The Taxify team recently attended the Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) Governing Board Meeting in South Dakota to meet with tax leaders regarding the future of sales tax law, and how changes continue to affect ecommerce. We also attended to become a Certified Service Provider (more on that later!).
For those unfamiliar with SST, it is an extensive project that aims to minimize the countless differences between different states’ sales tax policies and practices to level the playing field between brick-and-mortar businesses and ecommerce.
Sales tax compliance for ecommerce and remote sellers is inherently much more complex than what brick-and-mortar businesses experience. The SST works with states and their legislatures to simplify sales tax policies and procedures by outlining the rules and regulations that member states are expected to adhere to in order to minimize the compliance burden that ecommerce businesses encounter on a daily basis. The project’s ultimate goal is to improve sales tax administration “through tax law simplification, more efficient administrative procedures, and emerging technologies.” These sales tax simplifications result from: more uniform tax definitions; simpler exemption administration; rate simplification; administration of all sales taxes at the state-level instead of being administered by local jurisdictions, and uniform sourcing.
The Taxify team attended meetings alongside an incredible group of tax administrators, politicians, lobbyists, and businesses–all with the common goal of simplifying sales tax for ecommerce. Many of these individuals have been working on this project since its inception so the atmosphere felt like a group of old friends working together to solve various sales tax issues. Taxify met with these leaders to discuss ways ecommerce companies can benefit from updating archaic tax laws and focusing on emerging technologies utilized in today’s market.
There are currently 24 member states of the SST, many of whom brought representatives who availed themselves to meet with us and work together on the behalf of ecommerce companies. We’re committed to understanding and remaining informed of the ever-changing sales and use tax environment and to contribute to making sales tax filings easier for our ecommerce customers.
Many SST meetings focused on topics specific to remote sellers, including: terminology, ensuring each member state understand what is expected of them, and organizing each states’ exemption policies. The amount of time and care dedicated to these topics was reaffirming that ecommerce companies are recognized as important contributors to the sales tax world. A great deal of consideration is spent making sure that there is no grey area in determining taxability of items, exemptions, and policy changes that will affect ecommerce in general. The Taxify team also spent a lot of time one-on-one with individuals who educated us on the ongoing struggle to streamline sales tax, which is something we aim to contribute to in ways that will best benefit our ecommerce customers.
In the upcoming weeks, our team will share more of their experiences, outcomes, and how our customers will receive a variety of benefits from us attending this meeting, including our official SST Certification as a trusted certified sales tax service provider (CSP). Thanks for reading!