60
February23-25Alabama Department of Revenue
AlabamaBack to School
Clothing - $100
Computers - $750
School Supplies - $50
Books - $30
July20-22Alabama Department of Revenue
ArkansasBack to School
Clothing - $100
School Supplies
August4-5Arkansas Department of Revenue
ConnecticutBack to School
Clothing and Footwear - $100
August19-25Connecticut Department of Revenue
FloridaDisaster Preparedness
Generators - $750
Other Supplies - $50
June1 - 7http://floridarevenue.com/
FloridaBack to School
Clothing - $60
School Supplies - $50
August3 - 5http://floridarevenue.com/
IowaBack to School
Clothing - $100
August3 - 4Iowa Department of Revenue
LouisianaAnnual Sales Tax Holiday
All TPP - $2,500
August3 - 4 Louisiana Department of Revenue
LouisianaHurricane Preparedness
Supplies - first $1,50(2% rate reduction)
May26 - 27Louisiana Department of Revenue
LouisianaFirearms
Ammunition
Hunting Supplies
September7 - 9Louisiana Department of Revenue
MarylandEnergy Star ProductsFebruary17 - 18Maryland Department of Revenue
MarylandBack to School
Clothing and Footwear - $100
August12 - 18Maryland Department of Revenue
MississippiBack to School
Clothing and Footwear - $100
July27 - 28Mississippi Department of Revenue
MississippiFirearms
Ammunition
Hunting supplies
August / Sept31 - Sept 2Mississippi Department of Revenue
MissouriEnergy Star Products - $1,500April19 - 25Missouri Department of Revenue
MissouriBack to School
Clothing - $100
Computers - $1,500
School Supplies - $50
August3 - 5Missouri Department of Revenue
New MexicoBack to School
Clothing - $100
Computers - $1,000
Computer Equipment - $500
School Supplies - $30
August3-5New Mexico Department of Revenue
OhioBack to School
Clothing - $75
School Supplies - $20
August3-5https://www.tax.ohio.gov/
OklahomaBack to School
Clothing - $100
August3-5http://www.tax.ok.gov/
South CarolinaBack to School
Clothing
School Supplies
Computers
Other
August3-5South Carolina Department of Revenue
TennesseeBack to School
Clothing - $100
School Supplies - $100
Computers - $1,500
July27-29Tennessee Department of Revenue
TexasHurricane Preparedness
Generators - $3,000
Storm devices - $300
Preparedness items - $75
April28-30Texas Department of Revenue
TexasEnergy Star Products
Air conditioners - $6,000
Other - $2,000
May26-28Texas Department of Revenue
TexasBack to School
Clothing, backpacks and school supplies - $100
August10-12Texas Department of Revenue
VirginiaBack to School
Clothing - $100
School Supplies - $20
Energy Star Products - $2,500
Hurricane preparedness items - $60
Generators - $1,000
August3-5Virginia Department of Revenue
WisconsinBack to School
Clothing, Supplies - $75
Computer Supplies - $250
Computers - $750
August 1-5https://www.revenue.wi.gov/

For further tax holiday information check out this article.

State of Arkansas – Candy and Soda No Longer a Food for Tax Purposes

State Arkansas

State Arkansas

Happy New Year from the State of Arkansas!

Effective January 1, 2018, The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration is implementing Act 141 which removes candy and soft drinks from the Food taxdefinitions “Food” and “Food Ingredients” and applies the full 6.5% State sales and use tax rate to these items sold at retail.   Before January 1st, candy and soda enjoyed the reduced “food” tax rate of 1.5%. City and County sales and use tax rates continue to apply on these items sold at retail.  

Candy

Candy is defined as a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruits, nuts, or other ingredients or flavorings in the form of bars, drops, or pieces.

Soda

Soft drink means a nonalcoholic beverage that contains natural or artificial sweeteners. A soft
drink does not include a beverage that contains milk or milk products, soy, rice, or similar milk
substitutes, or that is greater than fifty percent (50%) of vegetable or fruit juice by volume.

For more information on the Arkansas state tax rate check our this article.

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