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Archive for Monika Miles

How To Keep Yourself Safe From Qui Tam Lawsuits

Monika Miles - Qui Tam Lawsuits

In the time since the 2018 Wayfair decision, dozens of states across the U.S. have passed economic nexus legislation. These laws compel out-of-state retailers with no physical presence to remit sales tax once they meet the state’s minimum economic nexus requirements.

A year and a half later, the complexity of the new legislation is creating headaches for businesses all over the country.

Even worse is the undeniable fact that the added complexity is opening up companies to the additional risk of Qui Tam lawsuits from whistleblowers.

What is a Qui Tam Lawsuit?

A Qui Tam lawsuit is brought forward under the False Claims Act (FCA), which alleges a business committed fraudulent behavior that impacted governmental programs. These suits are filed on behalf of the government by an individual (the whistleblower) in exchange for a portion of the recovery (generally 15 to 25 percent).
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Tax And Business Climate In Washington D.C.

Monika Miles On sales tax in washington D.C.

We were in the intermountain west last month, but let’s now take a journey to our nation’s capital. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent county, Washington D.C. was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a founding father of our nation. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city, located on the Potomac River, bordering Maryland and Virginia, is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

For statistical purposes, the District of Columbia is treated as a state-equivalent (and a county-equivalent) by the U.S. Census Bureau. Hence, the District has enacted many laws that are similar to other states. As you’ll see below, it has its own income tax and sales tax rules as well.

Business Climate

Tourism is a leading industry in the District. Aside from many historical landmarks and museums, the District also hosts nearly 200 foreign embassies and international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization.
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Montana Business Climate And Taxes

Monika Miles -Montana Taxes And Business Climate

This month, let’s take a journey out west to the state of Montana. It is the 43rd most populous and the 4th most extensive in land area of the 50 states. It is the largest landlocked U.S. State. It is slightly larger than Japan. It is the 4th largest state in the United States after Alaska, Texas and California.

The state has several nicknames, although none of them are official. They include “Big Sky Country” and the “Treasure State.” The state’s slogans include “Land of the Shining Mountains” and “The Last Best Place.”

The western half of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller island ranges are found throughout the state. In all, 77 named ranges are part of the Rocky Mountains. The eastern half of Montana is characterized by western prairie terrain and badlands.

Business Climate

The economy is primarily based on agriculture, including ranching and cereal grain farming. Other significant economic resources include mineral extraction such as oil, gas, coal, hard rock mining, and lumber. The health care, service, and government sectors also are significant to the state’s economy.

The fastest growing sector is tourism. Nearly 13 million tourists visit Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Beartooth Highway, Flathead Lake, Big Sky Resort, the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn, and other attractions each year. The state also has three of the five entrances to Yellowstone National Park.

Tax Climate

The top individual income tax rate is 6.9% and the top corporate income tax rate is 6.75%.
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3 Important Sales Tax Predictions To Watch For In 2020

MONIKA MILES

The world of sales tax has changed a lot in the past year. Following the Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision, 2019 was the year most states began requiring businesses to collect and remit sales tax, and then began making marketplace facilitators (such as Amazon or eBay) responsible for collecting and remitting the taxes on sales that came through their marketplaces.

What changes can we expect to see this year? Keep reading for three predictions we believe are just around the corner.

3 Sales Tax Predictions For 2020
1. Smaller Retailers Will Depend On Marketplaces
As Greg Chapman, SVP of business development at Avalara explains, “We should expect traditional ecommerce providers to start working closely with marketplaces or offering more ‘Amazon-like’ experiences to stay relevant.”

The increase in online shopping coupled with confusing economic nexus laws make it even more appealing for very small businesses up to mid-sized companies to work with online marketplaces. In addition to facilitating sales in a process that’s more streamlined for customers, a lot of states have placed the burden of sales tax collection on the marketplace rather than the seller. This can greatly reduce the cost and risk of doing business online for companies struggling to navigate tricky taxability questions.
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3 Important Sales Tax Predictions To Watch For In 2020

3 Important Sales Tax Decisions
3 Sales Tax Predictions For 2020

The world of sales tax has changed a lot in the past year. Following the Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision, 2019 was the year most states began requiring businesses to collect and remit sales tax, and then began making marketplace facilitators (such as Amazon or eBay) responsible for collecting and remitting the taxes on sales that came through their marketplaces.

What changes can we expect to see this year? Keep reading for three predictions we believe are just around the corner.

1. Smaller Retailers Will Depend On Marketplaces

As Greg Chapman, SVP of business development at Avalara explains, “We should expect traditional ecommerce providers to start working closely with marketplaces or offering more ‘Amazon-like’ experiences to stay relevant.”

The increase in online shopping coupled with confusing economic nexus laws make it even more appealing for very small businesses up to mid-sized companies to work with online marketplaces. In addition to facilitating sales in a process that’s more streamlined for customers, a lot of states have placed the burden of sales tax collection on the marketplace rather than the seller. This can greatly reduce the cost and risk of doing business online for companies struggling to navigate tricky taxability questions.

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8 New State Laws You Should Know For 2020

8 New State Laws You Should Know For 2020

In the state tax world, the beginning of the year means new legislation goes into effect. Are you curious about which laws changed at the beginning of the month? Keep reading for eight states with new and updated sales tax laws you won’t want to miss.

