What’s up with SSUTA?

Back in 2018, when the Supreme Court decision on Wayfair vs. South Dakota allowed states to make new laws requiring remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax on their behalf, there was a little bit of discussion on the question of whether this would be a burden on start ups and smaller businesses.

“Eventually software that is available at a reasonable cost may make it easier for small businesses to cope with these problems,” the Supreme Court suggested. “Those systems may become available in a short period of time.”

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But it wasn’t just trust in software that made the Supreme Court think the new ruling would work out okay for SMBs. It was also SSUTA: Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.

SSUTA: Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement 

SSUTA is a streamlined and standardized set of sales tax rules that states can choose to buy into. It requires requires a single, state-level tax administration.

  • Simplified sales tax structures
  • Uniform definitions of goods and services
  • Simple exemptions
  • Uniform sourcing
  • Simple software paid for by the states

The goal is to reduce costs for businesses.

Participation

Fewer than half the states have signed up for SSUTA. That by itself makes SSUTA of limited value. Not only are there just 23 member states, but no new states have signed up since the Wayfair decision. This suggests that states find the opportunities to use state sales tax rules to control business’s behaviors more appealing than the idea of standardizing taxes.

Membership in SSUTA requires a lot of work, especially for jurisdictions with complicated systems. The benefits for states are limited.

The Supreme Court, in the same decision, also pointed out that Congress could still accomplish sales tax reform through the creation of new laws, or of a federal tax code. That is still an option for Congress.

At the moment, though, SSUTA hasn’t solved any problems and isn’t showing any energy.

What should you do?

Right now, SSUTA is just another factor in the complicated sales tax system.

SalesTaxDataLINK has the level of accuracy you need, at a predictable, affordable price. SSUTA might come up when you’re making your decisions, but you can be sure that SalesTaxDataLINK can handle it.

We can also take on the whole sales tax compliance process for you. Call 479-715-4275 to discuss your needs.

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