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April Roundup: Sales tax laws you need to know

  • Apr 30, 2020 | Gail Cole

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

At the start of April, individuals and organizations were just coming to terms with stay-at-home orders and closures of nonessential businesses. As states start to relax those provisions, businesses are beginning to prepare for what comes next. Read on to discover sales tax changes states are implementing because of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) — or despite it.

Canada provides sales tax relief for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

As many American states have done with state sales tax, Canada’s provinces are offering filing or payment extensions for their provincial sales taxes. Payment deferrals are also available for Canada’s national sales tax, the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Learn more.

COVID-19 tax relief roundup.

A compilation of tax news related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more.

Drop in brick-and-mortar sales could inspire Florida to enact economic nexus.

Because Florida doesn’t require out-of-state online sellers to collect and remit sales tax, the state missed out on significant sales tax revenue when residents switched to online shopping because of COVID-19. This could motivate lawmakers to reconsider economic nexus legislation. Learn more.

First sales tax holiday of 2020 encourages disaster preparation in Texas.

Many items that can help Texans survive a natural disaster were exempt from Texas sales tax for a limited period during a natural disaster of another sort. Learn more.

Georgia’s marketplace facilitator law affects food delivery, lodging, and rideshare industries.

Georgia’s new marketplace facilitator law went into effect April 1, 2020, just in time to ensure food delivery platform providers collect and remit sales tax on behalf of the third-party sellers delivering takeout food during the pandemic. Learn more.

Local sales tax relief available in Louisiana for businesses suffering because of COVID-19.

Some home-rule jurisdictions in Louisiana are providing local sales tax filing or payment extensions for taxpayers adversely affected by COVID-19. Learn more.

Marketplace facilitators to collect Tennessee sales tax on behalf of third-party sellers.

Come October 1, 2020, marketplace facilitators will be required to collect and remit sales tax on third-party sales made in Tennessee. Learn more.

Sales tax nexus endures beyond cessation of business activities in California.

Once you establish sales tax nexus in California, it’s not easy to shake. Learn more.

States provide sales tax relief for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Learn more about relief options in Alabama, California, Florida, Maryland, New York, and Washington.

Washington considers sales tax holidays for small businesses.

Some lawmakers in Washington state believe sales tax holidays could help “jump-start business activity statewide.” Learn more.

Working from home during (or after) pandemic could create sales tax nexus.

The presence of employees in a state generally establishes sales tax nexus for their employer. However, employees working temporarily from home due to stay-at-home orders won’t trigger nexus in some states for the duration of the crisis. These states have made clear this more lenient policy is temporary. Learn more.

Worried you may not be collecting sales tax in all states where you should? Our free sales tax risk assessment tool can help you uncover potential sales tax collection obligations.


Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail Cole is a Senior Writer at Avalara. She’s on a mission to uncover unusual tax facts and make complex laws and legislation more digestible for accounting and business professionals — or anyone interested in learning about tax compliance.