Category Archives: Sales and Use Tax

Podcast – Liability of Remote Sellers to Collect, Remit and Report Texas Sales Taxes After Wayfair? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Published June 29, 2020

Podcast - Liability of Remote Sellers to Collect, Remit and Report Texas Sales Taxes After Wayfair? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This particular episode of Legal Thoughts is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Mayra Torres, the Public Relations Associate of Coleman Jackson, P.C.   The topic of discussion is “Liability of Remote Sellers to Collect, Remit and Report Texas Sales Taxes After Wayfair?” You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal Thoughts podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Cashbox or wherever you may listen to your podcast.

TRANSCRIPT:

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson
Legal Thoughts
COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Tax Thoughts

  • My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.
  • Our topic for today is: “Liability of Remote Sellers to Collect, Remit and Report Texas Sales Taxes After Wayfair?”
  • Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Yulissa Molina, Tax Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz, Immigration Legal Assistant and Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate.
  • On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our public relations associate, Mayra Torres will be asking the questions and our Immigration Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz will be reading answers that I previously wrote in response to the questions on this important tax topic: “Liability of Remote Sellers to Collect, Remit and Report Texas Sales Taxes After Wayfair?”

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 1:

Hello, Good morning Coleman. My name is Mayra Torres, for everyone who hasn’t met me yet, I am the Public Relations Associate at Coleman Jackson, P.C. Umm… todays first question is regarding Wayfair. What Businesses Located Outside of Texas are Required to Collect and Remit Sales Taxes to the State of Texas after Wayfair. Who is “Wayfair”?

Attorney Answers Question 1:

Wayfair refers to a united states supreme court decision decided by the court on June 21, 2018 in a case that is called south Dakota vs Wayfair, Inc. The case involved a sales tax dispute between south Dakota and Wayfair, Inc.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 2:

Well what was the dispute about?

Attorney Answers Question 2:

Wayfair, Inc. Was not located in south Dakota and had no physical presence within The state.

Wayfair, Inc. Sold goods from its remote location to customers who lived in South Dakota. The question in this case was: “when can an out-of-state seller be required to Collect and remit sales tax to a state where they have no physical presence.”

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 3:

So, why was that even in doubt that South Dakota could make Wayfair an out-of-state Seller collect taxes on purchases of goods and services by south Dakota Residents?

Attorney Answers Question 3:

  • That is an excellent question. I am going to explain the concerns with respect to States imposing legal duties on out of state residents as it relates to sales Taxation: the issue here is the free flow of interstate commerce!
    1. The constitution of the united states gives congress the power to regulate Commerce in article 1, section 8, clause 3.
    2. The concern of the framers of the constitution was division within the United states where states are fighting among themselves imposing economic Burdens on the free flow of commerce.
    3. The commerce clause limits the states regulation of commerce
  • The U.S. Supreme Court will allow a State tax on Commerce so long as it meets all of these conditions:
    1. The tax applies to an activity with a substantial nexus with the taxing State;
    2. The tax is fairly apportioned;
    3. The tax does not discriminate against interstate commerce; and
    4. The tax is fairly related to the services the State provides.
  • Condition Number 1 is the only one in question in the Wayfair Case: the tax applies to an activity with a substantial nexus with the taxing State:
  • In those states that have a sales tax statute, before Wayfair, sellers had to have a physical presence within a state in order for that state to impose a liability on a merchant to collect sales taxes on purchases of goods and services. That is known as the Quill physical presence test from the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1992 called Quill Corporation vs. North Dakota.
  • After Wayfair, which involves South Dakota, out-of-state sellers can be held responsible for collection and payment of sales taxes to a state by selling a product or service to customers within the state. The Court said that physical presence in a State can be established merely by selling goods and services to customers in the State. No employees or offices or other physical presence is required in order to establish substantial nexus in the taxing state. So now mere shipping goods and services into a state may bring remote sellers within the scope of out-of-state sales tax statutes. The Supreme Court in Wayfair said that imposing this sales tax collection, remittance and reporting requirement in some circumstances did not violate the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, Article 1, Clause 3.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 4:

Okay…. What Texas… Who is a remote seller selling goods and services to people who live in Texas? Are they liable to collect, remit, report, and keep records of Texas taxable sales?

