I usually don’t tread too much into blogging about tax or regulations, but there’s one very substantial change in how online businesses report and comply with sales tax that you ought to know about. Chances are good that either you are affected by the new regulation in some way or know other business owners who need to know about this.
As of June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court officially repealed the law asserting that state governments may only tax businesses that are physically established within a state. Having protected out-of-state sellers and remote businesses for years, the South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. ruling decided the physical presence rule to be “unsound and incorrect,” therefore governing any economic or virtual contact between business and state sufficient for instating nexus, or the connection between a state and a business that acts as grounds for a tax collection obligation.
While the Court decision is being received adversely across various states, others are ready to take advantage. Regardless of where you’re located, it is crucial for your business to establish a system for keeping up with any changes in state nexus laws, in order to properly comply with any collection requirements. Each state is being affected differently. Hawaii and Vermont, for example, began employing their economic nexus laws on July 1, 2018. Alabama and Illinois will begin implementation on Oct. 1, with Connecticut following on Dec. 1. Various other states, however, have still yet to determine exactly how the ruling will affect the statutes already in place.
If your business holds a physical presence within a state and does not sell services or products remotely, the Wayfair ruling probably won’t have a huge effect on you. However, many small business are beginning to operate online selling via e-commerce – and this is where it gets trickier – and where having a system in place for monitoring changes in nexus laws comes in handy. Because this Court ruling is so recent, there are still quite a few unknowns out there.
If your small business is not already collecting in all states, determining where and when to register to sell in a certain state is a necessity. Registering in a new state could affect multiple things, including your income tax. Even small businesses can no longer collect and remit tax in a new jurisdiction without first registering for a license that will then allow you to conduct business there. That’s why it’s so important to have a trusted advisor who is not only up-to-date on the most recent nexus laws, but also progressively planning for you to comply and continue to profit in the future. At Sound Business Services (SBS), we are your trusted advisor, helping you navigate any new changes in tax laws and guide you through this complex process.
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Because every state is handling the ruling differently, it’s important to be aware of the differing registration qualifications projected by each state. The process can range anywhere from submitting an online application to registering with state and local tax authorities.
Although this process can be overwhelming, SBS is here to help you all the way. We are here to help you monitor the ever-changing U.S. tax collection obligation landscape. Rest easy and know that your business can rely on SBS not only for important updates on any changes in government policy, but also for a guiding hand to lead your business seamlessly through any processes necessary for you to further succeed.
Contact us if you have any questions, or simply want to share your experiences thus far due to the Wayfair case, and together we can successfully navigate the ever-fluctuating tides of U.S. tax requirements on both physical and remote businesses, alike.