Telecom Tax Blog

    Telecom Tax Avoidance and "Qui Tam"

    Posted on Wed, Jan 9, 2013 @ 11:11 AM

    At SureTax®, our services support telecom tax calculation for the purpose of compliance.  The notion being that if a company does not comply with tax laws, they are subject to fines and penalties.

    But, what if a company cheats - doesn’t pay taxes - and is caught by a whistleblower?  Then what happens?

    There is a provision in common law call called qui tam, which is short for the Latin phrase qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitu, meaning ‘he who sues in this matter for the king as for himself’.  It’s a principle that is still alive in US law and it means that whistleblowers can earn some or all of the collections of a case presented on behalf of the government.

    Earlier this year, a whistleblower brought a qui tam case in New York under the state’s False Claims ActNew York attorney general Eric Schneiderman intervened in that case against a national wireless provider for deliberately under-collecting and under-paying $100 million dollars in sales taxes on wireless access plans.

    But, what about the federal tax?  Why not bring a qui tam case there also?

    A loophole in federal law prohibits whistleblowers from bringing qui tam cases.  The IRS has a whistleblower office, where whistleblowers can go to file a complaint.  But, if the IRS decides not to take the case, it’s over and the whistleblower has no qui tam option.

    In New York, the defendant must have at least $1 million in sales and must have deprived the state of at least $350,000 in revenue.

    Maybe Congress needs to take a look at New York to figure out how to increase collections.  A federal qui tam law could do for tax fraud what nickel return deposits did for aluminum can recycling.

     

    Tags: telecom tax, voip tax, telecom taxes, telecommunications taxes, telecommunications tax, ucaas, tax calculation, voip taxes, VAT tax

    Georgia to Require Online Retailers to Collect and Remit Sales Tax

    Posted on Wed, Jan 2, 2013 @ 11:21 AM

    We offer SureTax® eCommerce, a cloud based, real-time ecommerce tax calculation solution - so we keep an interested eye on the latest state "Amazon Tax" laws.

    In an effort to collect tax from online retailers, states continue to pass Amazon Laws.  Georgia, our home state, is now requiring online retailers to collect and report sales tax.  Georgia's new Amazon Law went into effect Jan. 1 and affects online stores that don’t have a store or a warehouse in the state, but use ads on Georgia-based websites as a gateway to their own sites.

    This law is targeted towards Amazon and others.  Amazon is expect to pull ads from sites that meet this requirement.

    With an increasing number of Amazon Laws in place, and the Main Street/Marketplace Fairness Acts on the horizon, online retailers should have a strategy in place for calculating, collecting and remitting sales tax. 
    Contact us if you need help developing your online sales tax compliance solution.

    You can read more here: Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

    Tags: tax calculation, ecommerce, Sales tax, Amazon Laws

    Mainstreet Fairness Act Focuses Need for Online Tax Calculation for eCommerce

    Posted on Mon, Dec 3, 2012 @ 02:47 PM

    SureTax provides real time tax calculation solutions for eCommerce, so we were interested to find this item about the Mainstreet Fairness Act.

    The Mainstreet Fairness Act may come up for a vote quickly.  The Mainstreet Fairness Act would require online retailers to collect sales tax just like brick and mortar stores do.

    The Mainstreet Fairness Act may be added on to the Defense Authorization Act of 2013.  Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), filed an amendment on Friday to include the Act in the spending bill.  Voting may be as early as next week.

    As states struggle to meet revenue shortfalls, Mainstreet Fairness has gained traction.

    “Sen. Durbin is focused on working with his colleagues to try to get a vote on the bill before the end of this year, whether as a stand-alone bill or part of a larger piece of legislation,” said a Durbin aide. “They are keeping all options on the table at this point.”

    The National Retail Federation supports the act. “As the nature of retailing evolves and Internet sales become a more prominent portion of total retail sales, it is critical that sales tax collection requirements not discriminate,” NRF Senior Vice President David French said in a letter to senators. “The current collection disparity has tilted the competitive landscape against local stores, creating a crisis for brick-and-mortar retailers around the country.”

     

    For more about SureTax's Real Time Tax Calculation Solution for eCommerce, click here.

    Tags: tax calculation, ecommerce

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