Attorney Answers Question 4:

  1. A remote seller is defined in Texas Tax Code Rule 3.286(a)(4)(l) and (J) as any seller whose only activities in Texas are the remote solicitation of sales, which includes activities such as solicitation by catalogs, flyers, radio, television, telephone or internet.
  2. Sellers outside of Texas who sell goods and services to Texas residents are required to collect, remit and report Texas sales and use tax effective October 1, 2019 if they made total sales of $500,000 into Texas for a prior 12-month period. If the appropriate sales tax is not properly collected the Use tax must be submitted to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
  3. And yes, remote sellers must keep proper books and records of all Texas taxable sales transactions and have them available for inspection and examination in compliance with 34 Texas Tax Code Section 3.281. The TAC specifically identifies the types of records that all sellers of taxable goods and services must maintain for 4 years.
  4. Texas Comptroller Auditors are permitted to estimate taxable sales in the event a seller fails to maintain and present the required records for inspection at the request of the Texas Comptroller.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 5:

What are the Texas Sales and Use Tax Rate?

Attorney Answers Question 5:

  1. The current sales tax rate is 6.25 percent State rate and each local taxing authority can charge up to 2.0 percent. The maximum allowable sales tax rate in Texas is 8.25 percent.
  2. As for remote sellers, Texas permits them to charge a flat rate of 1.75 percent instead of the local rate which changes from county to county, city to city and school district to school district throughout the State. Remote sellers make this election by filing form 01-799, Remote Seller’s Intent to Elect or Revoke Use of Single Local Use Tax Rate with the Comptroller’s Office. If the remote seller does not make this election, they must compute, collect and remit the local tax based on the local tax applicable to the location to which they shipped the goods or performed the service.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 6:

So, who administers the Limited Sales, Use and Excise Tax laws in Texas?

Attorney Answers Question 6:

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 7:

Are all remote sellers required to do this now?

Attorney Answers Question 7:

  • No; these requirements do not apply to all remote sellers.
  • A remote seller whose total Texas revenue from sales into Texas in the preceding 12 calendar months are less than $500,000 is not required to obtain a sales tax permit and they are not required to collect and remit any sales tax to Texas. The sales are computed on gross revenue not net revenue.
  • As of April 1, 2020, remote sellers must combine sales made through all mediums with delivery into Texas to determine whether they must collect, remit and report Texas Sales.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 8:

Wow, it seems like a somewhat complex issue.

Attorney Answers Question 8:

  • Yes, we have just a brief outline here of the issues and sales tax laws applicable to remote sellers since the Wayfair decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Listeners should stay tune and follow our podcast and read our blogs as we might revisit this topic in the future.

Attorney’s Concluding Remarks:

This is end of “legal thoughts” for now!

  • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you about how the Texas Tax Code requires remote sellers to collect, remit and report sales taxes on sales made to Texas residents to the Texas Comptroller. If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C. Stay tune! We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate, and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation and immigration. Until next time, take care.

Remote Sellers Must Register in Texas before October 1, 2019

By Coleman Jackson, Attorney, Certified Public Accountant
September 16, 2019

 

Remote Sellers Must Register in Texas before October 1, 2019

Texas imposes a 6.25 percent state sales tax and use tax on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods and some services that are either sold in Texas or used in Texas.  Cities, Counties and Transit Authorities can charge up to 2% sales tax on taxable goods and services.  This local sales tax varies from city to city, county to county and transit authority to transit authority throughout the state of Texas.   The maximum sales and use tax in Texas is 8.25 percent.

 

online retail sales

Remote sellers are required to begin sales and use tax collection on October 1, 2019 on their Texas sales.    The remote seller must collect the correct tax by using the Sales Tax Rate Locator.  For example if a remote seller sales a chest of imported cigars to a person residing in Dallas, Texas; they must collect 8.25 percent tax on the gross sale at the time of the sale.  If this same sale is made in another city of Texas the total collected tax could be lower.  It would not be higher because 8.25% is the maximum sales and use tax in Texas.  However, other types of tax obligations could be implicated in this hypothetical, such as, tobacco taxes and fees. Remote sellers doing business in Texas must register with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts before October 1, 2019 to fulfill their Texas tax responsibilities.  First, remote sellers must apply for a Sales Tax Permit pursuant to the Texas Tax Code.

