Robert Dumas

Robert Dumas

Accountant, consultant and entrepreneur, Robert Dumas began his public accounting career on the tax staff at Arthur Young & Co., followed by a brief stint at Grant Thornton. In 1998, Robert founded Tax Partners, which became the largest sales tax compliance service bureau in the country, and later sold it to Thomson Corporation. Robert founded TaxConnex in 2011 on the principle that the sales tax industry needed more than automation to truly help clients, thus building within TaxConnex a proprietary platform and network of sales tax experts to truly take sales tax off client’s plates.

Recent posts by Robert Dumas

4 min read

How the Sales Tax Picture is Changing During the Pandemic - and Beyond

By Robert Dumas on Tue, Jul 21, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

This article was written for the Atlanta Business Chronicle Leadership Trust. To see the original post, click here

The coronavirus has upended just about every aspect of life and business. We are all adjusting to a new way to work, live, shop and more, and it is hard for us to imagine when life will go back to normal, or how many of these changes will stay with us into the future.

Tax collection is one of the many things that has changed a lot recently, starting with postponements to file and pay income taxes at the federal level and in most states.

For sales and use taxes, some states implemented various forms of relief. This included extensions to file returns, tax payment deferral, and waivers of penalties and interest in some situations. But now that most of these extensions and waivers have expired, what does this mean for your business? 

Time not on your side?

For many, the delays came as a relief, but if you didn't pay your sales and use taxes because of an extension, it's possible you set yourself up for trouble down the road. When you collect sales tax from a customer, you become a fiduciary of the state. So, while deferring sales tax payment might mean you had more funds available to run your business, keep in mind that the money collected is now due. 

State slowdowns

It is, of course, hard to predict how the current crisis will impact other aspects of sales tax compliance, such as state tax administration. Assuming some portion of a government’s employees are working from home, their response rates and ability to conduct business as usual will be impacted, resulting in delays in certain areas. Audit programs around the country have slowed or even been suspended.

The outbreak has perhaps created opportunities to work with states and gain a little leeway. If a state has you under audit, for instance, it may be willing to waive interest or penalties. States also might be willing to work with sellers of goods essential in the outbreak, such as protective medical gear, food or cleaning supplies.

Generally, sales and use tax collections mirror the general economy. I expect that collections will likely decline in the short term (perhaps over the next six months or so) and then return to pre-COVID levels in the long term. 

What changes can we expect to see?

Studies indicate that once buyers are comfortable with the online shopping experience, they’re more likely to continue shopping online. (We tend to see this after holiday shopping seasons.) Our current crisis is forcing a lot of people who historically haven’t purchased online to switch to online shopping. Expect many of these people to continue purchasing online.

After the pandemic, I believe we’re likely to have a bigger audience of consumers who will be purchasing goods and services online in a number of tax jurisdictions.

What can be done to streamline the tax collection burden on online businesses in this environment? This has been the question since the 1992 Quill decision. Later, we started to see efforts related to the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP), which has been implemented with varying success in roughly half the states.

There may be no way to simplify sales tax collection enough unless the states uniformly raise the economic nexus threshold to where the businesses affected innately have the financial wherewithal to adhere to the sales tax rules.

Online retailers and businesses should work with their local lawmakers to voice concern regarding the burden placed on small businesses, both now and in the future.

As the sales tax collection landscape shifts, there comes a significant increase in states requiring remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax based on economic nexus. That means companies may hit economic nexus thresholds in different states, bringing about new regulations and deadlines. It’s another thing for company leaders to track in these already difficult times.

At TaxConnex, our goal is to take sales tax off your plate. Now it is even more important to have a resource to help you understand your sales tax obligations. We aim to help not only our clients through this time, but you as well, even if it is only to serve as a resource to stay up to date with all the changes. Contact us to learn more about how TaxConnex can remove the burden of sales tax from your business.

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax filing
6 min read

Get Ready for Audits as States Keep Losing Sales Tax Revenue

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Jun 25, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

This article was written with contributions by Clark Calhoun of Alston & Bird. 

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax audits
6 min read

TaxConnex Statement to Community on COVID-19

By Robert Dumas on Fri, Mar 13, 2020 @ 10:52 AM

In response to the uncertainty around COVID-19, I felt it was important to share our response to this rapidly developing situation.  Along with the safety of our employees, our top priority is maintaining a high-quality, uninterrupted service to support your business.  Your sales tax compliance continues to be our responsibility.  As we’ve always said, your sales tax compliance is all on us. 

