Sales tax rates and use tax changes for July 2015

Sales tax rates – July 2015

Sales tax rates have changed in 20 states and Puerto Rico and there were 13 states with ZIP code changes in Zip2Tax products since June 2015. Sales and or use tax rates are changed in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia.

In Alabama, tax rates changed for Cedar Bluff and Fairview.

In Arkansas, tax rates changed for El Dorado, Manila, Moorefield and Ouichita County.

In Arizona, tax rates changed for Graham County and the city of Marana.

In California, tax rates changed for the city of Weed.

In Colorado, tax rates changed for Georgetown.

In Georgia, tax rates changed for the counties of Muscogee and Whitfield.

In Iowa, tax rates changed for Lone Tree, Solon, Hills, Swisher and West Branch.

In Illinois, tax rates changed for Carbon Cliff, Carbondale, Coulterville, Crestwood, Deland, Elkville, Glenwood, Highwood, La Grange, Lyons, Montgomery, Morrison, Oglesby, Rantoul, Rock Falls, Toledo, Wadsworth, Westmont, and the counties of Calhoun, Greene, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Davies, Knox, McDonough, Morgan, Perry, Piatt, Scott, White and Whiteside.

In Kansas, the state rate changed and there were tax rates changes for Clifton, Hutchinson, Lyndon, Marquette, and the counties of Gove, Morton, and Nemaha.

In Louisiana, tax rates changed for Winn Parish, Claiborne Parish, and Calcasieu Parish.

In Minnesota, tax rates changed for Hubbard County.

In Missouri, tax rates changed for Cape Girardeau, Hold County, Lawrence County, Buffalo, California, Concordia, Hannibal and Saint Joseph.

In New Mexico, tax rates changed for the counties of Bernalillo, Chaves, Dona Ana, Luna, Roosevelt, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Torrance, Valencia, and the cities of Artesia, Sliver City, and Kirtland.

In Ohio, tax rates changed for the county of Richland.

In Oklahoma, tax rates changed for Barnsdall, Castle, Clinton, Colbert, Commerce, Foster, Rattan, Vici and the counties of Custer and Cotton.

In Puerto Rico, the possession tax rate changed.

In South Dakota, tax rates changed for Columbia and Westport.

In Texas, tax rates changed for Garrett, Sandy Oaks and Kendleton.

In Utah, tax rates changed for Farmington.

In Washington, tax rates changed for Sequim TBD and Dayton TBD.

In West Virginia, tax rates changed for Bolivar, Charles Town, Charleston, Martinsburg, Milton, Nitro, Parkersburg, Ranson, Thomas, Vienna and Wheeling.

There were 13 states with ZIP code changes effective after June 2015 including Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah. A PDF document enumerating ZIP code additions and deletions can be made available upon request.

For June’s changes click here.

Angel Downs, Zip2Tax's ead tax researcher

Angel Downs, Zip2Tax’s lead tax researcher

Should you charge sales tax on shipping?

Sales tax on shipping

Whether or not you should charge sales tax on shipping charges depends on several factors

Shipping charges may be exempt from sales tax if some or all of the following apply:

  1. Delivery by common carrier or USPS
  2. Charges stated separately and not bundled with other charges such as handling
  3. Shipping charges are not included in the price of the item
  4. Purchased items are tax exempt
  5. If shipment includes both exempt and taxable property the seller should allocate the delivery charge and tax the non-exempt portion.
  6. Charges paid by purchaser
  7. Delivery and billing by independent contractor who is not the seller and paid by the purchaser
  8. Delivery charges are optional
  9. Delivery is separately contracted
  10. Items delivered outside the state
  11. Retailer is engaged in a separate delivery business
  12. Shipment is made direct to the purchaser
  13. Shipment occurs after title passes to purchaser

 

Taxability of shipping rules by state

Some states apply sales tax on shipping based on the shipping agreement in relation to the item’s transfer of title to the purchaser while others treat shipping as a non-taxable service if contracted for independently. Some states try to merge these two approaches thereby creating a patchwork of regulations and opaque rules.

While not a fail-safe approach, here are a few best practices to improve your company’s chances of avoiding having to collect sales tax on shipping: Have the buyer pay the freight charges; bill the transportation charges separately following the sale; pass the title to the purchaser before shipping; and use a common carrier or the US mail.

Following is a list of the basic tax on shipping rules for each state and a few of their most general exceptions and caveats.

Refer to the numbered exemptions listed above

Alabama – Shipping is not taxable in Alabama (AL) if 1 and 2.

Arizona – Shipping is not taxable in Arizona (AZ) if 2.

Arkansas – Shipping is taxable in Arkansas (AR).

California – Shipping is not taxable in California (CA) if 1, 2, 7 or 13.

Colorado – Some shipping is taxable in Colorado (CO) except if 2, 3 and 8; certain localities may tax all shipping.

Connecticut – Shipping is taxable in Connecticut (CT) except 4.

