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Oklahoma has enacted legislation directing the Oklahoma Tax Commission to establish a tax amnesty program that will run from September 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017. Eligible taxes include sales and use, mixed beverage, gasoline and diesel, gross production and petroleum excise, corporate and personal income, and personal withholding tax. Eligible taxpayers would be entitled to a waiver of penalty, interest, or other collection fees due on the eligible taxes if the they voluntarily file returns and pay taxes due during the course of the amnesty program. The lookback period for which additional taxes may be assessed will be limited to three taxable years for annually filed taxes or 36 months for taxes that do not have an annual filing frequency. To be eligible to participate, taxpayers must:

 

  • Not have outstanding tax liabilities other than those reported pursuant to this initiative;
  • Not have been contacted by the Oklahoma Tax Commission, or third party acting on behalf of the Commission, with respect to the taxpayer's potential or actual obligation to file a return or make a payment to the state;
  • Not have collected taxes from others, such as sales and use taxes or payroll taxes, and not reported those taxes; and
  • Not have, within the preceding three years, entered into a voluntary disclosure agreement for the type of tax owed

 

Taxpayers who meet all of the above qualifications, except those who have collected taxes from others, such as sales and use taxes or payroll taxes, and not reported those taxes, may enter into a modified voluntary disclosure agreement. The provisions of a modified voluntary disclosure agreement would be the same as a voluntary disclosure agreement except the waiver of interest shall not apply except as may be optionally granted at the discretion of the Tax Commission, and the period for which taxes must be reported and remitted or assessed is extended beyond the three year or thirty six month lookback period to include all periods in which tax has been collected but not remitted. (H.B. 2380, Laws 2017, effective July 1, 2017)

(06/05/2017)

The Multistate Tax Commission (MTC) has announced a sales/use tax and income/franchise tax amnesty program for online sellers that will run from August 17 to November 1, 2017 (previously October 17, 2017). Qualified online sellers with potential tax liability may be able to use the MTC's voluntary disclosure agreement (VDA) to negotiate a settlement during the amnesty period if they meet certain eligibility requirements. Taxpayers that have not been contacted by any of the states participating in the amnesty program will be able to apply to start remitting sales tax on future sales without penalty or liability for unpaid, prior accumulated sales tax in the participating states. 25 MTC member states have agreed to participate in the amnesty program. The participating states include: 

 

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado (sales/use tax only)
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia (may not waive all prior periods)
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts (special provisions apply)
  • Minnesota (special provisions apply)
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska (may not waive all prior periods)
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas 
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin (will require payment of back tax and interest for a lookback period commencing January 1, 2015 for sales/use tax, and including the prior tax years of 2015 and 2016 for income/franchise tax)

 

Some of the additional states may require a limited look-back period for prior tax liabilities. Sellers who wish to participate in the program will need to file the voluntary disclosure program paperwork during the program dates. The MTC will route the paperwork for each participating state for which the seller is seeking amnesty protection. For more details visit the MTC website.

 

UPDATE: The Multistate Tax Commission's online seller amnesty program is now over. If you didn't take advantage of this program but realize you need to evaluate your activities, you can contact us here.

(11/07/2017)

On June 12, 2017, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017. A previous version of this bill had been introduced in 2016 and failed to pass. Under the proposed bill, a State may tax or regulate a person’s activity in interstate commerce only when such person is physically present in the State during the period in which the tax or regulation is imposed. Under the proposed bill, the physical presencerequirement would apply to sales and use taxand net income and other business activities taxes, as well as the states’ ability to regulateinterstate commerce. “Physical presence” in a state includes:

 

  • maintaining a commercial or legal domicile in the state;
  • owning, holding a leasehold interest in, or maintaining real property such as an office, retail store, warehouse, distribution center, manufacturing operation, or assembly facility in the state;
  • leasing or owning tangible personal property (other than computer software) of more than de minimis value in the state;
  • having one or more employees, agents or independent contractors present in the state who provide on-site design, installation, or repair services on behalf of the remote seller;
  • having one or more employees, exclusive agents or exclusive independent contractors present in the state who engage in activities that substantially assist the person to establish or maintain a market in the state; or
  • regularly employing in the state three or more employees for any purpose.

 

“Physical presence” in a state would not include:

 

  • entering into an agreement under which a person, for a commission or other consideration, directly or indirectly refers potential purchasers to a person outside the state, whether by an Internet-based link or platform, Internet Web site or otherwise;
  • any presence in a state for less than 15 days in a taxable year (or a greater number of days if provided by state law);
  • product placement, setup or other services offered in connection with delivery of products by an interstate or in-state carrier or other service provider;
  • Internet advertising services provided by in-state residents which are not exclusively directed towards, or do not solicit exclusively, in-state customers;
  • ownership by a person outside the state of an interest in a limited liability company or similar entity organized or with a physical presence in the state;
  • the furnishing of information to customers or affiliates in such state, or the coverage of events or other gathering of information in such state by such person, or his representative, which information is used or disseminated from a point outside the state; or
  • business activities directly relating to such person's potential or actual purchase of goods or services within the State if the final decision to purchase is made outside the state.

 

In addition, the bill prohibits the imposition or assessment of a sales, use or other similar tax or a reporting requirement unless the purchaser or seller has physical presence in the state.  This would prohibit all the remote seller legislation (click through, affiliate, economic, marketplace and reporting/notification). If enacted, the legislation would apply with respect to calendar quarters beginning on or after January 1, 2018. (No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017)

(07/12/2017)

Oklahoma has issued a letter ruling regarding the taxability of fees associated with car rentals. Customer facility charges (CFCs) – that are separately stated - imposed on and chargedto customers and remitted to airports by a car rental company should not be in included in gross receipts for sales tax purposes, since they are imposed directly on the car rental consumers. CFCs are also not includable in gross receipts for purposes of the vehicle rental tax imposed on vehicle rentals of 90 or fewer days.

 

"Concession" fees and “access” fees are charged to the car rental company by airports for the privilege of operating in the airport. These fees are passed on to the car rental company’s customers. These charges are subject to sales tax since they are expenses passed through to customers. Satellite radio activation fees and service fees charged customers to the car rental company’s customers for activating and using satellite radio in the vehicles are to be included in gross receipts for sales tax and vehicle rental tax purposes. These are optional add-on fees elected by the customer and charged to the customer directly.(Letter Ruling 15-038, Oklahoma Tax Commission, June 28, 2016)

(05/24/2017)

Oklahoma has issued a letter ruling regarding the taxability of items rented by a contractor to fulfill a church construction contract. Oklahoma tax law allows a contractor who has a construction contract with a church and any subcontractors to that construction contract, to make purchases of tangible personal property or services, which are necessary for carrying out the construction contract, exempt from sales and use tax. The letter ruling states that the rental of items would qualify for the tax exemption if the items were necessary to complete the church construction.(Letter Ruling 16-009, Oklahoma Tax Commission, June 28, 2016)

(05/24/2017)

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