Tax Analysts Blog

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Good Jobs First recently published the second edition of a report entitled “Grading Places: What Do the Business Climate Rankings Really Tell Us?” The purpose of the report is to examine various business climate indexes, and prove that they are “corporate-sponsored, pseudo-social science” studi...
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
I have a running joke with another editor at Tax Analysts that when news gets slow in the state tax department, we can always cover impact fees. The topic often comes up during July and August, which are notoriously slow months for state tax news. I distinctly remember writing about impact fees in...
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Avalara is a company that designs software to help companies automate their sales tax compliance. Perhaps it is fitting, then, that an Avalara blog post addressed the taxation of candy. It's one of the areas of state sales tax laws that can (pun intended) make you go nuts, but it also highlights t...
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has backed away from his plan to repeal the state's individual and corporate income taxes and replace revenues through an expansion of the sales tax. Gov. Jindal has assured supporters that he is not abandoning the plan, but has asked the Legislature to come up with a w...
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The Mainstreet Fairness Act (MFA) is continuing to gain steam. On March 27, the U.S. Senate voted 75 – 24 in favor of an amendment to support the act. The amendment was included as part of an overall debate of the Senate's 2014 budget plan, which passed as a non-binding resolution. Despite the sh...
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
On March 28, the New York Court of Appeals, in a 4-1 decision, upheld a state law that requires certain out-of-state companies to collect and remit sales tax on sales to in-state customers despite the fact that the companies lack a physical presence in the state. The state successfully argued that...
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The days of tax-free shopping may be numbered. Well, if we were honest, there never were any tax-free shopping days (unless we're talking about a sales tax holiday, which is horrible tax policy, but I digress). On March 22, the Senate took a symbolic vote on the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA). The...
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
I recently spoke at a conference about transparency in state tax administration. Among other issues that were discussed, I suggested that there is a culture of mistrust between taxpayers and practitioners and state tax officials. When I suggested that the feeling was one of “us” vs. “them,” hea...
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Could it be? Will Oregon, a historically sales tax free state, begin to impose a sales tax? That is the question on the table. On February 20, the state Legislature proposed legislation that would enact a 5 percent sales and use tax on sales of tangible personal property and services. The legislati...
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The sequester has occurred and the sky hasn't fallen…yet. Still, there has been a seemingly endless stream of reports on how states will be impacted by the budget cuts. But actual data on those impacts is lacking, so it is unclear whether any of the reports reflect reality. Still, despite the lac...
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is a bipartisan organization that “serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states” by providing “research, technical assistance and opportunities for policy makers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues.” In additio...
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
A bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives introduced on February 14 a bill that reportedly resolves the differences between bills introduced in the last Congress that would require an online retailer to collect and remit sales tax regardless of whether the online retailer has a physi...
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Although 2013 is yet young, tax reform has been a hot topic. States have been particularly active in discussing a variety of tax reforms. The proposed reforms have included decreased reliance on income taxes and increased reliance on consumption taxes (i.e. the sales tax). But with that proposal co...
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
A recent post on a Florida tax lawyer blog questioned whether online retailers that pay shoppers to “advertise” on their personal web pages creates nexus for those retailers. The blog recalls an October 2012 New York Times article, which addressed the issue. According to that article, a Manhattan...
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Transparency has become a topic that is near and dear to my heart. After all, I work for Tax Analysts, where transparency is paramount to the company's mission. For the past year, Tax Analysts has been exploring transparency in state tax administration. Some states do a pretty good job of ensuring...
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Both the corporate and individual federal income taxes turn 100 this year, and many in the tax community are taking this momentous occasion to question whether either tax still works in the modern economy. (Tax Analysts is having a conference on a similar topic in the coming months. Details will be...
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
As the 113th Congress is being sworn in, I can't help but wonder whether they will take a fresh look at remote seller legislation. Undoubtedly, federal legislation will be introduced in this Congress that requires remote sellers to collect sales tax despite a lack of physical presence in the taxin...
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The fiscal cliff debate is finally past us…at least for the moment, and there are very few winners. In fact, nearly every American will see a tax hike. So while there may be a general bemoaning of the “deal,” the film industry is among those celebrating. Despite a red letter year at the box offi...
Monday, December 31, 2012
Amazon will begin collecting tax in Massachusetts in the fall of 2013. Gov. Deval Patrick announced in a press release that in addition to collecting sales tax, Amazon and the governor will “work together toward enactment of federal legislation to resolve the sales tax issue by creating an equitab...
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
An interesting fight went on in Oregon this month. It was over a tax incentive of a different variety with no direct tax breaks, just the promise of a fixed tax code. The governor wanted to be able to assure Nike, which was considering a major expansion in the state, that the state wouldn't change...