Operating across state lines presents tax risks — or possibly rewards
It’s a smaller business world after all. With the ease and popularity of e-commerce, as well as the incredible efficiency of many supply chains, companies of all sorts are finding it easier than ever to widen their markets. Doing so has become so much more feasible that many businesses quickly find themselves crossing state lines.
But therein lies a risk: Operating in another state means possibly being subject to taxation in that state. The resulting liability can, in some cases, inhibit profitability. But sometimes it can produce tax savings.
Do you have “nexus”?
Essentially, “nexus” means a business presence in a given state that’s substantial enough to trigger that state’s tax rules and obligations.
Precisely what activates nexus in a given state depends on that state’s chosen criteria. Triggers can vary but common criteria include:
- Employing workers in the state,
- Owning (or, in some cases even leasing) property there,
- Marketing your products or services in the state,
- Maintaining a substantial amount of inventory there, and
- Using a local telephone number.
If your company already operates in another state and you’re unsure of your tax liabilities there — or if you’re thinking about starting up operations in another state — consider conducting a nexus study. This is a systematic approach to identifying the out-of-state taxes to which your business activities may expose you. Keep in mind that the results of a nexus study may not be negative. You might find that your company’s overall tax liability is lower in a neighboring state.
The complexity of state tax laws offers both risk and opportunity. Contact Warady & Davis’ tax experts for help ensuring your business comes out on the winning end of a move across state lines. Reach us at (847) 267-9600 or send a message. Read more about W&D’s multi-state taxation services and experience.
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