Is Your eCommerce Business Ready for the Sales Tax Changes?


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In 2018, the State of Washington’s new marketplace rules take effect. Marketplace facilitators (like Amazon) will be required to collect sales tax on behalf of marketplace sellers that have not otherwise established a physical presence of nexus within the state. Colorado has a similar rule and it’s expected that other states will soon be following suit.

The states seem to be acting independently. You need a scorecard to keep track of what is going on. And that’s what the following is.

Click Through Nexus: If a retailer or service provider contracts with an individual or company located in-state who directly or indirectly refers potential customers to the retailer through a web link for a commission upon sale, the retailer is considered to have nexus in that state.

In plain English, you may have a Click Through Nexus if you have an affiliate in one of these states. In this case, there are a few other things that would happen for this to be applicable:

  • Your affiliate will post an online link to your business product or services.
  • You pay your affiliate when a sale is made.
  • If you pay an affiliate, just for impressions and not only for sales, that part will not be subject to the Click On Nexus rules.
  • If you have sales tax nexus, you must follow the sales tax collection and payment rules for that state. Since there are a lot of variations by state in the circumstances for sales tax, you’re going to need to stay on top of this.

The following states have click-through nexus as of 1/1/18:

Arkansas (effective 10/27/2011)
California (effective 9/15/2012)
Colorado (effective 7/1/2014)
Connecticut (effective 5/4/2011)
Georgia (effective 7/18/2012)
Illinois (effective 1/1/2015)
Kansas (effective 10/1/2014)
Louisiana (effective 4/1/2016)
Maine (effective 10/9/2013)
Michigan (effective 10/1/2015)
Minnesota (effective 7/1/2013)
Missouri (effective 8/28/2013)
Nevada (effective 10/1/2015)
New Jersey (effective 7/1/2014)
New York (effective 5/8/2008)
North Carolina (effective 8/7/2009)
Ohio (effective (7/1/2015)
Pennsylvania (effective 12/1/2011)
Rhode Island (effective 7/1/2009, revised 8/17/2017)
Tennessee (effective 7/1/2015)
Vermont (effective 12/1/2015)
Washington (effective 9/1/2015)

Unfortunately, most amnesty periods have now elapsed. If you think you might have a click-through nexus issue, please meet with your accountant or sales tax advisor soon. This is not something you can ignore with your business and it’s likely you’ll have some past due amounts due. Get in front of this to avoid a problem.

We’re going to see more states adopt the marketplace fairness act. If you’re selling through marketplaces like Amazon, you’ll be required to collect sales tax (or the bigger company will do it for you and likely add a hefty service charge along in the process) in more states.

There are a lot of changes coming for 2018 for sales tax. Please keep watch on USTaxAid.com for changes.

We will have a special coaching session January 17th at 5 pm Pacific on nexus for business and strategies, especially for income tax nexus, that you can use to reduce your state taxes. Learn more at https://www.ustaxaid.com/coaching-program/



2 Comments

  1. Diane Kennedy says:

    In the past, we would have looked at where you might additionally have nexus. For example, what states are your goods stored in for Amazon, do you have sales people or workers in other states, do you do trade shows in other states, etc.

    Now with the Marketplace Fairness Act in Washington, most likely you’ll have to collect sales tax on WA sales as well. As more states adopt this Act (and more are expected to), there will be more sales tax to collect.

  2. I have an online store and an Amazon store. My business operates in WI. Only customers from WI who purchase from my website or Amazon store pay the sales tax. Is this right or have changes been made while I wasn’t looking. Thanks for your help. Sharon

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