August 2023 Roundup: Tax laws you need to know 

While you focus on your business, we stay on top of legislative and policy changes that can affect your tax compliance. 

Nuts and bolts 

Summer sales tax holidays. From clothing and accessories in Arkansas to footwear in Iowa to school supplies in Ohio and Texas, August was full of sales tax holidays. 

It’s a small world after all. It’s easier than ever to buy a handmade sweater from Norway, the latest skincare from Korea, or sweet treats from Belgium, but what does this ease of access mean for the businesses selling across borders? We worked with Reuters Events to survey hundreds of businesses about their cross-border challenges.

Taxes in Texas (and Ohio!). As of September 1, the Lone Star State is ending the tax on “family care items,” like baby bottles, diapers, and feminine hygiene products. Ohio is joining Texas on the list of states exempting diapers, plus Ohio House Bill 33 establishes a permanent sales tax exemption for cribs, strollers, car seats, and some baby care products.

“Fun tax” in Massachusetts. The town of Charlemont has proposed a new 3% tax on the ticket price of recreational activities like mountain biking, mountain coaster rides, river tubing, skiing, and ziplining. While a recreational activity tax isn’t new, the fact that it would be imposed by the city (like a lodging tax) is.

Franchise tax FAQs. What is Texas franchise tax? Does it apply to me? Do online sellers need to pay Texas franchise tax? Do other states have franchise tax? We answer these questions and more.

Stay INFORMed. To crack down on fraud, lawmakers have passed the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act (INFORM Consumers Act). This act took effect June 27, 2023, and it requires online marketplaces to take action to protect consumers from counterfeit, unsafe, and stolen goods. Learn how the INFORM Consumers Act works and what retailers are saying about it.

Keep it clean. A federal Superfund tax on chemicals went into effect in July 2022. Revenue from this tax will go toward cleaning up more than 1,300 hazardous waste sites around the country. Learn which chemicals are taxable under the law and how your business can stay compliant.

Exemption certificate headaches. From collecting to validating to storing exemption certificates, there are a lot of steps to managing compliance. Stay compliant every step of the process with this guide.

Ecommerce everywhere. Your customers are browsing and buying across multiple channels — how are you meeting them there? Learn how your ecommerce platform and sales tax compliance software can help power your omnichannel sales strategy

There’s no business like low business (tax). Are you starting a business or expanding your current operations? Taxes could factor into your decision. Find out how you can benefit from choosing a low-tax state, and which states have the smallest tax burden for businesses

Non-fungible, yes taxable? Non-fungible token (NFT) art is increasingly in the news, usually mentioned alongside large sums of money (like $91.8 million). But is the sale of an NFT subject to tax?

From the tap 

TABC vs. DTC. Tennessee doesn’t allow direct-to-consumer spirits shipments, but that hasn’t stopped some businesses from selling and shipping spirits to thirsty Tennesseans. Learn more about how The Volunteer State is cracking down on DTC delinquents

From the property tax desk

Accounting for property taxes. Nearly every company will have to deal with real or personal property tax at some point. With Avalara Property Tax for Accountants, your accounting practice can have the tools in place to help your clients when that property tax bill comes.

Audit prep 101. While your business may not be able to avoid business personal property tax audits altogether, you can make sure you’re prepared for one. This guide can help you understand what to expect during a business personal property tax audit and how software can make the process easier.

Just in case. You hope you never have to use it, but you’ll be glad it’s there. Learn more about business personal property insurance, how it works, and tips for choosing the right BPP insurance provider.

From across the pond

Penalties — not just for football. Earlier this year, the United Kingdom changed the way penalties and interest apply to VAT returns and payments that are submitted late. In addition to penalty points, businesses can end up paying financial penalties for late returns

Meet the Australian Peppol people. Countries all over the world — including down undah — are embracing e-invoicing. In Australia, businesses are choosing Peppol, the Pan-European Public Procurement Online, as a secure way to send invoices electronically. Can it work for your business?

Check out the Avalara resource center for more helpful information.

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