Pennsylvania has a new law, the Exchange Sales Act, affecting any aggregation affairs at atomic $10,000 of commodity to accompaniment association annually through the aggregation website or a third-party belvedere such as Amazon, eBay or Walmart.
State Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell afresh explained the law’s impacts on consumers, businesses and the state.
Q: How does it appulse consumers?
A: The accountability of this [law] isn’t on consumers in any way. Instead, it is allurement bodies who advertise things to Pennsylvania consumers on the Internet to do one of two things.
Companies that accomplish at atomic $10,000 account of online sales accept to annals with the Revenue Administration for how they will handle sales tax. They accept the advantage of accession and remitting sales taxes at the point of auction and again authoritative account acquittal transfers to the state. Or they can opt to accelerate anniversary tax notices to their barter and to the Revenue Administration about anniversary account purchased in the state.
Q: If a customer gets such a apprehension in the mail, what should he or she do?
A: The apprehension would appear at the end of anniversary year like added tax documents, such as a W-2 application form. It would account the online purchases and admonish consumers of the charge to address a “use tax” to the state. Citizens again would be appropriate to add the tax advice on the “use tax” band amid on their anniversary assets tax filing, starting in the 2019 advertisement year.
Q: Bodies are accustomed with the appellation “sales tax,” but not “use tax.” Is there a difference?
A: It is absolutely the same. It is imposed on the aforementioned items and at the aforementioned tax amount [6 percent]. But the aberration is if the banker is accession as they accomplish the sale, it is sales tax. But if that doesn’t happen, the customer still has the albatross to address it as use tax.
Q: Historically, consumers don’t book use taxes on their own. How will your administration badge this law and clue bottomward consumers application the annal the companies accommodate the state?
A: What we are acquisitive for is that the companies will alpha to aggregate the tax. They will see this is a lot of agitation — ‘We don’t appetite to bother our barter with this, it will be easier aloof to address the tax on their behalf.’
In the meantime, agents is belief the adventures of added states that accept implemented agnate laws to see how they handled the arrival of accumulated filings about consumers’ purchases.
Q: When does this law booty effect?
A: Online businesses had until Feb. 28 to annals their adopted advertisement accepted with Revenue. They accept until April 1 to activate accession the tax if that is what they are doing, or to accelerate these notices.
Q: Can you accord an archetype of how this would appulse a company? Large online retailers like Amazon, Walmart or Home Depot already aggregate and address sales taxes for online purchases fabricated anon from them in Pennsylvania.
A: I shouldn’t name names; we accept to account aborigine confidentiality. But Amazon has a sales tax authorization with Pennsylvania. That is accessible information. This law extends to bodies who are in Amazon’s [third-party] exchange and affairs appurtenances through Amazon. It places the accountability of authoritative this acclamation for all those exchange sellers on Amazon as a “marketplace facilitator,” which is the appellation declared in the law.
(Since The Morning Call interview, Amazon appear it will aggregate and address Pennsylvania sales taxes for third-party sellers.)
Q: Why was this law needed?
A: Decades-old U.S. Supreme Court antecedent has said states cannot aggregate sales taxes from companies that do not accept a concrete attendance — barrio or advisers — aural their borders.
The admeasurement of the online retail sales arrangement has developed and developed and grown. It’s now a cogent atom of absolute retail sales, and that’s accepting an appulse beyond the accomplished system. It is a civic affair and added states, such as Washington and Colorado, accept agnate laws.
One affair I’d like to accomplish bright is it is our job to aggregate taxes for the commonwealth. That’s what we do here. But at the aforementioned time it’s additionally acutely important we admit how important this is for the economy. [And] we represent the companies that accept food in Pennsylvania and apply Pennsylvania citizens and are sending in their sales tax every month.
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