The death of the internet sales tax differential?

April 2012


As states continue to face severe budget shortfalls with little anticipation of future support from the federal government, state legislatures and revenue departments are seeking new revenue streams, often through sales and use tax impositions. Corporate taxpayers are seeing these efforts manifested through greater audit activity than in prior years, the use of aggressive third party auditors by states, and the expansion of tax bases and sin taxes. In addition to these measures, states are expanding their interpretation of “doing business” within their jurisdictions. Application of agency principles has been aimed at stretching the nexus parameters set by the US Constitution and case law. Most of the effort has been focused on subjecting out of state remote sellers to sales tax collection responsibilities. In a 2009 study, the University of Tennessee estimated that by 2012, sales tax losses nationwide as a result of internet and remote sales will be $11.4 billion, hence the motivation for adopting these changes.

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Peter Michalowski
National SALT Practice Leader
Tel: +1 (646) 471 5259

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