District of Columbia – Some shipping is taxable in the District of Columbia (DC) except when 2 and 13.

Florida – Some shipping is taxable in Florida (FL) except when 2 and 8 or 2 and 13.

Georgia – Shipping is taxable in Georgia (GA) with certain exceptions.

Hawaii – Shipping is taxable in Hawaii (HI) except 10.

Idaho – Shipping is not taxable in Idaho (ID) if 2.

Illinois – Some shipping is not taxable in Illinois (IL) if 9.

Indiana – Shipping is taxable in Indiana (IN) but 5.

Iowa – Shipping is not taxable in Iowa (IA) if 2 or 9 but 5.

Kansas – Shipping is taxable in Kansas (KS) but 5.

Kentucky – Shipping is taxable in Kentucky (KY)

Louisiana – Shipping is not taxable in Louisiana (LA) if 2 and 13.

Maine – Some shipping is taxable in Maine (ME) except when 1 and 2 and 12 all apply.

Maryland – Shipping is not taxable in Maryland (MD) if 2.

Massachusetts – Some shipping is taxable in Massachusetts (MA) except when 2 and other exceptions.

Michigan – Shipping is taxable in Michigan (MI) except when 11 or 13 but 5.

Minnesota – Shipping is taxable in Minnesota (MN) but 5.

Mississippi – Shipping is taxable in Mississippi (MS)

Missouri – Some shipping is taxable in Missouri (MO) except when 2 and 8.

Nebraska – Shipping is taxable in Nebraska (NE) but 5.

Nevada – Some shipping is taxable in Nevada (NV) except 2 and 13.

New Jersey – Shipping is taxable in New Jersey (NJ) except when 4.

New Mexico – Shipping is taxable in New Mexico (NM)

New York – Shipping is taxable in New York (NY)

North Carolina – Shipping is taxable in North Carolina (NC) but 5.

North Dakota – Shipping is taxable in North Dakota (ND) but 5.

Ohio – Shipping is taxable in Ohio (OH) but 5 and except 6.

Oklahoma – Shipping is not taxable in Oklahoma (OK) if 2 and 3 but 5.

Pennsylvania – Shipping is taxable in Pennsylvania (PA) except when 4 or 7.

Rhode Island – Shipping is taxable Rhode Island (RI) except 7.

South Carolina – Shipping is taxable South Carolina (SC) except 13.

South Dakota – Shipping is taxable in South Dakota (SD) except 7 but 5.

Tennessee – Shipping is taxable in Tennessee (TN) except 7.

Texas – Shipping is taxable in Texas (TX) except 7.

Utah – Some shipping is taxable in Utah (UT) except when 1, 2 and 3 but 5.

Vermont – Shipping is taxable in Vermont (VT)

Virginia – Shipping is not taxable in Virginia (VA) if 2.

Washington – Shipping is taxable in Washington (WA) except 13.

West Virginia – Shipping is taxable in West Virginia (WV) except 1 , 2 and 7.

Wisconsin – Shipping is taxable in Wisconsin (WI) but 5.

Wyoming – Shipping is not taxable in Wyoming (WY) if 2.

As always, we recommend you consult with the department of revenue for any state in which your company has nexus and ask for a determination in writing whenever the rules are confusing or contradictory.

Confusion over variable sales tax rates on returns make Ohio shoppers

confusion over variable sales tax rates

confusion over variable sales tax rates

confusion over variable sales tax ratesSales tax rates are generally not consistent throughout a given state. Most states allow county or other municipalities to add their own sales tax on top of the statewide rate. This often leads to confusion variable sales tax rates on returns among retailers and consumers, which can result in litigation.

Here is a recent example from Ohio. Two consumers filed a federal class action against Walmart. Their complaint arose from Walmart’s practice of basing customer refunds on the sales tax rate applicable to the store where the merchandise was returned. So if a customer bought an item from a Walmart in Sandusky County (where the sales tax is 7.25%) but later returned it to another store in Erie County (where the tax is only 6.75%), the customer’s refund was at the lower 6.75% rate. While this might only amount to a few cents for a single transaction, the class action argues it constitutes breach of contract, as the Wal-Mart guarantees “full refunds” for items returned within 90 days.

Walmart moved to dismiss the class action, arguing that under Ohio law, customers must seek any sales tax refunds directly from the Ohio Tax Commissioner. But in an opinion issued on January 16th, federal Judge James S. Gwin denied Walmart’s motion, allowing the class action to proceed for now. Consumers must only seek a refund from the Tax Commissioner when the tax in question has already been paid from the vendor to the state. “At this stage,” Gwin said, “it is not clear whether Walmart paid Ohio the sales tax that it did not refund to plaintiffs when they returned the merchandise.”

