Ignorance of the Law is Not a Defense Against a Sales Tax Assessment

A taxpayer that performed solid waste removal was recently assessed for sales tax not collected on that taxable service.  The assessment was upheld by an Arkansas Administrative Judge who opined that lack of constructive knowledge of the tax levy or that other similar entities were not collecting the tax was not an adequate defense. Additionally, the Department of Finance and Administration was not estopped from enforcing the tax law because there was no evidence that its employee’s had made statements that the service was not subject to sales tax.

Sales tax can be tricky to navigate, but we’re here to help. Contact an Eide Bailly SALT professional today.

Colorado is Closer to Revising its Record Keeping Requirement for Wholesale Transactions

The Colorado Department of Revenue is revising its sales tax rules for documenting wholesale transactions. The revised rules seeks to change the amount of due diligence required for accepting resale certificates in lieu of collecting sales tax. Under the old rule, the wholesale vendor was relieved of the liability to collect sales tax when the vendor accepted in “good faith” a resale exemption certificate. Under the proposed rule the vendor is required to either verify the sales tax license number of the purchaser with the Department or collect a physical copy of the license.

The Department has until June to adopt the new rule or terminate the proceeding. This gives Colorado vendors time to review the documentation they have on file for their retail customers and if needed start collecting the proper documentation.

For assistance with complying with Colorado law, contact your state and local tax professional.



Arkansas Denies Credit for Taxes Paid to Another State

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration recently assessed additional income tax on an individual as a result of a denied credit of taxes paid to another state. The taxpayer paid property taxes to another state and claimed them on Form AR1000TC which is used to report income tax paid to another state. The purpose of the form is to avoid double taxing the same income. An administrative court determined that property tax is not an income based tax, so the credit was properly disallowed.

For more information on income tax credits, contact your state and local tax professional.

Sales Tax Compliance: Remote/Online Seller Resource

The emergence of ecommerce has compelled states to invent new ways to find their lost sales tax revenue. One novel solution states are implementing is identifying individual purchasers of goods who have not paid sales or use tax. This strategy forces remote sellers, who are not registered to collect sales tax, to turn over customer lists or face stiff penalties. Learn more in our recent article.

Texas Upholds Assessment on VIP Athletic Memberships

Membership fees to athletic clubs are typically subject to sales tax as amusement services. However, separately stated charges for workout classes are generally exempt as an instructional service. Recently, a Texas athletic club sold “VIP” memberships that provided access to workout classes as part of the membership but did not separately state the value of the classes. On audit, the athletic club bifurcated the portion of the membership fees attributable to classes, but the Comptroller’s office disallowed the taxpayer’s method because such bifurcation could only be applied on a prospective basis and not on a retrospective basis.

If you have any questions about how this development may impact sales tax in your state, contact your state and local tax professional for more information.

Virginia Ruling Explains Nexus for Inventory Stored In-State

A Virginia Ruling of the Commissioner recently explained how the Virginia Department of Taxation would interpret and enforce a new nexus law passed this last year. Remote sellers that have inventory stored in a third party warehouse located in the State are deemed to be dealers in the State. This law appears to be intended to apply to remote sellers using Amazon fulfillment services or the like.


Other states may have similar cases in the works; contact your state and local tax professional with questions or for more information.

Tax Reform: Impact on Businesses

The recently enacted tax reform legislation represents the most significant overhaul of our tax laws in over 30 years. The act contains substantial changes to the taxation of businesses, individuals, multi-national companies, tax-exempt organizations and others. For more information on how this legislation will affect your business, check out our recent article, where we break down hot topics such as the corporate tax rate, pass-through income, and how you can move forward with an informed approach.