September 27, 2006, 12:00 AM

Sales tax amnesty program attracts more than 1,000 sellers

Launched a year ago, the Streamlined Sales Tax program’s tax amnesty offer attracted more than 1,000 businesses to register as collectors of tax on Internet and catalog sales before the program ended Sept. 30, the SST says.

Since it was launched a year ago, the Streamlined Sales Tax program’s tax amnesty offer has attracted more than 900 businesses to register as collectors of tax on Internet and catalog sales, but the amnesty program ends this week, the SST says.

Since it was launched a year ago, the Streamlined Sales Tax program’s tax amnesty offer has attracted more than 900 businesses to register as collectors of tax Internet and catalog sales, but the amnesty program ends Sept. 30, says Scott Peterson, executive director of the SST Governing Board.

The SST program was designed to provide a consistent means for figuring and collecting sales tax on transactions conducted across state borders, whether or not the seller has a physical presence in the buyer’s state. The goal of the 19 states participating in the program is to prove that such a system can work and eventually win Congressional support for a federal law that would require retailers to collect sales tax on all cross-border transactions, regardless of whether they have a physical presence, or nexus, in the buyer’s state.

As an incentive to get more sellers to voluntary register for the SST program, 13 of the 19 states launched the year-long tax amnesty program on Oct. 1, 2005. When businesses sign up for the amnesty program, those 13 states forgive all past uncollected sales tax and any related penalties and interest. The 13 states are: Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and West Virginia.

The 900 businesses that have opted for the amnesty program include b2b as well as b2c sellers, Peterson says. One online retailer who also operates a single store signed up after realizing the amount it owed to one state for back taxes and fees was more than the out-of-pocket expenses it would incur in collecting sales tax in all states where it had customers, he adds.

 

 

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