Top 3 Sales Tax Nexus Issues for Technology Companies


Nexus is a “connection” or “hyperlink.” Sales and use tax nexus refers to the connection between a person or entity and a taxing jurisdiction enough for that jurisdiction to require the person or entity to comply with its income and use tax laws.


The modern foundation for figuring out while sales and use tax nexus exists is determined in two Supreme Court instances; Quill Corp. Vs. North Dakota [May 26, 1992], and National Bellas Hess, Inc. Vs. Department of Revenue of the State of Illinois [May 8, 1967]. In each Quill Corp. And National Bellas Hess, Inc., the Supreme Court dominated in favor of the taxpayer, restricting the states’ capability to impose its taxing authority over interstate commerce. The steerage derived from those two cases may be hired in present-day markets to manage sales and use tax compliance responsibilities.

While maximum States retain to reference those cases when defining sales tax nexus thresholds, the States hold to pursue the growth of their income and use tax authority. With nexus being the foundational detail that requires an organization to collect and remit sales tax, it’s vital to be aware of many difficulties in figuring out whether or not an employer has sales tax nexus now not.

As with most sales and use tax-related subjects, figuring out whether or not sales tax nexus exists calls for some stage of interpretation of a state’s statute as it applies to the entity’s activities. Here are the maximum not unusual troubles that technology agencies struggle with from a sales tax nexus perspective with that backdrop. Also, it has to be referred to that sellers do not absolutely “rate” income tax. Rather, the vendor’s “collect and remit” sales tax. This may be important. For instance, as inside the case of net income, sales tax is continually “due.” This trouble turns into whether the vendor has the duty to acquire and remit the tax or if the buyer is obligated to self-file.

#1. Affiliate Nexus, “Amazon Laws,” and Click-Through Nexus

The net has resulted in a shift in our buying patterns and a decline in income tax sales. With our modern-day tax system and the nexus rules outlined above, an out-of-nation retailer (translation – a retailer without nexus in the kingdom) promoting items to a patron or commercial enterprise over the internet isn’t always required to accumulate sales tax. The purchaser’s responsibility is to self-check the tax and voluntarily remit the use tax to the kingdom. Most businesses are aware of this nuance; however, many customers aren’t.

States ensure compliance with those laws via enterprise audits; however, the states don’t have the capacity, nor is it realistic, to audit every customer. So as opposed to going after the patron, states are seeking to effect taxing policies that require the out-of kingdom enterprise to acquire the tax.

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This is why “affiliate nexus” and the “Amazon Law” or “click via nexus” have developed. These are ways wherein states have tried to use the prevailing nexus requirements to require out-of kingdom shops to accumulate the tax that otherwise could not have been accumulated. The traditional scenario occurs when an out-of-kingdom enterprise forms a relationship with an in-country enterprise (regularly known as an associate) for the sole motive of patron referrals through a connection to the out-of-country commercial enterprise’s website. For this referral, the in-state enterprise receives some fee or different consideration. The dating installed via the affiliate applications creates nexus for the out-of-kingdom enterprise, growing an obligation to acquire and remit nearby income tax. Multiple states, inclusive of Illinois and California, have brought current affiliated nexus legislation mainly targeting large net outlets consisting of Amazon, for this reason, the identify “Amazon Law.” In reaction to this regulation, Amazon has dropped their associated packages in most of those states. By losing the associate programs, the corporation intends to terminate its nexus with the state and avoid prospective sales tax series responsibility. However, this could be complex as most states deem nexus to exist for at least three hundred and sixty-five days after the interest created nexus.


The State of New York has exceeded rules, referred to as the “commission-agreement provision,” that creates a rebuttable presumption that a person (seller) making sales of tangible private property or services is soliciting business thru an impartial contractor or another representative if the seller agrees with a New York resident underneath which the resident, for a fee or other consideration, at once or indirectly refers ability clients, whether or not utilizing a hyperlink on a web website or otherwise, to the vendor (click on thru nexus). The presumption applies if the cumulative gross receipts from income with the aid of the vendor to customers inside the nation who’re mentioned the seller through all citizens with this form of agreement with the vendor are in extra of $10,000 at some point of the preceding 4 quarterly periods finishing on the last day of February, May, August, and November. The presumption can be rebutted via a proof that the resident with whom the vendor has an agreement did no longer interact in any solicitation in New York on behalf of the seller that satisfies the nexus requirement of the U.S. Constitution during the 4 preceding quarterly durations. N.Y. Tax Law 1101(b)(8)(vi).

