Daily Tax Report: State provides authoritative coverage of state and local tax developments across the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, tracking legislative and regulatory updates,...
Ryan Prete Washington Reporter Ryan C. Tuck Washington Deputy News Director
By Ryan Prete
Federal digital sales tax legislation is necessary for state and seller collection uniformity, according to a Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board executive.
Hours after President Donald Trump signed a federal omnibus spending bill without a digital tax provision that would allow for states to impose sales tax collection obligations on vendors lacking an in-state physical presence, Craig Johnson, executive director of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board Inc. (SSTGB) said the board still “maintains that federal legislation is the right answer for uniformity.”
Johnson said during a March 23 conference call that the board wouldn’t yet speculate on South Dakota v. Wayfair—a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that directly challenges Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, which prohibits states from imposing sales tax collection obligations on vendors lacking an in-state physical presence. But he said that federal legislation was the best path to uniformity in collection and remittance of sales tax, a chief goal of the board.
Oral arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair are scheduled for April 17.
In terms of federal legislation, Johnson was referring to two long-proposed measures: the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2017 (H.R. 2193) (RTPA) and the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2017 (S.976) (MFA). Both bills seek to undo Quill’s 26-year-old rule, and last ditch efforts to address the issue via the omnibus bill fell short.
Johnson said he is working on securing a panel of tax professional who attend the April oral arguments to speak during the SSTGB’s spring meeting May 1-3 in Jackson, Wyo.
Johnson later spoke on a March 23 panel at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Task Force on State and Local Taxation meeting in Washington, where he affirmed that the Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) initiative would “absolutely still be viable if Quill is undone.”
“Uniformity and simplification are products of the Streamlined Sales Tax, and we hope the U.S. Supreme Court will see that during oral arguments in April,” Johnson said.
Johnson spoke alongside Max Behlke, director of budget and tax at the NCSL. Behlke also affirmed the contributions of SST.
“Streamlined Sales Tax is a testament that states can and will come together,” Behlke said.
South Dakota state Sen. Deb Peters (R), who is also president of the NCSL’s executive committee, said the NCSL is working alongside the SSTGB to develop guidelines for online sales tax collection in the event that the high court over turns Quill.
Peters said the guidelines are for small businesses and will prevent the chaos of a free-for-all scenario should Quill be undone.
During the panel, Johnson spoke against arguments that remote seller compliance would be unfeasible in a post- Quill world.
“I personally think that fears of compliance complications are overblown,” Johnson said. “In my experience, sellers do not sign up with Streamlined Sales Tax and then quit because they say it’s too expensive. They have continually stayed with the program.”
Johnson said the SSTGB has seen an increase in voluntary seller participation in every month since 2012.
“We today have the means to register all remote retailers right now,” Johnson said. “Regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Wayfair, the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board and states will continue to work towards uniformity.”
More than 3,800 voluntary retailers collect and remit sales and use taxes in Streamlined Sales Tax member states, Johnson said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Prete in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan C. Tuck at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2018 Tax Management Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)