Carol McIlvaine

Recent posts by Carol McIlvaine

2 min read

Top Five Changes In Sales Tax This Year

By Carol McIlvaine on Thu, Jul 07, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Sales tax check up time!

Here are the top 5 changes related to sales tax compliance in 2016:

  1. Filing Frequency Changes – Many jurisdictions have reviewed the previous year’s filing history and are made hanges to your account. Some jurisdictions will mail your notification of this change, but please be aware that other notifications may come electronically - especially if you file online. Not updating your filing frequency will cause notices and may cause penalty and interest if your account switched to a more frequent filing frequency.
  1. Rate Updates – January brings the largest number of rate changes of the year. If you are contracted with a third party to procure your rates, then most likely you are prepared. However, if you have to manually program your rates into your ERP or POS system, then you might be behind. Easch jurisdiction does a pretty good job announcing their rate changes on their website, by mail and some by phone. You should check and make sure you have the most current tax rate.
  1. Jurisdictional Changes – We saw two major changes with telecom taxes for January. California introduced the CA MTS. This is for prepaid mobile Telephone Services. There are significant differences for retailers vs. direct sellers, so it is important to understand the new filing requirement. Another big change we saw with Telecom is the IL local E911 returns are now all being reported to the State instead of directly to the individual jurisdictions.
  1. Electronic Filing and Payment Requirements – Similar to changes in filing frequencies, the states have reviewed the filing history and thresholds may have been met to trigger an online filing or payment requirement. Also, more and more jurisdictions are trying to go paperless and are making these electronic methods mandatory.
  1. New or Changing Prepayment Requirements – Also be aware of a new requirement for prepayments. These may also be known as estimated payments or deposits. Prepayments are generally required for taxpayers that remit larger tax liabilities. If your business has grown, you may have reached a threshold to trigger the prepayment. Again, these notices may not come in the mail, but could be communicated electronically through your online account. Kansas is one of those states.

Are you overwhelmed yet? Just review your jurisdictional notices carefully and remember the notices could be provided to you online.

Topics: sales tax compliance
2 min read

Key Guidelines for Sales Tax Registrations

By Carol McIlvaine on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 @ 12:36 PM

Collecting sales tax from your customers and remitting to the proper jurisdictions can be challenging. But, before you start collecting and remitting you need to register with the applicable jurisdictions. This may sound like an easy task, but like most things related to sales tax, the registration process can be complicated and varied from state to state.

Topics: sales tax sales tax filing
2 min read

Top 5 Changes in Sales Tax Compliance…Are You Ready?

By Carol McIlvaine on Thu, Feb 04, 2016 @ 10:15 AM

In November my blog gave you many tips to get ready for the new year. Now the new year is here and changes are in effect. Are you ready?

Topics: sales tax compliance
1 min read

Holiday Season is Business License Season

By Carol McIlvaine on Thu, Dec 03, 2015 @ 11:34 AM

business_license-357993-editedBusiness licenses come in two flavors – (1) one is generally connected to a sales tax license and is required for collecting and remitting sales tax; and (2) the other enables a company to do business in certain jurisdictions – these could be construction permits, fire alarm permits, occupancy licenses, etc. States that tend to have a lot of business license requirements due to their local jurisdictions are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri and New Mexico. There are some states that also have a state level business license too.

Topics: sales tax filing
1 min read

'Tis the Season and Happy New Year

By Carol McIlvaine on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 @ 02:30 PM

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week, Christmas is in a month and then there’s the new year. Are you prepared for this holiday season? Have you thought about how you’re going to manage sales tax compliance in these shortened months?

Topics: sales tax compliance
3 min read

Sales & Use Tax Electronic Payment Methods

By Carol McIlvaine on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 @ 09:44 AM

In my last blog “ Sales Tax Compliance Advantages Related to e-Filing”, I mentioned that in most jurisdictions where you can electronically file your sales and use tax return, you can also pay electronically.
Topics: sales tax
2 min read

Sales Tax Compliance Advantages Related to e-Filing

By Carol McIlvaine on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

Back in June I posted “Most Costly Sales and Use Tax Compliance Errors.” In this blog, I described one of the errors was not filing and paying electronically.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax filing
2 min read

Sales Tax Tips for New York’s PrompTax

By Carol McIlvaine on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

If you have more than $500,000 in annual sales tax liability in the state of New York, then you are likely familiar with their PrompTax. The PrompTax is a prepayment for large taxpayers.

Topics: sales tax sales tax news
2 min read

Amnesty Anyone?

By Carol McIlvaine on Thu, Sep 03, 2015 @ 03:47 PM


Topics: sales tax compliance taxability
18 min read

Sales Tax Holidays - Love Them or Hate Them?

By Carol McIlvaine on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 @ 04:28 PM

Shoppers love sales tax holidays and while it may bring them into stores and online to shop, it can also be a nightmare for retailers. Although controversial at times, there is no doubt these tax-free incentives drive up revenue. Unfortunately, retailers have to spend time getting prepared for these holidays. They may require dollar thresholds, special temporary tax rates, or no tax at all on items that are usually taxable. In some cases, retailers have to add special programing to their POS systems or temporary overrides. Because the criteria are so complex, some companies may decide to only partially implement the rules into their POS systems or not all and choose to blanket turn off sales tax and pay the tax due when they file their returns, out of pocket. Either way, this could be very expensive and labor intensive to keep up with.