 

remote seller

Once the remote seller is properly registered with the Texas Comptroller of Public Account and receive their sales tax permit, they will be advised by the Texas Comptroller as to whether they must report their taxable sales and use taxes on a monthly basis, quarterly basis or annual basis.  Monthly sales and use tax reports are due on the 20th day of each month following the reporting month.  Quarterly filers must file their sales and use tax reports on April 20th, July 20th October 20th and January 20th.  Annual filers must report taxable Texas sales and use taxes on January 20th for the previous year.

Out of State sellers or remote sellers are required to begin collecting sales and use tax from their Texas customers on October 1, 2019.  If the remote seller fails to register and report Texas Sales and Use Tax they will be subjected to the penalties, administrative actions, and judicial options available under the Texas Tax Code in enforcing the tax laws.  The TTC provides for civil and criminal sanctions against businesses doing business in Texas and not in compliance with their tax responsibilities.

 

Businesses out of Texas

Businesses, who run afoul of the Texas Tax Code and desire to comply with Texas tax laws, whether they are in Texas or someplace else in the world, could possibly qualify to voluntarily disclose under the Texas Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Process (VDA).  A company representative must initiate the process on behalf of an anonymous client who meets the threshold requirements by contacting the Business Activity Research Team (BART) in writing.  If the business has already been contacted by the Texas Comptroller regarding non-compliance with Texas Tax laws, the business cannot voluntarily disclose.  It should be noted that the VDA process is available for all types of taxes administered by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.  Some of the types of taxes that the Texas Comptroller is responsible for administering under the Texas Tax Code are as follows:

  • Sales and Use Tax
  • Hotel Tax
  • Franchise Tax
  • Tobacco Taxes and Fees
  • Battery Sales Fees
  • Cement Production
  • Boat and Boat Motor Taxes
  • Insurance Taxes
  • Manufactured Housing
  • Controlled Substances

 

This law blog is written by the Taxation | Litigation | Immigration Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. for educational purposes; it does not create an attorney-client relationship between this law firm and its reader.  You should consult with legal counsel in your geographical area with respect to any legal issues impacting you, your family or business.

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Taxation, Litigation, Immigration Law Firm | English (214) 599-0431 | Spanish (214) 599-0432

ONLINE RETAILERS LOOK OUT FOR TEXAS LIMITED SALES, USE & EXCISE TAX

By:  Coleman Jackson, Attorney, Certified Public Accountant
July 27, 2018

Online retailers have good reason to look out for the Texas Limited Sales, Use & Excise Tax.  Have you ever heard of South Dakota versus Wayfair, Inc.?    South Dakota vs. Wayfair, Inc., 585 U.S. ____ (2018) is a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 21, 2018.  In that case the Court decided in favor of South Dakota and against Wayfair, Inc.  Wayfair establishes a nationwide rule that basically allows all 50 States to lawfully tax the sales of goods and services performed by online retailers the same as they tax brick and mortar retailers.    Each State is permitted to change its laws governing transactions to realize this new source of revenue.  It is hard to imagine that Texas would not extend its sales, use and excise taxes to reach online retailers selling into Texas from other States or Countries.  The U.S. Supreme Court has given the States a green light to tax online retailers selling goods and services into their States from remote locations.

Online retailers have good reason to look out for Texas to extend the reach of its sales, use & excise tax rules to online retailers selling goods and services to consumers and businesses located in Texas.  In the past as it relates to brick and mortal retailers, Texas law presumed that all retail sales or uses of tangible personal property are taxable transactions.  The burden rested squarely on the shoulders of the brick and mortar retailers to show that sales were somehow exempt from sales, use and excise taxes.  Brick and mortar retailers are required by law to collect the tax and turn it over to the State of Texas pursuant to set rules and regulations.  These rules and burdens are most surely to extend to online retailers in the not so distant future when the Texas Legislature has had a chance to visit the issue after the South Dakota vs. Wayfair, Inc. decision.