Technology corporations should overview their affiliate packages and understand which states, particularly, have “Amazon Laws,” “associate nexus” guidelines, or “Click-Through Nexus” rules. This is a continuously changing place that calls for close monitoring. At the time of publication, California passed a 1-12 months repeal of their “Amazon Law.”

#2. Traveling Sales Representatives

The idea of an income representative sitting in a domestic office in a state other than in which company headquarters is positioned is a clear instance of an interest that establishes income tax nexus within the kingdom where the income representative is based. However, what occurs while that income consultant travels into other states to meet with prospects or clients? This form of hobby regularly occurs with technology companies as the income representative meets with the prospect to demonstrate their product. Whether or no longer this form of interest creates sales tax nexus will depend on the nation and the frequency of the activity. Each country’s guidelines are barely different in the edge that wishes to be met to create nexus. However, a sales representative touring into the nation for an unmarried day will create sales tax nexus for some states. While different states have extra lenient thresholds, a well-known rule-of-thumb is that 3 days of activity of this kind will create nexus for sales and use tax functions.

Texas prescribes that out-of-country sellers engaged in promoting, leasing, or renting taxable objects for the garage, use, or different intake in Texas ought to gather use tax from the purchaser. “Retailer engaged in the commercial enterprise in this state” can include, similarly to different sports, any retailer: Having any representative, agent, salesman, canvasser or solicitor working in Texas beneath the authority of the retailer or its subsidiary to sell, supply, or take orders for any taxable items. Texas Tax Code Ann. 151.107(a)(2); Texas Tax Publication ninety four-108, Engaged in Business (Sales and Use Tax), 11/01/2006. Nexus Strategy: Instead of face to face client shows, technology businesses may also consider accomplishing product demonstrations thru the Internet through Webex, GoToMeeting, or another comparable application.

#3. Trade shows

Technology companies are frequent participants in exchange shows. Typically, companies attend alternate suggests selling their products and services. An organization may also sell its products and services through representative employees or retailers and/or show its wares through a kiosk or booth. In both of those scenarios, the organization is acting as a sort of solicitation.

It is the solicitation activity that determines whether or not nexus has been created. However, some states have established specific thresholds (variety of days in attendance at a change show) to set up whilst an enterprise attending a changing display has created nexus within the kingdom. For example, California has set a widespread of more than fifteen (15) days – i.E. In case you attend change suggests in California for fifteen days or much less, you haven’t created nexus inside California’s country (assuming that is your simplest hobby within the state). Cal. Rev. & Tax. Cd. 6203(d); Cal. Code Regs. 18 1684(b).

Technology Companies

Nexus with Michigan isn’t always created if the simplest contacts a person has with Michigan consists of: (1) attending an exchange show at which no orders for goods are taken, and no income is made or (2) taking part in an alternate display at which no orders for goods are taken, and no income is made for much less than 10 days cumulatively on an annual basis. However, this rule does not observe if a person additionally conducts the following activities: soliciting sales; making upkeep or supplying renovation or carrier to assets offered or to be bought; accumulating current or delinquent accounts, via challenge or in any other case, associated with income of exact private property or offerings; turning in belongings sold to clients; putting in or supervising set up at or after shipment or shipping; undertaking education for personnel, agents, representatives, impartial contractors, brokers or others performing on the out-of-nation dealer’s behalf, or for clients or potential clients; offering clients any technical help or carrier including, but now not restrained to, engineering help, layout carrier, best control, product inspections, or comparable offerings; investigating, dealing with, or otherwise helping in resolving customer complaints; presenting consulting offerings; or soliciting, negotiating, or getting into franchising, licensing, or similar agreements. Michigan Revenue Administrative Bulletin 1999-1, 05/12/1999.

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Harlan J. Whelan
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