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Massachusetts DOR Sending Letters to Sellers Regarding July 1 Effective Date of Economic Nexus Directive

Recently, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (Department) sent letters to several companies regarding Directive 17-1. The Directive announces a “rule” requiring remote internet sellers to register for and begin collecting Massachusetts sales and use tax (sales tax) by July 1, 2017, if they had more than $500,000 in Massachusetts sales during the preceding year. The legal premise behind the rule is that the Department believes sellers with more than $500,000 in annual Massachusetts sales must have more than a de minimis physical presence so that requiring sales tax collection would not be prohibited by Quill Corp v. North Dakota, 504 US 298 (1992). The Directive’s examples of such physical presence include the presence of cookies on purchasers’ computers, use of third-party carriers to make white-glove deliveries and the use of online marketplaces to sell products. The Directive also states that sellers who fail to collect tax beginning July 1, 2017 will...

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If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again: Illinois General Assembly Sends Revised Version of Click-Through Nexus Law to the Governor for Signature

In 2011, Illinois became one of the first states to follow New York’s lead by enacting “click-through nexus” legislation.  The Illinois law created nexus for any out-of-state retailer that contracted with a person in Illinois who displayed a link on his, her or its website that had the ability to connect an Internet user to the remote retailer’s website, when those referrals generated over $10,000 per year in sales.  Pub. Act 96-1544, §§5, 10 (eff. Mar. 10, 2011) (codified at 35 ILCS 105/2(1.1) and 35 ILCS 110/2(1.1) (West 2010).  On October 13, 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the click-through nexus law violated the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) by imposing a discriminatory tax on electronic commerce.  Performance Marketing Ass’n v. Hamer, 2013 IL 114496.  The court held that the statute unlawfully discriminated against Internet retailers by imposing a use tax collection obligation based only on Internet referrals but not on print or...

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