Wayfair Decision Still a Headache After Two Years

Date: July 05, 2020

The frustrations complying with online sales taxes show no sign of letting up, says Brad Scott, finance director for NFIB-member business Halstead Bead, Inc.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision turned two years old June 21 but little has been done to make the compliance, collection, and remittance of online sales taxes to state and local governments any easier for small-business owners.

“So, is there software available? Yes. Does it handle every part of sales tax? No,” said Brad Scott on a recent podcast interview for Tax Notes, a website for tax professionals. “And that’s where the real problems creep up, is that there are a lot more details that have to be addressed than just the sales tax itself.”

Brad Scott and his wife Hilary run Prescott-based Halstead, a wholesale supplier to small jewelry businesses across the nation and it’s an NFIB-member business. Complying with the online sales tax regulations of state and local governments is a recurring nightmare for Scott.

There are dollar threshold measurement periods that vary from state to state, according to him. “And when you start talking about the measurement period for whether or not you reach that threshold, you’ve got yourself, basically a reporting nightmare that every single month you have to go through state by state and determine if you have to look at the sales for that state each month.”

No Different Here

“And there are a lot of states where the cities and the municipalities don’t agree with the state agenda, and Arizona is a prime example of that,” continued Scott. “And there’s a lot of infighting. I’ve dealt with our legislators within the state for the last year. And every time I’ve gotten into a conversation about why doesn’t Arizona join the SST [national Streamline Sales Tax initiative], they cannot get the cities on board.”

Arizona is not alone, 26 states are not members of the SST. The 49-minute podcast can be listened to here. Jennifer McLoughlin, Tax Notes legal reporter, interviews Brad Scott and Scott Peterson, vice president of U.S. tax policy and government relations for Avalara, at the 21:25-minute mark. Click here to go right to a printable transcript of McLoughlin’s Q&A with Brad Scott from the podcast.

“Brad and Hilary Scott have been our go-to NFIB members for the very frustrating issue of online sales taxes,” said Chad Heinrich, Arizona state director for NFIB. “They’ve been interviewed widely, and Brad has testified before Congress. They embody the best quality of small-business owners: People trying to do right. Unfortunately, they’re not getting much help from the governments that would financially stand to benefit from their efforts.”

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