Stephanie Thomas, CPA

Stephanie Thomas, CPA

Recent Posts

Extra! Extra! Pay Attention Remote Sellers

 

Since the Wayfair case became the law of the land, remote sellers have been as jumpy as a sinner in church about whether they must register to collect a jurisdiction’s sales or use tax. While each jurisdiction has different requirements, there are important updates. One update is the requirement that remote sellers who meet a Texas sales threshold must register to collect Texas sales and use tax.

Back-to-School Isn’t Just For Your Kids! Educate Yourself.

 

I can always tell when fall is around the corner. It isn’t because of the cool weather (which rarely appears when school is starting) or my internal Spidey sense, it’s all the Back-to School ads on TV. That, coupled with notices about tax-free weekends, always signals that school is starting soon.

Accounting Software - Know the Must Haves.

Usually, getting something brand spanking new and shiny fills us with optimism and hope that the new thing will make our lives easier in terms of beauty, ease, function or all three. This is true whether it is something for your everyday personal life or the new upgraded accounting software that will help your business grow exponentially (you hope). But while you are buying the latest and greatest accounting software, don’t forget the things all accounting software need in case of an audit.

Call a Thing a Thing! Clear Concise Invoices & Contracts are the Goal.

 

Sometimes it seems as if we live in a world where everyone is just trying to skate by instead of striving for the best. Excellent service is rare and “okay” service is the norm. Using fillers like “um” and “you know” takes the place of concise speech. Ambiguity is valued, while being precise isn’t. While that may be okay when you are ordering a chalupa, it isn’t okay when you are dealing with sales tax.

April Fool’s – Don’t Let the Joke be on you!

 

In honor of April Fool’s Day, which is just around the corner, I thought it would be good to highlight the most foolish things that I have seen as a sales tax consultant: Lies.

Are You Still Feeling the Love?

February always brings to mind hearts, flowers, love and passion. Business owners usually start a business when they are passionate about what they are doing.For example, you love baking, so you open a bakery. You love working with your hands, laying tile or installing cabinets, so you become a contractor. You want to support your family, you enjoy nice things, and you have an idea about how to make money, so you open a business. Whatever the reason, every business owner has a story about why they hung out their shingle.

Even Glinda Can't Make a Valid Audit Deficiency Disappear

I recently came across a recording of Wizard of Oz in my DVR and I immediately started drawing parallels between those characters and the state tax world. Some clients are like Dorothy, thrown into a strange world (state and local tax), but willing to follow the yellow brick road on what can be a harrowing journey. Others are like the Lion, praying for courage or like Oz, hiding behind a curtain and making up stories to keep everything running smoothly.

5 Things Business Owners Should Know about State Taxes

When you are a business owner, there are a million things that you must understand to run a successful business.  Understanding your state tax responsibilities is normally not high on your radar.  While every jurisdiction is different, there are questions that all business owners should ask about state taxes.

Get it in Code! The Frustrations of Contacting the Comptroller or DOR.

News flash! Understanding the Tax Code is not the easiest thing to do. The good news is that almost jurisdictions provide resources to help taxpayers. Websites with publications, FAQs, the Tax Code and Comptroller or DOR agents are all ready to assist you. 

But, sometimes complex issues cannot be resolved by reading the FAQs section of the website or with a call to the taxing jurisdiction. Websites are only as good as the information on them. I have found old, superseded information on DOR websites. I have also found information that was just plain wrong.  

Tax Amnesty - A Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

I have been quiet lately because I took a little time out to go on a working vacation. But I am back now, rejuvenated and ready to share the latest interesting tidbits about sales and use tax. 

The most important thing that everyone needs to know is that there is a tax amnesty program currently in effect with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. That means from May 1 through June 29, 2018, the Comptroller is waiving penalties and interest for businesses who:

  • Did not file a required return or report originally due before January 1, 2018
  • Made an error on a previously filed report that resulted in an underpayment of taxes or additional tax due
  • Or that don’t have a permit or proper registration for collecting and remitting Texas tax.

Don't Let Spring Fever Turn into an Inferno for Your Business

Spring is upon us. The birds are singing, bees are buzzing, and the pollen count is off the charts. Even if you are experiencing snow in April (which is so weird), spring fever is still contagious. But business owners and accounting departments should not get carried away clearing out old files and records, in case the state taxing authority decides to visit.

Tabasco is Not the Same as Hot Sauce! Neither are Exemption and Resale Certificates.

There are some things in this world that appear to be interchangeable, but really aren’t: diamonds and cubic zirconia, Tabasco and hot sauce, Drew and Jonathan Scott.  While these things (and twin TV host brothers) may look the same, they are different.   They are as different as Texas Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificates and Texas Sales and Use Tax Resale Certificates.

New Year, Better Informed You

Every new year brings resolutions and ideas about how we can all make our lives better.  From exercising five times a week, skipping the glazed doughnuts to quitting smoking, we all have been there when it comes to personal and professional goals.

When Cleanliness is Not Next to Godliness: Keep Your Records!

For those business owners who have never been through a sales tax audit, the idea that the state can audit your records for several years can come as a shock.  The statute of limitations for a sales tax audit varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In Texas, the statute of limitations is four years.  That means that an audit generated in 2018 can cover periods in 2014.

“The content of this website is intended to convey general information only and does not represent accounting, tax or legal advice or opinion. Because tax laws, policies, and applications are dynamic and fact-specific, please consult with a state tax professional for a complete analysis of law as it may apply to your specific situation at a particular time. If you require an in-depth review of a specific fact situation, please contact our offices to establish a client relationship for opinion and advice.”