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Tax Compliance Workshop. Robert Dumas, CPA TaxConnex, LLC. Agenda. New VoIP Providers What creates nexus? Understanding taxability Exemptions with carriers Calculating tax and invoicing Registering with the DOR Filing your returns Established VoIP Providers

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tax compliance workshop

Tax Compliance Workshop

Robert Dumas, CPA

TaxConnex, LLC

agenda
Agenda
  • New VoIP Providers
    • What creates nexus?
    • Understanding taxability
    • Exemptions with carriers
    • Calculating tax and invoicing
    • Registering with the DOR
    • Filing your returns
  • Established VoIP Providers
    • Determining prior period exposure
    • Voluntary Disclosure and Amnesty
what taxes are we talking about
What Taxes Are We Talking About?
  • There are often different definitions
  • Administered by the Departments of Revenue (DOR’s) or local jurisdictions
  • Includes sales tax, communications tax, utility users tax, business + occupation tax, and 911 fees
  • Does not include FCC, Federal or State USF or other PUC administered fees
what creates nexus
What Creates Nexus?
  • Income Tax Nexus and Sales Tax Nexus Is Different
      • PL 86-272 affords immunity to mere solicitation of orders for sales of TPP.
      • Other transactions involving TPP or intangibles are not protected under PL 86-272.
      • The Supreme Court ruling in the 1967 case between National Bellas Hess and the state of IL established the physical presence rule for sales and use tax purposes.
      • In Quill, ND set out to rewrite Bellas Hess citing the changing economy – Overruled by the Supreme Court.
  • For VoIP providers
      • Where you have physical offices, sales reps, trade shows, etc.
      • Where you have customers
understanding taxability
Understanding Taxability
  • It’s different for every state
  • Interconnected VoIP Services in Florida
    • Basic service is not subject to sales tax but is subject to the FL Communications Services Tax and 911 Fees
    • Additional minutes for local and long-distance are not subject to sales tax or 911 Fees but are subject to FL CST
    • Hardware and maintenance on the phones are subject to sales tax only
understanding taxability cont
Understanding Taxability (cont.)
  • Interconnected VoIP Service in Georgia
    • Basic service is not subject to transactions tax but is subject to 911 Fees
    • Additional minutes for local and long-distance are not subject to sales tax or 911 Fees
    • Hardware is subject to sales tax but maintenance on the phones is not subject to sales tax
exemptions with carriers
Exemptions with Carriers
  • Myriad scenarios that create risk
    • Many carriers do not charge tax at all
    • Some charge a “911 administrative fee”
    • Most charge on the wholesale portion only
  • Get a detailed perspective on what the carriers are charging you
  • Just because they collect on the wholesale amount doesn’t mean you’re not exposed
calculating tax and invoicing
Calculating Tax and Invoicing
  • Complexity that increases exponentially as you add states
  • Manual could be OK in the beginning
  • Purchase and implement in-house software
  • Subscribe to a service for calculations
    • CCH SureTax is a telecom-specific tax calculation engine
    • Real-time or Batch options
    • Entry level pricing for VoIP providers
registering with the dor
Registering with the DOR
  • Each state where you need to collect and remit tax will require a sales tax id
  • Some states, like Florida, require a separate communications tax id
  • This is separate from registrations with the SOS but they should be coordinated
filing your returns
Filing Your Returns
  • The DOR will assign a filing frequency
  • Certain states will require additional local level reporting
    • California cities assess a Utility Users Tax that require monthly reporting
  • Manual options
  • Software can automate some of the returns but not all
  • Outsourcing the filings
a bit of reality
A Bit of Reality
  • How can someone that’s just beginning to offer VoIP service, afford to manage the tax compliance, regulatory compliance, and tax/fee calculation?
  • What are some ideas for balancing risk and cost?
prior period exposure
Prior Period Exposure
  • Quantify how much additional tax is due
    • This can be an estimate
  • Based on the risk profile of the business, make a decision on how to remediate:
    • Register and file prospectively
    • Voluntary Disclosure
    • Amnesty
voluntary disclosure
Voluntary Disclosure
  • Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA)
    • Limit the look-back period
    • Waiver of penalty and interest
    • Audit protection
vda procedure
VDA Procedure
  • Typically a third party is involved
  • Anonymous negotiation to obtain a favorable position
  • Prior period returns are prepared or spreadsheet submitted with tax liabilities
  • Registration and prospective collection and filing responsibilities
  • Often not available to current tax payers
amnesty
Amnesty
  • Specific program requirements are described by the state
  • Prior period returns are prepared or spreadsheets submitted in adherence to the program
  • Registration and prospective collection and filing responsibilities
  • May be open to current tax payers
current amnesty program for texas
Current Amnesty Program for Texas
  • Includes sales tax, franchise tax, and other state and local taxes administered by the Comptroller’s office
  • Runs from June 12, 2012 through August 17, 2012
  • Applies to currently registered and non-registered tax payers
  • Waiver of both penalty and interest
recap
Recap
  • Determine where you have nexus
  • Understand the taxability of your services
    • Quantify your potential exposure
    • Determine steps to remediate exposure
  • Seek exemptions with your carriers
  • Set-up a tax and fee calculation routine
  • Register with the DOR’s
  • File your returns
thank you
Thank You

Robert Dumas

Founder and Managing Partner, TaxConnex

Phone: 877-893-5304

Email: robert.dumas@taxconnex.com