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Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Swain on Amnesty and the Streamlined Sales Tax

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Swain_color John A. Swain (Arizona) has published The Three Most Important Things to Know About the Streamlined Sales Tax -- Amnesty, Amnesty, and Amnesty, 38 State Tax Notes 137 (Oct. 3, 2005), also available on the Tax Analysts web site as Doc 2005-19203, 2005 STT 190-4.  Here is the Introduction:

Although the slogan "location, location, location" has been replaced with "buy, buy, buy," the old real estate saw is an apt model for streamlining: Amnesty, amnesty, amnesty. Sure there are plenty of soft inducements for participating in the streamlined sales tax system: centralized registration, uniform returns, certified service providers and certified compliance software . . . (yawn). But nothing beats cold hard cash and a good night's sleep. Speaking of cash, enhanced vendor compensation is the fourth most important thing to know about streamlining. Get this: The states are saying, "Because we've made it easier for you to comply, we are going to pay you more to do so." That's like your employer saying, "We've decided to cut back on your workload and give you a raise!" As we go to press, however, the amount and mechanics of vendor compensation are still up in the air, so let's focus on amnesty.

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