Thursday, May 17, 2012

FAQ: "Do you have any articles that deal with the taxability of ____ for all states?"

Garbage CansThis inquiry was received today.  It's a pretty frequently asked question so I thought I'd take a stab at it again.

"Do you have any articles that deal with the taxability of janitorial services for all states?"

Actually, I do have pretty detailed notes (my cheat sheet) on this for every state, but I wouldn't publish it.  I don't typically write articles with that level of state-specific detail.  But the databases have that info.  I use RIA as my research tool (although CCH has the information as well) and I can research and update my notes on janitorial services for any state in a matter of moments.  Frankly, if you need that kind of information for all the states on a frequent basis, you should subscribe to one of the databases. 

Even if you were to find such an article, you can't count on it unless, frankly, you're paying for it.  Let's say you find a web site where you can get the information for free - someone put together a table of janitorial services taxation for every state.  My questions would be: how is it updated, are there citations to specific statutes and regulations, and is the information in the table detailed enough to cover the possible exceptions and gotchas?  You're probably going to have to pay for that kind of reliability.

When I do a state-specific seminar, I re-research the state every time.  I don't just rely on my cheat sheet from the last time.  I review it for what is taxable or not, change things where necessary,  and review any updates to the sales and use tax laws since the last time I did a seminar for that state.  So when I do the seminar, I can feel comfortable that I'm using the latest info.  That's one of the reasons why I don't provide recordings of these seminars.  I don't want people relying on information that can so easily go out of date.  And a table or article from a free web site is likely to be not very detailed and easily out of date.

Which is why I don't typically provide that level of detail unless I've got specific warnings that the information is illustrative and is probably out of date.

So don't rely on tables or cheap information.  Use good research tools

Sorry, I must be off today.  No jokes.  Dang.

The Sales Tax Guy

See the disclaimer - this is for education only.  Research these issues thoroughly before making decisions.  Remember: there are details that haven't been discussed, and every state is different.  Here's more information

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