Wyoming may make marketplace facilitators collect sales tax
- Jan 8, 2019 | Gail Cole
A bill that would require marketplace facilitators to collect and remit all applicable sales tax on behalf of their sellers has been introduced in the Wyoming Legislature. If approved, Wyoming would become one of more than a dozen states with specific collection requirements for marketplace transactions.
A marketplace seller is a vendor who sells admissions, goods, and/or services for sale through a marketplace that’s owned, operated, or controlled by a facilitator. A marketplace facilitator is any person who facilitates a sale for a marketplace, or third-party, seller. The marketplace facilitator does this by:
Offering admissions, goods, and/or services for sale; and
Directly or indirectly collecting payment from the purchaser and transmitting it to the marketplace seller.
Amazon is both a seller and a marketplace, in that it sells its own products and it provides a platform to facilitate sales for other sellers. Walmart is the same, both a marketplace facilitator and a seller. However, Etsy is a marketplace only — it doesn’t sell Etsy products.
Under Wyoming House Bill 69, a marketplace facilitator would be considered the vendor for each sale it facilitates for a seller on its marketplace. As the vendor, the facilitator would be required to collect and remit sales tax on all sales — its own and those of its third-party sellers — even those by sellers that have a Wyoming sales tax permit, “or otherwise would have been required to collect sales tax if the sale had not been facilitated by the marketplace facilitator.”
Additionally, the facilitator would be required to keep all necessary records and information.
The Wyoming Department of Revenue will focus its audits on marketplace facilitators. Individual sellers generally won’t be audited, unless the facilitator seeks relief on the grounds that it was provided incorrect or inadequate information.
As the vendor, a marketplace facilitator would generally be liable for incorrectly collected tax. However, if a failure to properly collect or remit sales tax is caused by “incorrect or insufficient information provided by the marketplace seller,” the facilitator may be relieved of liability. If the vendor (facilitator) and seller are affiliated, no relief from liability would be provided.
As written, HB 69 would take effect July 1, 2019.
For a list of states with marketplace facilitator sales tax and other remote seller sales tax laws, visit this Avalara resource page.