Marketplaces responsible for sales tax in 4 more states starting January 1, 2020

Marketplaces responsible for sales tax in 4 more states starting January 1, 2020

At this time last year, only seven states required marketplace facilitators to collect and remit sales tax on behalf of third-party sellers, and four of them allowed marketplaces to sidestep the collection requirement by complying with use tax notice and reporting requirements. What a difference one year has made.

New collection requirements for marketplaces take effect in Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin on January 1, 2020, at which point marketplace facilitator laws will be enforced in a whopping 39 states (including Washington, D.C.). That means 2019 was a transformative year for marketplace facilitators and sellers alike; they all experienced a great deal of change.

Collection requirements for marketplace facilitators generally apply to marketplaces with either a physical presence in the state or substantial sales into the state (economic nexus). Since most state economic nexus laws allow an exception for small sellers, remote marketplaces need to determine whether they’ve crossed the economic nexus threshold; in most cases, marketplaces must include both direct and third-party sales when calculating the threshold in a state.

Marketplaces required to collect are responsible for the tax on their direct sales and sales by all their marketplace sellers. The location of the marketplace seller, whether in state or out of state, doesn’t matter. 

How marketplace facilitator laws impact marketplace sellers

Not having to collect and remit sales tax certainly facilitates compliance for marketplace sellers. However, they aren’t necessarily relieved of their duty to register with the tax department or file returns just because facilitators collect and remit the tax on their behalf. That would be too easy.

Registration and reporting requirements for marketplace sellers vary by state, by the seller’s method of sales, and whether the seller has a physical presence in the state or economic nexus. Like marketplace facilitators, marketplace sellers must determine whether they’ve crossed the economic nexus threshold — though state laws are more varied when it comes to whether marketplace sellers should include marketplace sales as well as direct sales when calculating the threshold.

There are often different registration requirements for the following:

  • Remote multichannel sellers: Retailers with no physical presence that sell into the state through a marketplace(s) and other channels.
    • Most states require remote multichannel sellers to register if they have economic nexus.
  • Remote marketplace sellers: Retailers with no physical presence that sell into the state only through a marketplace(s).
    • California, Connecticut, and Hawaii are among the states that require remote marketplace sellers to register if they have economic nexus, even if they only sell through collecting marketplaces.
    • Kentucky, Minnesota, and South Carolina are among the states that don’t require remote marketplace sellers to register, even if they have economic nexus, provided they only sell through collecting marketplaces.
  • In-state multichannel sellers: Retailers with a physical presence in the state that sell into the state through a marketplace(s) and other channels.
    • Most states require in-state multichannel sellers to register.
  • In-state marketplace sellers: Retailers with a physical presence in the state that sell into the state only through a marketplace(s).
    • Hawaii, Illinois, and North Dakota are among the states that require in-state sellers to register, even if they only sell through marketplaces that collect and remit on their behalf.
    • Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming are among the states that don’t require in-state sellers to register if they only sell through collecting marketplaces.

To learn more about registration requirements for marketplace sellers in all states, including the four newbies (Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin) visit Avalara’s state-by-state guide to registration requirements for marketplace sellers.

Recent posts

The 2021 sales tax changes report: midyear update

Your guide to navigating the complicated world of tax compliance and preparing for the future 

The 2021 sales tax changes report: midyear update
2021 MIDYEAR SALES TAX CHANGES

Hear tax and industry experts break down the latest legislative updates and industry trends in our upcoming virtual event.

Stay up to date

Sign up for our free newsletter and stay up to date with the latest tax news.