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On December 18, 2015, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 2029 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016. The Act extends the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) through October 1, 2016. Prior provisions that grandfather taxes that existed prior to October 1, 1998 are also extended through October 1, 2016. For our previous news item on this topic, see Internet Tax Freedom Act Extended Until December 11, 2015. (H.R. 2029 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016)


On September 30, 2015 the U.S. House of Representative passed H.R. 719, which includes a provision that would extend the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) through December 11, 2015. The ITFA was scheduled to expire on October 1, 2015. The bill will now go to President Obama for signature.


To see our previous news item on the ITFA, visit Internet Tax Freedom Act Extended Until October 1, 2015, Permanent Extension Introduced.


To see an update on this news item, visit Internet Tax Freedom Act Extended Through October 1, 2016,


(H.R. 719)


Georgia has provided guidance on the state’s temporary sales and use tax exemption for construction materials used in the construction of buildings at a qualifying private college in Georgia. Private colleges must be located in Georgia, be operated by an organization exemption from Federal tax under IRC Section 501(c )(3) and have an annual enrollment between 1,000 and 3,000 students.  For the state-level sales and use tax, the exemption applies from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, or until the amount of state tax refunded pursuant to the exemption exceeds $350,000, whichever occurs first. For local sales and use tax, the exemption applies from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, without limitation. The policy bulletin outlines which private colleges qualify for the exemption. An exemption certificate will not be issued for this exemption. The exemption is administered by refund only. To take advantage, a college must first notify the Department of Revenue of its intent to file a refund claim. After taking this step, the college may file a refund claim for tax that it or its contractor paid on qualifying construction materials. Only the college can seek a refund of tax paid on construction materials covered by the exemption. Contactors cannot partake in the exemption. Refund claims can be filed by a college within three years following the date the tax was paid. The Department will not consider refund claims submitted before January 4, 2016. (Policy Bulletin SUT-2015-01, Georgia Department of Revenue, September 15, 2015)


On June 15, 2015, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA) of 2015 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill – similar to the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) of 2015 – pertains to sales and use taxcollection obligations for remote sellers, but the RTPA contains some differences and several additional provisions. Unlike the MFA’s $1 million small seller exception, the RTPA’s small seller exception is as follows: first year: $10 million; second year: $5 million; third year: $1 million. The exception goes away in the fourth year. Furthermore, under the RTPA sellers utilizing an electronic marketplace are not considered small sellers and are not entitled to the exception, no matter the year. Under the RTPA, sellers would not be audited by states where they don’t have a physical presence. There would be a three year statute of limitations for assessments on remote sellers. The bill would enable remote sellers to refund over-collected tax to customers. The RTPA also specifies that a state would not be authorized to impose a sales and use tax collection requirement on remote sellers until it has certified multiple software providers that are certified in all states seeking to impose authorization requirements. The RTPA would also allow customers to pursue refunds of over-collected tax from remote sellers. However, RTPA does not preempt states from imposing sales and use taxes on remote sellers that do not have physical presence under this definition. It merely authorizes states to impose sales and use tax on remote sellers without a physical presence. Under the RTPA, if a seller has nexus under existing law, including Quill v. North Dakota, then the state may still impose a sales and use tax collection requirement.  The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee just like the MFA.  On July 1, 2015 it was referred to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial And Antitrust Law. (H.R. 2775, the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015)


UPDATE: This bill failed to pass during the 114th Congressional Session running from January 3, 2015 to January 3, 2017.  Therefore, this bill has died and would need to be reintroduced to be considered and voted on.


Effective July 1, 2015, Georgia has enacted a 5% excise tax on sales within the state of (1) consumer fireworks; (2) wire or wood sparklers of no more than 100 grams of mixture per item; (3) other sparkling items that are nonexplosive, nonaerial, and that contain no more than 75 grams of chemical compound per tube or a total of up to 500 grams for multiple tubes; (4) snake and glow worms; (5) smoke devices; and (6) trick noise makers, which include paper streamers, party peppers, string peppers, snappers, and drop pops, each consisting of 0.25 grains or less of explosive mixture. The excise tax is due and payable in the same way as the state sales and use tax and is payable by the seller. Any seller who knowingly and willfully violates requirements concerning the excise tax is subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 in addition to the amount of tax due. (H.B. 110, Laws 2015, effective as noted)



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