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Hey Maine! Ready to Simplify Sales Tax?

author photo of Cory Barwick

Hey Maine taxpayers:  Streamlined Sales Tax may be coming your way so be prepared to pay tax on those internet purchases!

Last week, Maine legislators introduced two bills to the ME House of Representative (H.P. 228 and H.P. 251) that, if enacted, would see Maine move towards Streamlined simplification and create the notorious click-through nexus rules for remote sellers.

H.P. 228, if enacted, would direct the Bureau to prepare a report that would outline the changes, and options to implement those changes, required to bring the State into conformity with the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement; determine the impact of each option proposed; and explain any fiscal policy impacts caused by moving the State into conformity.

Both bills also contain provisions that create an assumption that a remote seller engaged in business within the State has created nexus if they have an affiliation with an in-state representative that is promoting or expanding the company's marketplace in the state.  Think New York on this one, only smaller.  The taxpayer has courses of action to refute the assumption made the Bureau of Revenue Services, again, very similar to the provisions of other affiliated / click-through nexus rules that have been enacted.

Hot on the heels of the re-introduction of the Marketplace Fairness Act (earlier in the month) this seems like a very logical move: so much so that I expect that we will see other states begin to publicly explore their options related to the collection of remote sales tax. But which flavor they will prefer is still up in the air. Will it be tried and tested SST - or newer provisions provided to states under Marketplace?

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