The information just isn’t out there on the Internet in an easy-to-find way. Every state has a web site which provides some information, but many are abysmal and others are fantastic. And you have to wade through each state’s page – none of them are organized in the same way.
In order of priority and value, here are your best resources for getting answers:
1. A lawyer, professional or consultant who specializes in SUT. This resource is also, without question, the most expensive.
2. An online subscription service from RIA or CCH (this is what the pros use). Which one you use is probably a function of what service your company already subscribes to for income taxes, etc. I'll bet you a nickle that your company does NOT subscribe to the sales tax portion, so you want to get that fixed.
3. Sales and Use Tax books (I like the ones from RIA and the ABA – these are also what the pros use)
4. State industry associations may be able to help, particularly if they are well funded and are in tricky industries, like manufacturing or construction. Give yours a call and see if they can help you.
5. State sales tax sites
One other thing to keep in mind. As you peruse the Internet, you will find reference sources. Folks, if it’s FREE, then it probably isn’t complete. This is a topic that requires a LOT of effort to keep up to date. So take information you find in a FREE resource with a big grain of salt, like this blog. ;-)
Another source of information to be wary of is information summarized and presented in table form or list form. Again, the information on this topic is complicated. Rarely does a table or list do justice to the material – it’s usually just too much to summarize like that.
In summary, the good information on this topic is going to cost you money. Other than state Web pages, there really isn’t any FREE, comprehensive, up-to-date and good resource available on the Web.
The Sales Tax Guy
See the disclaimer - this is for education only. Research these issues thoroughly before making decisions. Remember: there are details we haven't discussed, and every state is different. Here's more information
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