Weekly Round-Up: Pennsylvania Gives Online Retailers a Temporary Reprieve

The deadline for online businesses and other remote sellers with a physical presence in Pennsylvania to begin collecting state sales tax has been extended until Sept. 1 by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, according to a report in this week’s issue of Bloomberg BNA’s Weekly State Tax Report.

A number of e-commerce retailers complained of operational and technical hurdles to meeting the original Feb. 1 compliance deadline for companies to become licensed to collect sales tax and to begin collection of the tax, according to the department.

“In the interest of being reasonable and respecting the difficulty of tailoring sales tax software to Pennsylvania's complicated sales tax rules, we believe extending the compliance deadline is the fair thing to do,” Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser said in a news release.

The department set the deadline after issuing a tax bulletin in December 2011 aimed at clarifying Pennsylvania's sales tax nexus law for remote sellers and the revenue department's authority to enforce it.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue's December 2011 guidanceon sales tax collections, Sales and Use Tax Bulletin 2011-01, was framed as a “reminder” to remote sellers of their sales tax collection obligations, Lee A. Zoeller and Kelley C. Miller said in an article published in Bloomberg BNA’s Weekly State Tax Report.

In effect, the bulletin expands the department's application of the commonwealth's sales and use tax statute to establish click-through and affiliate nexus, concepts that many states are embracing as they move to increase sales tax collections, Zoeller and Miller said.

There will be no further extensions of the Sept. 1 compliance deadline, which falls far enough ahead of the holiday season to enforce uniform sales tax collection and foster fair competition between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses during the busiest retail sales season of the year, Secretary Meuser said.

In other developments…

With Facebook IPO, some California lawmakers hope for a tax windfall to benefit treasury, schools, the Washington Post reports.

Amazon’s tab for South Carolina sales tax break: $156,000-plus, Tim Flach, of The State, reports.

State tax revenue keeps rising, but growth again ticks downward, according to Lucy Dadayan, of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Bruce P. Ely and James E. Long, Jr., of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, release their State and Local Tax Alert, Alabama Edition, on the Alabama Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights II.

Scott Drenkard, at the Tax Foundation, looks at tangible personal property tax reform: options to foster simplicity and competitiveness in Florida’s tax code.

Compiled by Priya D. Nair
Follow us on Twitter at: @SALTax
Join BNA's State Tax Group on LinkedIn here: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1821701&trk=hb_side_g