Tax Changes for November 2016

Sales and/or use tax rates have changed in Zip2Tax products since the October updates.

In Alabama, tax rates changed for the cities of Coffeeville and York.  

  • The Coffeeville official notice can be found here.
  • The York official notice can be found here.

In Arizona, tax rates changed for the City of Globe.

  • The Mayor and Council of the City of Globe passed Ordinance No. 834. which amended the City Tax Code to increase the tax rate on retail sales from two percent (2%) to two and three-tenths percent (2.3%).  More details here AZ DOR.

zip-codes-picture

 

There were 16 states with ZIP code changes…

……in Arizona, California, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Wisconsin.

 

Until next month, best regards!

For October’s changes click here.

B.D. French, Researcher

B.D. French, Tax Researcher

Sales tax change frequency by state

Zip2Tax compares the sales tax change frequency of the states. Ever wonder how your state measures up?

It’s generally accepted that there are around 11,000 sales tax jurisdictions across this great and diverse country of ours. This fact alone would seem to be a fairly reasonable argument for the outsourcing of sales and use tax rates from a company such as Zip2Tax. As the head of marketing for Zip2Tax I am always trying to understand our customer’s needs better. I found myself wondering about the sales tax change frequency for all these jurisdictions. I mean, 11,000 rows in a document might be manageable if they only changed their rates every few years or so, right?

So I sat down and with my trusty Excel spread sheet and a large cup of strong coffee and started going back through our research documentation counting the number of months that there had been any sales tax changes in each state. I wanted to determine which states had the highest sales tax change frequency. I sampled a three-year period from December 2015 going back through January 2013.

… fully one-third of the time that these states CAN make sales or use tax rate changes, they DO.

When the numbers were crunched I had some surprises in store, to be sure. For one, the states that provide Zip2Tax with the most new customers have no obvious correlation with which states had the highest sales tax change frequency. In fact, California and New York were only slightly above average.

The standout in this sample was Alabama which turned out to be far and away the leader with changes in 30 out of the 36 months – that’s 83% of the time. This also helped to dash my hopes of discovering a hotbed of customer need for our product since Alabama has so far not proven to be a great source of new business.
sales tax change frequency

Arizona came in second with 14 changes over that same period. Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas all tie for third place with 13 sales tax rate changes over 36 months. That translates to mean that fully one-third of the time that these states CAN make sales or use tax rate changes, they DO. Not to overstate the obvious, but that is more frequently than quarterly updates.

… more than two-thirds, updated that tax a minimum of once a year, and by the end of 3 years, 86% of the states had made changes…

In fact, 68% of the states that collect a sales tax, that’s more than two-thirds, updated that tax a minimum of once a year, and by the end of 3 years, 86% of the states had made changes.

So as I drained the last of my cold coffee I felt some gratification in that even though sales tax will remain an extremely complex moving target in nearly all 50 states, at least it should mean a steady supply of customers for sales tax rate providers like Zip2Tax for the foreseeable future.

Fill in the sign up form below this blog to receive our monthly newsletter and get alerted when one of these states makes a sales or use tax change or other important tax-related information.

 

New Year’s sales tax updates effective January 1, 2016

Sales tax updates: 19 states have sales and use tax rates which have changed in Zip2Tax products since December 2015. 

There are sales tax updates in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Utah effective Jan. 1st.

In Alabama, tax rates changed for Rockford, Luverne and Waterloo.

In Arkansas, tax rates changed for Bald Knob, Brinkley, Gillham, Harrisburg, Viola and Crittenden County.

In Arizona, tax rates changed for Apache Junction, Phoenix and Prescott Valley.

In Colorado, tax rates changed for Bayfield, Bennett, Fraser, Lyons, Ouray, the Counties of Alamosa and Chaffee, Gunnison Valley RTA, Montezuma County Hospital District, Colorado Springs, Crested Butte and Greeley.

In Florida, tax rates changed for the Counties of Jackson, Walton, Hernando and Saint Johns.

In Georgia, tax rates changed for Hancock County.

In Illinois, tax rates changed for Morton Grove, Posen, Stickney, Bellwood, Bloomington, Herrin, Hopkins Park, Matteson, Shorewood and Cook County.

In Kansas, tax rates changed for Shawnee.

In Louisiana, tax rates changed for Folsom, Lake Charles and Merryville.

In Minnesota, tax rates changed for Rochester and the Counties of Otter Tail and Freeborn.

In Missouri, tax rates changed for Carthage, New Madrid County, Chillicothe, Holt County, Saline County and Aurora.

In North Dakota, tax rates changed for Alexander and Center.

In New Mexico, tax rates changed for Maxwell, Springer, De Baca County, Eddy County, Vaughn, Lincoln County, Mora County, Otero County, Jemez Springs, Farmington and Kirtland.

In Nevada, tax rates changed for Clark County.

In Ohio, tax rates changed for Portage County.

In Oklahoma, tax rates changed for Bartlesville, Gore, Hollis, Norman, Del City, Marshall County and Pittsburg County.

In South Dakota, tax rates changed for Astoria.

In Texas, tax rates changed for Corral City and Goliad.

In Utah, tax rates changed for Dutch John.

There were 13 states with ZIP code changes effective after December 2015 including California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia. A PDF document enumerating ZIP code additions and deletions can be made available upon request.

For December 2015 changes click here.  To see what States are the most guilty of constantly changing their tax rates visit this article.

Angel Downs, Zip2Tax's ead tax researcher

Angel Downs, Zip2Tax’s lead tax researcher

Florida

Sales tax reimbursement on destroyed vehicles for Florida drivers

When you get into a car accident, the last thing you probably ask yourself is, “Will my insurer pay the sales tax on my replacement vehicle?” But a federal court in Florida recently answered that question. The judge’s landmark decision may lead to the certification of a class action against several auto insurance companies.

