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Utah Sweetens Sales Tax for Remote Sellers


 Sweet.

Lawmakers in Utah have come close to creating remote sales tax legislation. Earlier this year, Utah House Bill 226 sought to amend existing sales and use tax law by imposing a sales tax collection requirement on remote sellers who “have business relationships with a seller who does have a physical presence in the state.” That bill died, but efforts to coax a sales tax contribution out of remote sellers did not.

House Bill 300, Retention of Sales and Use Tax Collections by Certain Remote Sellers, was signed into law. Under it:

  • Remote sellers who voluntarily collect Utah sales and use tax may retain 18% of the sales and use taxes the remote sellers would otherwise remit to the Tax Commission;
  • Sellers who take the 18% seller discount may not take the 1.31% seller discount provided to all sellers who file sales tax on time; and
  • Sellers required by Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court to collect and remit sales taxes are prohibited from taking the 18% seller discount.

HB 300 takes effect January 1, 2014. It will be interesting to see if it is successful, or if it is challenged. Utah sellers may object to the generous discount provided to remote sellers. Remote sellers may not consider even 18% worth their while. It’s even possible—gulp—that federal lawmakers move on the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, rendering such enticing legislation obsolete.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.