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SAF Announces: Sales Tax Project Grants Two-Year Extension

SAF announced June 28th that an extension was granted on the sales tax issue concerning the taxation of wire services orders. Below is a copy of the article issued by SAF.

Sales Tax Project Grants Two-Year Extension

The Governing Board of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP) voted for a two-year extension of floral rules on the taxation of wire orders at its Detroit meeting last week. This extension, which lasts until Dec. 31, 2009, was granted to allow the project time to establish long-term rules concerning the taxation of wire orders. In addition, once the long-term rules are decided it will give time for the states and the industry to prepare to implement those rules. This extension means that sales taxes will continue to be collected by the sending florist and remitted to the local taxing authority — just as it has been for many decades.

The SSTP was started eight years ago as an attempt by the states to streamline the sales tax process by agreeing to uniform definitions and rules concerning the collection of sales taxes. This is done to facilitate the eventual passage of Federal legislation that will require retailers to collect sales taxes based on the destination of the product. The change will allow the states to collect billions of dollars in sales taxes that currently are not collected on Internet and catalogue sales. This change will level the competitive field between traditional “brick and mortar” retailers and Internet sellers, as well as bring significant additional revenue to the states. In the interim, by agreeing on uniform definitions and rules, many businesses are voluntarily agreeing to collect those taxes now.

Currently 15 states are full members of the SSTP that have enacted legislation in their individual states to bring their law in compliance with the SSTP agreement. Those states are Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia. Seven other states are associate members and are working on becoming full members. Those states are Arkansas, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming and Washington.

SAF and Teleflora have been involved in the project since June 2002, working on behalf of the floral industry by attending the meetings and participating in the various committees. FTD has also participated in the effort.

For information, contact SAF’s Drew Gruenburg at dgruenburg@safnow.org.

— Paul Goodman, SAF’s representative to the SSTP issue, and president of Floral Finance Business Services Inc.

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