If Walmart simply kept the overpaid sales taxes, then Gwin said consumers do not have to go through the Tax Commissioner. The Ohio Supreme Court addressed such a situation in a 2010 decision. In that case, a hotel allegedly charged customers a non-existent local sales tax. The Supreme Court said customers could sue the hotel rather than the Tax Commissioner. The justices distinguished between “erroneously collected tax for which legislative authority does exist” and a “nonexistent tax” where “the vendor has no authority to collect or remit those funds to the taxing authority.” The basic idea is that the state is not responsible for refunding money it never had. As the plaintiffs in the Walmart class action allege, “Here, the money belongs to the consumers and is being held by Walmart solely for Walmart’s own benefit.”

S.M. Oliva is a writer living in Charlottesville, Virginia. He edits the international legal blog Bonham’s Cases.

Sales and use tax changes for October 2014

Sales tax rate changes October 2014

Sales tax rate changes October 2014

Sales and/or use tax changes for 16 states in Zip2Tax products since September 2014. There were changes in Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas and Washington.

In Alaska, tax rates changed for Sitka, Skagway and Whittier.

In Alabama, tax rates changed for Enterprise, Childersburg, Greensboro, Marion, Tuskegee, Jackson, Trafford and Union.

In Arizona, tax rates changed for Flagstaff.

In Arkansas, tax rates changed for Crawfordsville, Ekins, Greers Ferry, Cleveland County, Crawford County and Crittenden County.

In California, tax rates changed for Anderson, Cotati, Davis, Hayward, San Pablo, Truckee and Watsonville.

In Idaho, tax rates changed for Nez Perce County.

In Kansas, tax rates changed for Fairway and Mulvane.

In Minnesota, tax rates changed for Douglas County.

In North Carolina, tax rates changed for Davidson County.

In North Dakota, tax rates changed for Burleigh County, Leeds, Morton County, Watford City and West Fargo.

In Nebraska, tax rates changed for Fairfield, Hickman, Atkinson and La Vista.

In Nevada, tax rates changed for Carson City.

In Oklahoma, tax rates changed for the counties of Greer, Latimer, Marshall, Washita and Logan and the cities of Kiowa, Kaw City and Chouteau.

In Ohio, tax rates changed for Erie County.

In Texas, tax rates changed for Tatum, Aubrey, Annetta, Fayetteville, Lakeport, Rogers, Shavano Park, Terrell Hills, Lucas and Tuscola.

In Washington, tax rates changed for Marysville TBA.

There were 12 states with ZIP code changes effective after September 2014 including Alabama, California, DC, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas.

Download the full ZIP code change documentation.

For September’s changes click here.

Angel Sauer

Angel Sauer, sales tax research team leader

Sales and use tax rate changes for January 1, 2014

Jan. 1, 2014

Jan. 1, 2014

Sales and/or use tax rates in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Washington  have changed in Zip2Tax products since December 2013.

In Alabama, tax rates changed for Mumford.

In Arkansas, tax rates changed for Barling, Blytheville, Crossett, Huntsville, Mountain Home, Paris, Portland, Vilonia, Lawrence County and Nevada County.

In Arizona, tax rates changed for Superior.

In Colorado, tax rates changed for Blue River, Firestone, Rocky Ford, Fremont, Boulder, Lamar and Commerce City.

In Georgia, tax rates changed for Baker and Twiggs.

In Illinois, tax rates changed for Carlinville, Champaign, Cicero, Dolton, Melrose Park, Moweaqua, Sesser, Springfield, Tilton, Tuscola, and Urbana, Williamsville, Winfield and the counties of Boone, Christian, Douglas, Gallatin, Hardin, Henry, Livingston and Mercer.http://www.zip2tax.com/WA/washington-sales-tax/

In Kansas, tax rates changed for Clay Center, Parsons, Pittsburg, and Wellington.

In Louisiana, tax rates changed for St. James Parish and St. John Parish.

In Minnesota, tax rates changed for Rice and Olmstead.

In Missouri, tax rates changed for Chariton, Scott, Ashland, Bridgeton, Rolla, Shelbyville, and St. Joseph.

In North Dakota, tax rates changed for Hazen, Rolette and Tower City.
http://www.zip2tax.com/WA/washington-sales-tax/
In Nebraska, tax rates changed for Seward and Dakota.

In New Mexico, tax rates changed for Quay, Roosevelt, Corrales and San Juan.

In New York, tax rates changed for the county of Ulster.

In Ohio, tax rates changed for the counties of Franklin and Putnam.

In Oklahoma, tax rates changed for Woodward, Yale, Texhoma, Beaver and Kingfisher.

In South Dakota, tax rates changed for Wessington, Pukwana, Mellette and New Effington.

In Texas, tax rates changed for Richland Springs and Lohttp://www.zip2tax.com/WA/washington-sales-tax/ne Star.

In Washington, tax rates changed for Arlington, Kitsap, Monroe, Newcastle and Skagit.

There were 45 states with ZIP code changes effective after December 2013 including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Download the full ZIP code change documentation.

For December 2013 changes click here.

Angel Sauer

Angel Sauer, sales tax research team leader

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