Bastian v. United States Automobile Association

The lead plaintiff in this case held an automobile insurance policy on her 2005 Acura. During the term of the policy, a tree fell on the car, resulting in its total loss. The insurance company determined the “actual cash value” of the vehicle was $10,459. This r
eflected the cost of replacing the original vehicle. The insurer also calculated the cost of obtaining title and license plates for the replacement vehicle, which came to $85.25.

The insurer further notified the plaintiff it would reimburse her for any sales tax paid on a replacement vehicle. Florida charges a statewide sales tax of 6%, which may be higher in some localities. The insurer did not include sales tax in its upfront settlement however, noting it reserved the right to do so until after the plaintiff purchased a new vehicle.

The plaintiff ultimately purchased a replacement vehicle for $2,000, for whichsales tax reimbursement on destroyed car she paid $120 in sales tax. The insurer reimbursed her accordingly. The plaintiff argued this was insufficient. She sued the insurer, arguing it should have included an upfront sales tax reimbursement based on the actual cash value of her destroyed vehicle, which came to $627.54. Several additional plaintiffs who claimed to have similar experiences joined the case and sought class action certification.

After an extended discovery period, U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan of Jacksonville issued an order on September 29. Corrigan held the plaintiffs were correct in asserting they were entitled to an upfront reimbursement of sales tax based on the actual cash value of their original vehicles. Corrigan based his decision primarily on the language of the actual insurance policies. While the insurer argued there was no language obligating it to pay sales tax at all, Corrigan said the policy covered a “total loss,” which logically includes all costs associated with replacing a vehicle. That would include sales tax.

Indeed, Corrigan noted the insurer here volunteered to pay license and title fees, which was “inconsistent” with its objection to paying sales taxes. Nor did it make sense the insurer would pay the lead plaintiff the actual cash value of her vehicle – the full $10,349 – yet withhold a few hundred dollars in sales tax. After all, Corrigan said, the insurer “did not demand that [the plaintiff] return $8,459 when she incurred only $2,000.00 in cost for her replacement vehicle.”

Nor did Corrigan accept the insurer’s claim Florida insurance law only permitted it to reimburse the plaintiff for the sales tax “actually incurred.” The statute in question affords insurers the option to “defer payment of the sales tax unless and until the obligation has actually been incurred.” As Corrigan interpreted this, the insurer must elect to use this option within the language of the actual insurance contract. The insurer did not do so here, and the judge declined to read such an election into the policy.

Corrigan’s decision is not the end of this case. He must still decide whether to certify the proposed class action, which would conceivably bring hundreds of additional claims into play. The insurers can also appeal Corrigan’s legal findings to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Florida Supreme Court may also be asked to weigh in at some point on Corrigan’s interpretation of state law.

S.M. Oliva is a writer living in Charlottesville, Virginia. He edits the international legal blog PrivyCouncil.info

Exemption certificates need to be reviewed for validity

Do you know the validity period of your exemption certificates? Did you know that each state treats them differently and that you should review them periodically to make sure they are still good?

It is a good business practice to periodically review exemption certificates because quite a few states claim their exemption certificates are good until the business has a change, the business closes, or the certificate is revoked. You won’t know if these conditions are met unless you check with your customers and vendors regularly and request updated exemption certificates from them.

Some states have no stated expiration for their exemption certificates but they recommend regular or periodic updates. In these cases we listed the least amount of time between recommended updates. In cases where the state listed “good until the exemption no longer applies” we stated that there was no expiration date. Other states note that exemption certificates are good forever however “exempt status must be renewed”, or they “recommend” updates. In these cases we noted the recommended update or renewal timeframe.

Exemption Certificate Validity

State Abbrev. Validity Period
Alabama AL Till Changed Or Revoked
Alaska AK NA – No Certificates
Arizona AZ Date On Certificate
Arkansas AR NA – No Certificates
California CA Till Changed Or Revoked
Colorado CO No Expiration
Connecticut CT 3 Years
Delaware DE NA – No Certificates
District Of Columbia DC Till Changed Or Revoked
>Florida FL 5 Years
Georgia GA Till Changed Or Revoked
Hawaii HI Till Changed Or Revoked
Idaho ID No Expiration
Illinois IL 5 Years
Indiana IN No Expiration
Iowa IA 5 Years
Kansas KS Till Changed Or Revoked
Kentucky KY Till Changed Or Revoked
Louisiana LA 3 Years
Maine ME Till Changed Or Revoked
Maryland MD 5 Years
Massachusetts MA No Expiration
Michigan MI 4 Years
Minnesota MN 3 Years
Mississippi MS NA – No Certificates
Missouri MO 5 Years
Montana MT NA – No Certificates
Nebraska NE No Expiration
Nevada NV 5 Years
New Hampshire NH NA – No Certificates
New Jersey NJ 5 Years
New Mexico NM No Expiration
New York NY Till Changed Or Revoked
North Carolina NC No Expiration
North Dakota ND No Expiration
Ohio OH No Expiration
Oklahoma OK 3 Years
Oregon OR NA – No Certificates
Pennsylvania PA 3 Years
Rhode Island RI No Expiration
South Carolina SC Till Changed Or Revoked
South Dakota SD 1 Year
Tennessee TN Till Changed Or Revoked
Texas TX No Expiration
Utah UT 1 Year
Vermont VT No Expiration
Virginia VA Till Changed Or Revoked
Washington WA 1 Year
West Virginia WV 1 Year
Wisconsin WI 5 Years
Wyoming WY No Expiration
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