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The Michigan Department of Treasury has announced that the sections of RAB 1999-5 that suggest that access to software over the Internet is taxable without the delivery of either "the code that enables the program" to operate or a "desk top client" are inconsistent with the Court of Appeals decision in Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Department of Treasury and do not represent the department’s policy. If only a portion of a software program is electronically delivered to a customer, the “incidental to service” test will be applied to determine whether the transaction constitutes the rendition of a nontaxable service rather than the sale of tangible personal property. However, if a software program is electronically downloaded in its entirety, it will be taxable. Taxpayers seeking a refund for taxes paid for a product falling within the Auto-Owners decision must file a written request to the department with the statute of limitations. If the refund is for a prior year, the taxpayer must include amended annual returns for the years involved. If the tax was paid to the vendor, the taxpayer must request a refund from the vendor. This finally resolves the Department’s position regarding the taxation of cloud services that was the subject to not only the Auto-Owners Insurance Company case but also the Thomson Reuters case

 

For our previous news item on this topic, see Michigan Characterizes Cloud Computing as Nontaxable Service.

 

(Notice to Taxpayers Regarding Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Department of Treasury, Michigan Department of Treasury, January 6, 2016)

(01/25/2016)

The Michigan Department of Treasury has announced that sales tax licenses will remain valid through December 31, 2016. (Sales and Use Tax Information: Highlights, Michigan Department of Treasury, December 23, 2015)

(01/25/2016)

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)

(01/18/2016)

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)

(10/26/2015)

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.

(09/08/2015)

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