The Sales Tax Institute reviews numerous sales tax publications to monitor state activity on various topics related to sales and use tax. By checking updates routinely, you may be alerted to an impending tax law change critical to your business.

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The information listed here is high-level summary and background material intended to help you stay current in the dynamic area of sales and use tax. Sources include CCH State Tax Day, Sales and Use Tax Alert, Sales Tax Notes, Vertex, Inc. Reference Manuals, Westlaw, and other miscellaneous state tax newsletters and Department of Revenue notices.

Please note that these summaries omit many details and special rules, and cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. For more information, be sure to contact your tax advisor.



The Louisiana Department of Revenue has announced the dates for the state’s 2014 tax payment amnesty program. The amnesty program will take place October 15, 2014 through November 14, 2014. The amnesty program applies to all taxes administered by the department, except for motor fuel taxes and penalties for failure to submit information reports that are not based on an underpayment of tax. The amnesty program applies to taxes due prior to January 1, 2014, for which the department has issued an individual or a business proposed assessment, notice of assessment, bill, notice, or demand for payment not later than May 31, 2014. If qualified taxpayers pay all delinquent taxes, all penalties and 50% of the interest owed will be waived. Individual and business taxpayers now have the option to pay overdue tax through installment payments over six months. Taxpayers identified as noncompliant can expect to receive a letter and/or a recorded telephone message before the start of the amnesty program with instructions for submitting applications and payments online. For our further details on the program view our previous news item Louisiana Amends Tax Amnesty Program. (News Release, Louisiana Department of Revenue, August 13, 2014; Act 822 (H.B. 663), Laws 2014, effective August 1, 2014)


The New Jersey Division of Taxation is providing businesses and individuals with unpaid tax liabilities the chance to clear their accounts. Taxpayers can pay any outstanding tax bills that have been issued by the Division of Taxation with reduced or eliminated penalties, no collection cost and no recovery fees. The program is open to taxpayers with outstanding tax liabilities for the tax periods 2005 through 2013. From September 17 until November 17, 2014, taxpayers can visit the New Jersey Division of Taxation website, agree to enter into a closing agreement with the Division, and remit their payment. Per the agreement, both parties will stipulate that the matter is closed, and the taxpayer will waive his or her right to any further administrative review or judicial appeal. Payments can be made online or by mail. Once the offer expires on November 17, 2014, taxpayers who have not cleared their tax liabilities will remain on record as owing their full liability, including normal penalties, interest, collection costs and/or recovery fees. (Press Release, State of New Jersey Department of the Treasury, September 17, 2014)


President Barack Obama has signed federal legislation extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) through December 11, 2014 as part of the joint resolution which made continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2015. The ITFA was previously set to expire on November 1, 2014. The ITFA bars state and local governments from imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce and taxes on Internet access. (P.L. 113-164 (H.J. Res. 124), 113th Congress, 2nd Session, Laws 2014)


On February 5, 2014, North Carolina launched the Trust Tax Recovery Program, which offers amnesty to qualifying companies owing collected but unpaid trust taxes.  The North Carolina Department of Revenue describes trust taxes as those taxes paid by a customer to a seller or withheld from an employee, and held in trust by the business until filed and paid to the Department. The program will offer penalty and fee waivers, as well as payment plans to companies that have liabilities for sales, withholding and other trust taxes. Businesses that file and pay all outstanding taxes within the payment plan terms may have their penalties and collection fees waived. If program participants fail to file or pay future taxes as required, fees and penalties may be reinstated. Participants in the program must not be facing criminal charges or be the subject of a criminal investigation at the time of application. Taxpayers may not receive the benefits of the program for tax periods associated with a prior criminal conviction. Taxpayers may not participate in the program if they have defaulted on payments or received penalty waivers while participating in the Small Business Taxpayer Recovery Program or the Small Business Counseling Program. Click here for more information.


Massachusetts has enacted legislation creating a tax amnesty program, which will take place during September and October 2014. Under the program, penalties will be waived for taxpayers who pay their outstanding taxes and interest in full. Unlike most other amnesty programs, this program only applies to assessments that were issued prior to July 1, 2014. On September 2, 2014, tax amnesty notices showing the tax and interest due, along with the penalties to be waived, will be mailed to taxpayers who qualify for the program. If taxpayers pay the tax and interest shown on the bill on or before October 31, 2014, the state will waive the unpaid penalties for the period. In addition to sales and use taxes, the additional tax types that are eligible for the amnesty period include boat and recreational vehicle sales taxes; cigarette, cigar, and smoking tobacco excise taxes; convention center financing fees on rooms, parking and certain tours; club alcoholic beverage excise taxes; gasoline excise taxes; individual income taxes; material man sales taxes; meals taxes, including local option taxes; room occupancy excise taxes, including local option taxes; special fuels excise taxes; and withholding taxes. (H.B. 4001, Laws 2014, effective retroactively to July 1, 2014; What You Need to Know About the Tax Amnesty Program, Massachusetts Department of Revenue, July 21, 2014)