Georgia: 529 Plan State Tax Update

For Georgia residents using a 529 Plan to save for college expenses, state tax deductions will double to be:

  • $4,000 per child for single taxpayers
  • $8,000 per year for those filing jointly with a spouse

This deduction will be available beginning with the 2020 tax year.

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Business And Tax Climate In Alabama

Alabama And Taxes

Last month, we were in the cold climate of Alaska. This month we travel to the humid subtropical climate of Alabama, located in the southeastern region of the united states. It is the 30th largest by area and the 24th most populous of the 50 states. With a total of 1,500 miles of inland waterways, Alabama has the most of any state.

About 3/5 of the land area is a gentle plain with a general descent towards the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. The north Alabama region is mostly mountainous, with the Tennessee River cutting a large valley and creating numerous creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes. The state ranges from sea level at Mobile Bay to over 1,800 feet in the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast. The highest point is Mount Cheaha, at 2,423 feet.

Business Climate

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How To Navigate The California Manufacturing Partial Sales And Use Tax Exemption

MONIKA MILES

The California Manufacturing Partial Sales and Use Tax Exemption, which went into effect July 1, 2014, allows certain manufacturers and biotech companies to exempt a portion of sales and use tax on purchases of qualified equipment used in manufacturing and R&D (research and development). While it’s been around for a few years, it’s still a viable benefit for companies purchasing equipment.

How To Take Advantage Of The California Manufacturing Partial Sales And Use Tax Exemption
Qualifications

To qualify, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be engaged in certain types of business primarily engaged (50 percent or more of the time) in those lines of business described in the NAICS Codes for:
    • Manufacturing (311100-339999)
    • R&D in biotechnology (541711)
    • R&D in the physical, engineering and life sciences (541712)
    • Generation and production, or storage and distribution of electric power (22111-221118, 221122)

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What You Need To Know About The Wayfair Decision And How It Affected Sales Tax

MONIKA MILES

Here we are, about 18 months after one of the biggest jolts to the sales tax landscape. On June 21, 2018, state sales tax completely changed when the U.S. Supreme Court established precedent for economic nexus through South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.

In the highly anticipated ruling, the Court ruled 5-4 in favor of overturning its 1992 Quill decision, which required sellers to have substantial physical presence before a state could enforce the sales tax collection responsibilities.

Writing for the Court’s majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy indicated, “The Court concludes that the physical presence rule of Quill is unsound and incorrect. The Court’s decisions in Quill Corp v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992) and National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Ill., 386 U.S. 753 (1967), should be, and now are, overruled.”

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A Review Of Marketplace Facilitation

MONIKA MILES- Marketplace Facilitation

With the rapid growth of online sales and companies like Amazon and Ebay, marketplace facilitation has become increasingly popular, but is also very complicated. As explained by avalara, states continue to be very aggressive in finding new ways to bring revenue into their state. Many have enacted marketplace facilitator laws, which are laws that regulate marketplace facilitation and vary by state and municipality. As with all things multistate, uniformity is not always the case and different pieces of legislation can get very confusing.

In this post, we review what the idea of marketplace facilitation is, what the marketplace facilitator laws are and how marketplace facilitator laws are impacting retailers.

What is a Marketplace Facilitator?

In an article by accuratetax.com, a marketplace facilitator is defined as a company that operates a marketplace or “selling space” on a large platform (i.e., Amazon or eBay). Companies are then able to sell their products through that platform via the marketplace facilitator. The benefit to these companies is that they are able to reach a much larger audience by selling via the marketplace than if they sold their products on their own. Note though, that many sellers also continue to sell direct to customers through their own website, in addition to the marketplace.

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Nexus: What Do You Need To Know And How Does It Relate To State Tax?

MONIKA MILES - NEXUS

In the state tax world, one of the most important concepts is “nexus.” Also known as “taxable presence, “nexus” is the term that describes the minimum connection a company needs to have with a state in order to be subject to the state’s taxing scheme. This includes sales tax, income tax, gross receipts tax and more.

There’s a lot that goes into the discussion around nexus, and with the recent state tax law changes, there are frequent updates. This post is a helpful start to understanding what nexus is and how it affects your business.

How Does Physical Presence Nexus Establish State Tax Exposure?

One primary way companies establish nexus is through having a physical presence in that state. For example, if a business has “boots on the ground” in terms of employees or third-party contractors working in the state, or has inventory, other personal property or real property in the state, the company likely has nexus and needs to collect and remit state tax.

When it comes to physical presence nexus, there are a few specific areas we look at:

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Tax Business Climate In U.S. State Of Alaska

MONIKA MILES - Alaska Tax And Business Climate

On March 30, 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire for $7.2 million, or approximately two cents per acre. The area went through several administrative changes before becoming recognized as a territory on May 11, 1912. It was admitted to the union as the 49th state on January 3,1959.

It is the largest U.S. state by area and the 3rd least populous state in the U.S. It is the northernmost and westernmost state and has the most easterly longitude in the U.S. because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. With its myriad islands, Alaska has nearly 34,000 miles of tidal shoreline.

Business Climate

Alaska’s economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, and oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. United Sates armed forces bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy.

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