Monday, April 13, 2009

There are no cheap answers

One of the most common questions I get is, “where I can find reliable, compiled information for every state on the web?” And they want it for free.

Folks, it doesn’t exist and here’s why.

First of all, the information is there. But most of it will cost you money. Therefore, not FREE.

There are a few Web pages that will compile some state related information for you. But it’s not terribly reliable. Usually people give away free information on the Web because it’s their hobby (not many people are “into” sales tax), or they’re trying to sell advertising (that would be me) or services (me again). But the problem is, if they’re not directly making money at actually providing detailed state by state compiled information (in other words, subscriptions), keeping it up to date becomes one of those things that they’ll get around to when they get around to it.

That’s why I actually try to avoid giving you that level of detail. Because people who get paid to do it are much more reliable and authoritative then me. I have done this kind of research for certain specific issues, but I’ll put a disclaimer on it that it’s only intended to show the trend, not the specific, authoritative law that applies to you.

So, that’s the answer. The only authoritative, free information at the state level will be the states’ individual web sites. Anything free that compiles that information for all states will probably be of minimal value and may go out of date by the time you read it. If you want reliable compiled multi-state information, you’re going to have to spend money.

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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