Not So Simple–Recent Developments in Taxing the Cloud

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We write frequently about developments surrounding federal tax legislation such as the Marketplace Fairness Act, which is up for a vote before the Senate on May 6. One of the major issues critics have with the Act is that despite proponents’ claims, it fails to provide for real simplification of state and local tax regimes,...

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April 1st: BC to Revert to the PST While PEI Implements HST

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We post here occasionally about developments in the Canadian tax system to keep our readers aware of important changes and new requirements. For instance, back in 2011, we wrote that voters in British Columbia had decided to discontinue the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and return to the provincial sales tax, or PST. As part of...

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Traps for the Unwary: Taxation of Digital Products

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Recently, I presented at a webinar hosted by Strafford Publishing on the subject of sales and use tax on digital products and services. It almost goes without saying that the interstate sale of digital products—whether books or software—is complicated, if for no other reason than it requires analyzing the sales and use tax consequences of...

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Florida Introduces Affiliate Nexus Legislation

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For the sixth year in a row, Florida legislators introduced a bill that (like many states before it) would create a rebuttable presumption that any out-of-state Internet retailer or mail order seller which enters into an agreement with a Florida resident (an “affiliate”) for paid referrals is subject to the State’s sales and use tax....

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Data Breaches: Some Lessons

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Some of our readers may have read about recent high profile data breaches, such as the one involving credit card information taken from many Barnes & Noble retail stores. Or they may have heard of the huge class action law suits against Sony which resulted from its handling of a 2011 incident involving hackers into...

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Tennessee Ruling Provides Another Wrinkle for Cloud Computing Services

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A recent ruling by the Tennessee Department of Revenue (Ruling #12-11) illustrates some of the anomalies and pitfalls in properly taxing cloud computing services. The request for ruling concerned a service that provided Tennessee users access to software maintained on remote servers located outside of Tennessee. This is otherwise known as an SaaS service. In...

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One Month Left to File under Maine’s Use Tax Compliance Program

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At the root of debate about whether Internet retailers and other direct marketers should be required to collect state sales and use taxes is the well worn complaint by state revenue departments that consumers (the folks who actually owe the tax under nearly every state’s laws) just do not self-report and pay use tax if...

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Borders’ Gift Card Holders Not Permitted Recovery in Bankruptcy

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We’ve written about gift cards in this space in the past, and have covered escheat issues related to gift cards, as well. But, in a different wrinkle, last month, the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York addressed the impact of bankruptcy law on companies’ requirements to honor gift cards. By way of...

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Retailers Beware of the new New Jersey Gift Card Law

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In the wake of the 2011 decision of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in New Jersey Retail Merchants Association v. Sidamon-Eristoff, 669 F.3d 374 (3rd Cir. 2012), condemning a large portion of the New Jersey statute adopted in 2010 regarding gift cards, gift certificates, and other stored value cards, the New Jersey legislature amended...

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Committee Hearings Held on Remote Collection Bills; Coalition Forms to Demand True Simplification Of State Sales Tax Systems, Defend Quill

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We have written previously about attempts by Congress to overturn the physical presence nexus standard of Quill Corp. v. North Dakota via the Main Street Fairness Act, the Marketplace Fairness Act, and the Marketplace Equity Act. The bills vary in their specifics as we discuss here and here, but most simply put, all three bills...

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