Sales and use tax rate changes for May 2015

Sales tax rates – May 2015

Sales tax rates – May 2015

Sales and/or use tax rates have changed in Zip2Tax products in Alabama and South Carolina since March 2015.

In Alabama, tax rates changed for Five Points.

In South Carolina, tax rates changed for Colleton and Georgetown Counties.

There were 7 states with ZIP code changes effective after April 2015 including Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A PDF document enumerating ZIP code additions and deletions can be made available upon request.

There were 7 states with ZIP code changes effective after April 2015 including Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A PDF document enumerating ZIP code additions and deletions can be made available upon request.

There were 7 states with ZIP code changes effective after April 2015 including Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A PDF document enumerating ZIP code additions and deletions can be made available upon request.

For April’s changes click here.

Sales tax rates - May 2015

Angel Downs, Lead Tax Researcher

 

 

As of November 2012, the following states tax shipping:

states tax shipping

states tax shipping

The following states tax shipping:

Arkansas
Connecticut
Georgia
Hawaii
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
North Carolina
North Dakota
Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin

Amazon’s vested interest in universal online sales tax

universal online sales tax

universal online sales tax

Marketplace-Fairness-Act
With the addition of a new Amazon distribution center in Kenosha, WI, the number one largest online retailer will soon be collecting sales tax from almost 50% of the American population.

Amazon will begin collecting Wisconsin sales taxes on Nov. 1 and the state expects to benefit to the tune of $30 million per year.

universal online sales tax

Beginning Nov. 1st, Wisconsin will become the 14th state Amazon collects sales tax for. The mega-retailer has arrangements to add at least 6 more states to that list over the next 3 years.

Amazon currently has nexus is 18 states. Nexus, a physical in-state business presence, has long been the determining factor behind which businesses have to collect sales tax. Nexus is created by brick and mortar stores, distribution centers or warehouses, call centers,  offices, sales people, and sometimes just by sending an employee to a convention.

The mega-retailer already collects sales taxes in Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. Amazon has a physical presence in all of those states except for Georgia and New York.

Georgia passed a law in January requiring all online retailers doing business within the state to collect sales taxes and Amazon complied starting last September. New York won a court appeal upholding the state’s right to claim nexus is created when an out-of-state retailer pays in-state affiliates a commission to promote their products or services. New York refers to this as “click-through nexus”.

Amazon shut down its Connecticut affiliate program back in 2011 to avoid click-through nexus in that state but may be thinking about restarting the program as it recently announced that it will begin to collect Connecticut sales taxes and invest $50 million over the next two years for a jobs initiative.

Amazon has distribution centers in New Hampshire and Delaware where neither state has a sales tax. It also has centers in Indiana, Massachusetts and Nevada and has agreed to begin collecting sales tax in these states in the near future.

Amazon has acknowledged that it has nexus in Tennessee and South Carolina, but made special deals with those states which allow it to postpone sales tax collections for a time. Tennessee Gov. Haslam agreed to hold off on an Amazon tax until 2014 if the retailer agreed to send notifications to all customers about how much tax they owed on their purchases going back through 2012. South Carolina made a deal that exempts the company until 2016 in return for a promised distribution center and its 1,200 jobs. The state left itself an escape clause saying the agreement would be nullified should the Marketplace Fairness Act pass and create a standardized set of federal regulations.

This patchwork of regulations, state-by-state agreements and endless legal battles seems to be the main impetus behind Amazon’s support for the Marketplace Fairness Act or universal online sales tax. This law would significantly ease Amazon’s burdens while simultaneously increasing the burden on other smaller online retailers. Amazon stands to significantly widen its lead over the competition.

South Carolina sales tax exemption court case thrown out

South Carolina sales tax

South Carolina sales tax

The South Carolina Supreme Court has maintained the state’s current sales tax exemptions, at least for now. This May, it threw out a lawsuit challenging billions of dollars worth of exemptions. The court threw out the lawsuit on a technicality however and didn’t weigh in on the validity of the case. This means another challenge on the same grounds is possible.

South Carolina Sales Tax Exemptions

South Carolina exempts more in sales taxes than it actually collects.

The party challenging the exemptions sued claiming the exemption structure placed an excessive burden on the poor. He challenged that the limits are too low so their relative impact unduly affects poorer taxpayers. For example, South Carolina sales tax is caped at $300 for cars, boats, and airplanes. This means someone buying an old, used car often pays the same amount in sales tax as someone buying a luxury car or airplane.

The Supreme Court justices threw out this case because they deemed the plaintiff couldn’t prove he was suffering under the current tax structure; the plaintiff’s children were not yet in school so they were not yet affected by a lack of tax revenues. As a result, the plaintiff didn’t have a right to initiate a lawsuit. Chief Justice Jean Toal made it clear though that this ruling would not prevent another challenge on the same grounds.

Currently, South Carolina exempts more in sales taxes that it actually collects. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have argued the state needs to review exemptions. However, no changes have yet been enacted or are under consideration by the legislature.

Read more from the Associated Press

Sales and/or use tax changes for May 1, 2013

Sales tax rate changes May 1, 2013

Sales tax rate changes May 1, 2013

Sales and/or use tax rates in the states of Alaska, Alabama, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia have changed in Zip2Tax products since April 2013.

In Alaska, tax rates changed for Akutan, Anderson, Kobuk, Kodiak, Pilot Point and the Northwest Arctic Borough.

In Alabama, tax rates changed for Warrior, Headland, Jemison, Selma, Thomasville and Jacksonville.

In Oklahoma, tax rates changed for Broken Bow.

In South Carolina, tax rates changed for Richland, Bamberg, Hampton, Lee and Marion.

In West Virginia, tax rates changed for Rupert.

There were 19 states with ZIP code changes effective after April 2013 including Arkansas, Arizona, California, DC, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and West Virginia.

Download a complete list of the ZIP code changes.

For April’s changes click here.

Angel Sauer

Angel Sauer, lead tax researcher

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