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How Do You Handle Multistate Taxes?


If your business is headquartered in one state, but you sell your products across the border, do you have to pay taxes in the recipients' state? This answer depends largely on whether you have what is referred to as a "nexus," meaning an establishment in the recipients' state. So what is a nexus and what constitutes an establishment?

Any of the following might create a nexus in a given state:

  • A temporary or permanent office
  • A warehouse
  • A storage locker
  • A sales representative based in that state

The rules have a lot of subtleties, however, and each state may have slightly different interpretations of how the rules work, further complicating the issue. Take for example, New Jersey, which does a lot of cross-border business with New York and Pennsylvania. It says any of the following may create nexus:

  • Selling, leasing, or renting tangible personal property or specified digital products or services
  • Maintaining an office, distribution house, showroom, warehouse, service enterprise (e.g., a restaurant, entertainment center, business center), or other place of business
  • Having employees, independent contractors, agents, or other representatives (including salespersons, consultants, customer representatives, service or repair technicians, instructors, delivery persons, and independent representatives or solicitors acting as agents of the business) working in the state

Of course, regulatory changes and court cases can change this interpretation at any time. Indeed, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issues more opinion letters on sales tax issues than on all other state taxes combined.

So, what’s your best bet? With 45 states imposing a sales tax, it's essential you stay in touch with us to ensure that you pay every dime you owe — but no more! Give us a call today.

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Kim & Lee
Kim & Lee, LLP
2305 W. 190th St. Suite 100
Torrance, CA 90504
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Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
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