On February 12, 2021, the Maryland General Assembly voted to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of House Bill 732, which carried over from the close of last year’s legislative session and enacts the nation’s first gross receipts tax on digital advertising targeted at Maryland consumers. The tax takes effect on March 14, 2021 and applies to all taxable years beginning after December 31, 2020. Legal challenges to the tax have already begun in the Maryland courts.

Overview of Digital Advertising Tax

House Bill 732 passed both the Maryland House and Senate with more than three-fifths support in March 2020, as the legislature rushed to consider legislation before adjourning for 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. Governor Hogan vetoed the bill, leaving it in limbo until the legislature reconvened in 2021. The legislature’s override of the governor’s veto leaves companies with little time to determine their compliance obligations.

Continue Reading Maryland Passes First-of-Its-Kind Digital Advertising Tax

Venable clients that engage in selling goods and/or services over the internet should evaluate whether the recent Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair will now require them to begin collecting sales and use taxes in states where they have not previously done so. In the Wayfair Case the Court held that a state can require a remote vendor to collect its sales/use tax based merely on “economic nexus” with the state. The prior law standard requiring a remote vendor to have physical presence in a state has been overturned. Under the South Dakota law at issue in Wayfair, an internet retailer is required to collect South Dakota sales tax if it has more than $100,000 of sales into the state or more than 200 sales transactions in the state over the course of a year.

Our chart below lists the states that currently have authorized an economic nexus standard similar to that approved in Wayfair and lists the threshold requirements for each state. This list can be expected to grow as states without economic nexus laws for sales tax purposes rush to alter their existing standards to take advantage of Wayfair’s liberalization of the sales tax nexus rules.

Continue Reading Internet Vendors Need to Pay Attention to these States After U.S. Supreme Court Alters Sales Tax Collection Standard

States can now require internet retailers to collect sales taxes even if the retailer has no physical presence in the state.

In South Dakota v. Wayfair, the Supreme Court overturned its 1992 decision in Quill Corporation v. North Dakota, which limited a state’s ability to impose its sales tax on an out-of-state retailer. In Quill the Court ruled that only a retailer that had a physical presence in a state by means of employees, stores, warehouses, or the like was required to collect such state’s sales tax. The Quill decision is one of the main reasons why many e-commerce retailers did not have to collect sales tax for sales to out-of-state residents.

Continue Reading States Win and E-Retailers Lose as U.S. Supreme Court Alters Sales Tax Collection Standard

e-commerceAs states continue their quest to compel online vendors to collect sales and use tax on sales to customers located in the state and to subject such vendors to state income tax, a current trend has been targeting vendors selling via online marketplaces. Some states assert that the presence of inventory held for a vendor or the presence of the marketplace provider/facilitator in a state acting on behalf of a vendor is sufficient nexus or connection of the vendor with the state to subject the vendor to the state’s taxing jurisdiction. 

The Multistate Tax Commission (MTC), an intergovernmental state tax agency that works on behalf of the states and taxpayers to facilitate the administration of state tax laws, is coordinating a Voluntary Disclosure Settlement program (VDA program) to enable retailers that sell their products online using a third-party marketplace provider/facilitator (such as Rakuten) to register with a state for current and prospective tax compliance and at the same time settle tax obligations for prior years.

Continue Reading Marketplace Vendors Offered Voluntary Closing Agreement Program for State Tax Exposure