Articles Tagged with Wayfair

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(This article originally was published by Law360 on May 17, 2019.)

In the last year, several state legislatures have enacted laws and several state courts have published decisions on whether software as a service, or SaaS, is subject to sales and use tax. These developments impact many SaaS providers, especially due to the expanded nexus provisions that many states are enacting after the United States Supreme Court’s South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. decision.1 The states have gone in different directions—Indiana enacted legislation exempting SaaS, while Iowa and Rhode Island began taxing SaaS. The Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board and the Pennsylvania Board of Finance and Revenue have both issued decisions clarifying the taxability of SaaS offerings.

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On April 25, 2019, California enacted comprehensive marketplace facilitator legislation. Many said last fall this would be an impossible feat given the divided constituency of the California Legislature on whether all marketplace facilitators should be treated equally for purposes of imposing California’s Sales and Use Tax law. Consider the impossible achieved. California’s sweeping Marketplace Facilitator Act, adopted under Assembly Bill (AB) 147, treats virtually all marketplaces the same.

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On December 6, Marc Simonetti presents “State Tax Roundup: Significant State and Local Developments States’ Reaction to Wayfair and Federal Tax Reform” during Tax Executives Institute’s New York Chapter Meeting.

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The Supreme Court in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. overruled the “physical presence” requirement as “unsound and incorrect” and ruled that “substantial nexus” is satisfied when an out-of-state seller has sufficient “economic and virtual contacts” with the state. The prior Supreme Court precedent in National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Illinois and Quill Corp. v. North Dakota required out-of-state sellers to collect and remit sales/use tax on retail sales of certain tangible personal property and services only if the seller had “physical presence” with the state.

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