Sales Tax Nexus

Lamtec Corporation vs. Department of Revenue, State of Washington.  In a recent ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court, a lower court's ruling was upheld that found a manufacturer's activities in the State created substantial enough nexus to subject them to the Business + Occupation (B+O) tax despite having no physical office or full time employees based in the state.

The State suggests that nexus was established by the regular and recurring visits of the manufacturer's personnel to various clients in the State.  The State determined that the presence of these personnel was instrumental in the manufacturer's ability to maintain a market in the State.  Said differently, without the employee visits the manufacturer would not have been able to service and retain their clients.

I've seen these scenarios play themselves out in multiple states.  The challenging part is that there's no black and white rule related to the number of visits and the type of visits that will lead to sales tax nexus.  Suffice it to say that if you have ANY employee visiting a state for ANY reason, your radar should go off.  These visits could be sales focused, a trade show or service-oriented (as in the example above).  Use our sales and use tax nexus questionnaire to get an idea of where you might be at risk.

Brian Greer

Written by Brian Greer