Online retailers ought to watch, wait and plan their business activities in anticipation because the days when online retailers selling to consumers in Texas are numbered.    The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is the Texas governmental agency responsible for enforcing the sales tax rules in Texas.  Online Retailers need to perform due diligence and comply with Texas Limited Sales, Use & Excise Tax Act through voluntary disclosure and appropriate registrations.  Watch because the tax authorities cometh when you expect not.  Watch our blogs for future updates on this very important topic and other tax, litigation and immigration concerns of interest to our readers.

This law blog is written by the Taxation | Litigation | Immigration Law Firm of Coleman Jackson, P.C. for educational purposes; it does not create an attorney-client relationship between this law firm and its reader.  You should consult with legal counsel in your geographical area with respect to any legal issues impacting you, your family or business.

Coleman Jackson, P.C. | Taxation, Litigation, Immigration Law Firm | English (214) 599-0431 | Spanish (214) 599-0432

Immigrant Tax Alert – Tax Scam Targets Immigrants

Blog By: Coleman Jackson, PC

Immigration & Tax Law Firm

Firm Site www.cjacksonlaw.com

 

October 31, 2013

Today the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warned of an insidious, sophisticated telephone tax scam targeting consumers (immigrants and recent arrivals to the United States may be particularly besieged), throughout the United States.  The IRS described the fraudulent activities in Issue Number:  IR-2013-84 as follows:

“Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.”

The IRS further described the current tax scam as follows:

“Other characteristics of this scam include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.

After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.”

Immigrants are particularly vulnerable.  They are in a new land and may be very unfamiliar with the tax laws, tax collection practices and taxing policies of the federal, state and local government.  They may not even be familiar with all of the various taxing authorities.  Immigrants must be especially vigilant and on the alert for tax scams.  But they also must be aware that, in the United States, there are various governmental units who might be charged with assessing and collecting various types of legitimate taxes.  Every communication that may be received concerning a tax issue is not a scam.

Taxing authorities do not ask for personal information such as social security numbers, banking account information and other personal data over the phone, through social media or via tech messaging  or instant messaging or through electronic mail to taxpayers.   If you receive communications through these media you should immediately be on high tax alert.  It would be very unusual for either the federal, state or local government to ask for personal confidential information through these media.  Government correspondence will typically be mailed to you using the United States Postal Service.    The mail will typically be sent to your last known residential address or business address.  If the mail is received anywhere else or otherwise looks suspicious, be on high tax alert.  If you receive information requests through these types of media or other suspicious circumstances, you should be extremely careful.  Consider these guidelines:

DON’TS:

  1. Never give out personal information, such as, your social security number, or bank account details in response to telephone request, emails, texts or social media requests;
  2. Never agree to meet with the caller in person at the instruction of the caller;
  3. Never pay an alleged tax debt with cash at the instruction of the caller;
  4. Never wire transfer any money to the caller or by instruction of the caller;
  5. Never turn over anything else of value to the caller or anyone else as instructed by the caller;

DO’S:

  1. Contact  directly the federal, state or local governmental authorities and report the incident-
    1. Federal Tax Issues—call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484;
    2. State Tax Issues—  in Texas, call the Texas Comptroller’s Office at  1-800-252-5555 (Sales & Use Tax Issues) or 1-800-252-1381 for (Franchise Tax Issues);
    3. Local Tax Issues— call your city or county tax collector; in Dallas County call 1-214-653-7811.  Call the county tax office where you reside with any questions regarding local tax issues, such as, property taxes.

If you are still confused after contacting the federal, state or local governmental authorities or you just don’t know what to do, contact a tax attorney.  You might also be able to get some guidance from local non-profit organizations, churches and other institutions.  Some area law schools may have tax clinics available for immigrant taxpayers.

Bottom line, as an immigrant taxpayer in America, you do not have to suffer tax harassment in silence or under individual or community siege.  Reach out as we have outlined above to seek help when you suspect that you, your family or community are victims of tax scams.

This blog is written to inform and for educational purposes only.  It is not given as legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship.  You should consult an attorney for any particular matter pertaining to your facts and circumstances.

COLEMAN JACKSON, P.C.

Immigration & Tax Law Firm

6060 North Central Expressway, Suite 443

Dallas, Texas 75206

Office Phone:  (214) 599-0431 (English)   (214) 599-0432 (Spanish)