Topics: Now it's all on us
2 min read

TaxConnex™ Partners with Service 2 Software

By Robert Dumas on Wed, Mar 04, 2020 @ 11:15 AM

I am excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Service 2 Software, a registered 501c(s) organization that exists to equip service members with the necessary skills to gain employment in the technology industry.  This partnership gives us a great opportunity to support our veterans while also providing skilled talent to our growing team. 

Topics: Now it's all on us
3 min read

Responding to a Sales Tax Audit

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Feb 27, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

It happened.  You received a sales tax audit notice from a jurisdiction.  What do you do?

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

4 Tips to Avoid a Sales Tax Audit

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Feb 20, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

It’s been over a year since economic nexus was put into effect, and state and local jurisdictions have started knocking on doors to start collecting. Whether you are intentionally or unintentionally neglecting your sales tax obligations, the chance of audit is continuing to grow.

Topics: sales tax audits Now it's all on us
3 min read

The Costs of Non-Compliance

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Feb 13, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Businesses that sell into various states now have to contend with the sales & use tax regulations and requirements of thousands of jurisdictions nationwide. One big question for these businesses is how much time, effort and money do they need to devote to compliance – and do they need to pay attention to it at all?

Topics: sales tax compliance sales tax calculation Now it's all on us
3 min read

The Origin of Sales & Use Tax Nexus

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Jan 23, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Sales and use tax nexus has become a major headache for any business that sells into the United States. But what exactly is nexus for sales and use tax purposes, and where does it come from, anyway?

Topics: sales tax nexus south dakota vs. wayfair
1 min read

Don't forget physical nexus!

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Jan 16, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Businesses who sell over the internet must pay a lot of attention to far-flung economic tax thresholds – almost all states and more than a few localities enforce them now – so it’s easy to overlook a more-obvious tripwire.

Topics: sales tax nexus south dakota vs. wayfair retail
3 min read

The Three Words That Define Sales Tax for Businesses: It’s a headache!

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Jan 09, 2020 @ 10:45 AM

You might be thinking, “Sales tax. Let them find me.”

Topics: sales tax nexus Now it's all on us
3 min read

Top 10 Sales Tax Developments to Look for in 2020

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Jan 02, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

If you thought 2019 was a confusing year for sales tax, wait for 2020, as more states continue to adjust their sales-tax laws.

Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia added enforcement of economic nexus in 2019, in addition to the 19 that added the burden to online retailers in 2018 after the Supreme Court overruled the physical presence rule in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. More than ever, out-of-state sellers with threshold limits of sales in a given state must collect and remit sales tax.

Economic nexus laws are expected to continue to change in 2020 with updates projected from several states and with the addition of more states adopting Marketplace facilitator laws there is even more to keep watch for.  

Topics: sales tax news Now it's all on us
1 min read

2019 - Year in Review

By Robert Dumas on Tue, Dec 31, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

As we enter 2020, we have a lot to be thankful for at TaxConnex.  In fact, 2019 was a record-breaking year for our company, and we couldn’t have done it without all of our partners, employees, and clients. 

Topics: Now it's all on us
2 min read

Have increased holiday sales triggered new compliance obligations?

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Dec 19, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

Online retailers definitely have something to be smiling about this season. Cyber Monday saw Americans drop $9.4 billion. That figure is up 20% from last year’s $7.9 billion in online sales and it beat this year’s Black Friday’s sales.

Topics: sales tax compliance retail
2 min read

Localities Look to Hit Retailers with Corporate Income Tax

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Dec 12, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

As if sales tax wasn’t enough for online retailers, some states are working to make retailers pay corporate income tax as well.

The amount of corporate income taxed will be based on the retailer’s local economic activity, similar to how many assess sales tax.  Many of these new laws will kick in next year, giving retailers a Happy New Year gift of more forms to file, more money to shell out and more compliance traps to fall into.

Topics: sales tax news
2 min read

13 Things to Ask Any Potential Sales Tax Partner Before you say YES

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Dec 05, 2019 @ 10:45 AM

Another tax notice just landed on your desk. Ouch. You thought you had this solved with the “fully-integrated, simple, seamless, comprehensive, customized sales tax solution” that you paid an arm and a leg for. It sure sounded great at first. This was going to make sales tax unbelievably easy – and free up your time for more strategic stuff. So why are you still scrambling to correct errors, confirm nexus, send payments, manage tax calendars, and double check everything your provider does?

Topics: sales tax compliance
1 min read

Are States Easing Off Nexus?

By Robert Dumas on Thu, Nov 21, 2019 @ 11:15 AM

Why would states go through all the trouble of enacting economic nexus to grow their tax coffers and then ease off on the restrictions - especially big states like New York and California, which were once expected to garner nine and even ten figures in tax revenue from nexus legislation?

Topics: sales tax nexus sales tax news south dakota vs. wayfair