Retailers may also struggle with how to identify which items meet the specific criteria of the tax-free holiday in each state. For example, how is a retailer going to know if an item is for non-business use? What defines an accessory?   Are tablets considered to be a computer? These are all things that have to be taken into account, and all retailers whether large or small can be impacted.

Many of these sales tax holidays take place one or two weekends before the start of the school year, so it’s perfect timing for back to school shoppers. You can expect to save on school supplies, clothing, footwear, certain electronics, etc. For example, if you have a child that is in need of a new computer, this may be a good time to take advantage of back to school sales and pay no sales tax in Georgia.

Below are the states offering sales tax holidays and the criteria covered:

Alabama (Abbeville Police Jurisdiction and Alabaster): 8/7/2015 – 8/9/2015
  • Non-Business Purchases of Books - $30 or less per item
  • Non-Business Purchases of School Supplies - $50 or less per item
  • Clothing - $100 or less per item
  • Computers - $750 or less per item

Arkansas: 8/7/2015 – 8/9/2015

  • School Supplies, Art Supplies, and Instructional Materials – No limit
  • Clothing Accessories - $49.99 or less per item
  • Clothing - $99.99 or less per item

Georgia: 7/31/2015 – 8/1/2015

  • School Supplies - $20 or less per item
  • Clothing and Footwear - $100 or less per item
  • Computers and Accessories - $1,000 or less per item

Iowa: 8/7/2015 – 8/8/2015

  • Clothing and Footwear - $99.99 or less per item

Maryland: 8/9/2015 – 8/15/2015

  • Clothing and Footwear - $100 or less per item

Mississippi (Excluding Enterprise and Heidelberg) : 7/31/2015 – 8/1/2015

  • Non-Business Purchases of Clothing and Footwear - $99.99 or less per item

Ohio: 8/7/2015 – 8/9/2015

  • School Supplies & School Instructional Material - $20 or less per item
  • Clothing and Footwear - $75 or less per item

Oklahoma: 8/7/2015 – 8/9/2015

  • Clothing and Footwear - $99.99 or less per item

Puerto Rico: 7/17/2015 – 7/18/2015

  • Purchases of School Uniforms and School Supplies – No limit

South Carolina: 8/7/2015 – 8/9/2015

  • Non-Business Purchases of Clothing and Footwear, Computers, and School Supplies - $99.99 or less per item

Texas: 8/7/2015 – 8/9/2015

  • Clothing and Backpacks and School Supplies (All school supplies and backpacks for use by non-elementary and secondary students are taxable) - $99.99 or less per item
Topics: sales tax sales tax filing
1 min read

What's In A Tax Calendar?

By Carol McIlvaine on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

Whether you are managing a sales and use tax department, have landed on sales tax outsourcing as a strategy or you are a lone soldier and sales tax is just one of the many jobs you do, it is very important to have an up to date tax calendar.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax
3 min read

Three Additional Sales Tax Compliance Factors That Can Cost You Big

By Carol McIlvaine on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 @ 10:05 AM

money_bagMy last blog discussed why the most costly sales and use tax compliance errors are timely filing of returns and payments, and knowing your requirements to file or pay electronically. There are three additional sales tax compliance factors that can cost you big as well --- changes in your filing frequency, new prepayment requirements, and timely response to notices. As your business changes, so can your sales and use tax compliance requirements.  Whether it is from growth, acquisition, adding a new product line or no longer selling a certain product line, these business changes can all lead to a change in your filing frequency and prepayment requirements.

Topics: sales tax sales tax audits sales tax filing
2 min read

Most Costly Sales and Use Tax Compliance Errors

By Carol McIlvaine on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 @ 09:27 AM

When filing and paying sales and use tax returns in multiple jurisdictions, compliance is easy right?  You just collect the tax from your customers and remit it to the jurisdictions and it doesn't cost a thing.  Wrong!  There are many factors that go into managing all the moving parts of the compliance process.  When these factors are not considered or completed timely and accurately, it could cost a business hefty penalties and/or interest, as well as your reputation as a taxpayer. 

This first blog in a series, will address two of these factors and a subsequent blog will address three additional factors.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax sales tax filing
3 min read

Sales and Use and Telecom Tax....Oh My!

By Carol McIlvaine on Mon, Jul 28, 2014 @ 11:17 AM

After making a career in multi-state corporate sales and use tax, I am still amazed at how complicated this industry is.  As if understanding the concept of sales and use tax isn’t difficult enough, throw in seller’s use, gross receipts, retailer’s use, excise tax, vendor’s use, B&O, and the daunting world of telecom taxes, it can be confusing to even the most seasoned professionals. There are many different industries and each one has its own set of regulations and can be quite complicated to navigate without help. 

Topics: sales tax telecom tax