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Showing posts from June, 2011

The State Franchise Tax: Another Business Tax to Consider

Practical SALT Guidance:   Last week I received an e-mail from a business associate. He's a member of a high-technology finance executive group which includes CFOs, finance VPs, and corporate controllers, many whom work for high-tech start-ups. Along with his e-mail, he forwarded a fellow member's question on state franchise taxes.  The question stated that this executive's company was incorporated in Delaware, had operations in Alabama, California, and Missouri, and a single employee working in Tennessee. My colleague, being well aware of my state tax focus, forwarded the question to me, and I enthusiastically answered it. I'm often asked about state franchise taxes; many companies don't understand exactly what a state franchise tax is and when a filing is required.  As the executive who posed the question said, " In most small start-ups, you need a whole tax department to keep up with the reporting requirements if the letter of the law were followe

E-Commerce/Internet Sales Tax, An Important Topic for Today's Business

Taxes on E-Commerce!  Now this is an area that is really exploding!  My guess is that by now you've heard all about the controversial "Amazon Laws", laws which have been enacted or are currently being legislated in several states.  But just in case you've missed all the excitement, these presumptive nexus laws  (what they're really called) have been passed by numerous states to require on-line retailers who lack a physical presence in their state, to collect sales tax on internet sales made to in-state purchasers.  The news stories are everywhere, and generally focus on's resistance to comply with these new laws.  By the way, these presumptive nexus laws were nicknamed "Amazon Laws" after their largest target, and also because (and sued the State of New York after it passed the nation's first presumptive nexus law in 2008. Which states have passed an Amazon Law, which states are repealing them, how Amazon i

Have You Noticed My Blog Roll? Other Tax Blogs to Visit

Okay, not necessarily a State and Local Tax update, but hopefully valuable information non-the-less. If you've read my " About the State and Local Tax 'Buzz' " page, you know that one of my goals for the "Buzz" blog is to provide helpful links and relevant information; I would like for this blog to be more of a State and Local Tax Resource, not just a typical blog.  For those of you that are fellow bloggers, you know the effort involved in constantly maintaining and updating your blog.  Yes, it can time consuming!  But I love writing!  I love being a State and Local Tax professional!  And I love sharing the latest developments in State Taxes and helping others understand how these developments may impact their business. On my right side-bar, you'll see a variety of information, including social media "share" icons (to allow you to share the blog), general information about and links to other sites I write for, my last 10 twitter updates

Wondering How Sales Tax Applies to a Groupon? So Are Many of The States!

Groupon, LivingSocial; those increasingly popular internet based social coupon programs.  If you're a business launching a new product or service or just looking to increase your customer base, you've probably contemplated promoting your business through one of these programs.  With Groupon being named one of the " fastest growing companies in Web history " by, it's certainly tempting to jump on this fast moving train. Why shouldn't  your  business benefit from this successful business model? Your analysis has probably included looking through the Groupon, LivingSocial or other e-coupon program websites.  You’ve probably read the success stories, as well as the reports criticizing these e-coupon programs as nothing more than expensive advertising. But here's another issue to consider in your analysis.  If the product or service on which you'll offer a discount is subject to sales tax, on what value should sales tax be calculated? Sho