Category Archives: Technology
Saying that the internet has changed the way we live is an obvious statement. The internet has transformed our forms of communication and our use of language as well as the way we conduct business. However, the one thing that has not changed is our duty to pay taxes which includes paying tax on some online purchases.
The current Arizona law is that if a business has a physical presence such as an office, warehouse or even a sales representative in Arizona, then the business owner must collect Arizona sales tax on internet sales to Arizona customers. But, a business that is based out of Montana for instance, which has no physical presence in Arizona, does not have to collect sales tax from Arizona residents. Montana, along with Alaska, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Oregon, is one of five states with no state sales tax. Generally speaking, if you are selling goods or products over the Internet to customers located in those states, sales tax for those customers should be a non-issue.This puts out-of-state businesses at an advantage when selling to Arizona customers.
There is an argument in favor of an online tax to be charged by all businesses: in-state businesses are forced to do business at a competitive disadvantage because they have to collect taxes and out-of-state online sellers do not, which can be up to a 10 percent price advantage, according to www.marketplacefairness.org and supporters such as Amazon.com and Overstock.com. A general online sales tax would affect online and catalog consumers because of the cost increase of the product due to sales tax. Many consumers probably never noticed whether they were paying tax for online purchases because they are used to paying sales taxes for other purchases. So the online sales tax issue is more likely one that businesses should keep an eye on because it will likely affect business in the not so distant future.
With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day around the corner, I am reminded not to forget. Technology today makes it much easier not to forget. We can program calendar entries into our cell phones, set reminders, alerts, alarms, and notifications, and if all else fails, remind ourselves with a sticky note taped to our computer monitor, refrigerator, front door, etc. But, even with all of this technological assistance, many of my clients come to me and are in need of legal assistance when they have failed to meet a deadline.
One example is when a client gets served with a lawsuit. “Service” of a lawsuit usually means that a process server has handed the person a copy of a Complaint and Summons. After service of the Complaint, the client typically has 20 days to file an answer to the Complaint. If the client fails to answer that Complaint, a default judgment could be entered which can lead liens on property, garnishing wages, garnishing bank accounts, etc. None of these things are good!
Another example, which is somewhat less conspicuous, is when a small business owner gets a letter in the mail from the Arizona Department of Economic Security (“DES”). DES is the unemployment office. When an employee files for unemployment benefits, DES notifies the employer of the claim for unemployment benefits, and the employer typically has 10 working days from the date of the letter to respond to DES as to why the employee quit or was fired. If the employer fails to respond to this one letter, DES will decide, without any input from the employer, whether the employee is entitled to benefits or not. The employer can do very little later if it changes its mind and wants to protest the employee getting unemployment benefits. Too many small businesses ignore these very important letters. So the tip for the month is, remember not to forget, and don’t ignore important letters from government agencies!!
The information contained herein is a business advertisement with general information not legal advice, and does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship with Hymson Goldstein & Pantiliat, PLLC.