One simplification is already in existence. It has been suggested by a previous Marketplace Fairness Act to expand an existing organization to help keep the process of collecting internet sales taxes fair. This non-profit organization, called Streamlined Sales Tax (SST)was created in 1999 as a way to i "simplify and modernize sales tax administration." At present, 44 states have agreed to participate, with centralized administration and reciprocity agreements, standardized tax rates, and uniform tax bases.
While the physical presence rule may seem clear, this is not necessarily the case. In Quill, the Supreme Court discusses not only physical presence, but also several types of potential nexus (connections) between a business and a state. Many states, including Texas, have used the term nexus rather than physical presence in their sales tax laws, regulations, or other official documents, and have sometimes defined nexus in ways that could go beyond physical presence.
For instance, you might use Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences to get your message in front of an audience similar to your core demographic. Or, you could pay a social media influencer to share images of your products to her already well-established community. Paid social media can attract new customers to your brand or product, but you’ll want to conduct market research and A/B testing before investing too much in one social media channel.
Congress has attempted several times to pass what's been called a Marketplace Fairness Act to solve the problem, with no version making it through the process. The most recent of these acts is in suspension, waiting for the Court's decision. Both bills include exemptions for small sellers and ways to monitor sales tax collections and make the process more fair to all types of sellers.
Internet marketing, or online marketing, refers to advertising and marketing efforts that use the Web and email to drive direct sales via electronic commerce, in addition to sales leads from websites or emails. Internet marketing and online advertising efforts are typically used in conjunction with traditional types of advertising such as radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
In this new world of digital transparency brands have to be very thoughtful in how they engage with current and potential customers. Consumers have an endless amount of data at their fingertips especially through social media channels, rating and review sites, blogs, and more. Unless brands actively engage in these conversations they lose the opportunity for helping guide their brand message and addressing customer concerns.
For basic guidance on how physical presence is defined under Texas law, consult Section 151.107 of the Texas Tax Code (Tax Law), which provides a variety of definitions for “RETAILER ENGAGED IN BUSINESS IN THIS STATE.” The first of the statutory definitions refers to maintaining a place of business in the state directly, or indirectly or through a subsidiary or agent. The fifth definition acts as something of a catch-all, by stating that a retailer who solicits orders by mail or other media can be required to collect and pay sales tax if permitted by federal law.
Conversion rate optimization is still possibly one of the most underutilized but critical functions of digital marketing. Every element of digital marketing is useless without considering conversion rates. This goes for SEO, SEM, Social Media, Email, and Display. The power of your SEO rankings are only as good as your click through rates and your traffic is only valuable of your website and landing pages foster some type of “action.” Why spend all the time and energy driving traffic through multiple different channels if you are not willing to spend the time and energy on conversion optimization? Yet many brands and agencies still put less emphasis on this crucial piece of the puzzle.
If you are a seller making sales for resale to a marketplace operator in this manner, you should obtain a timely and properly completed resale certificate from your customer to support your claimed sales for resale (see Regulation 1668, Sales for Resale). However, if you are a retailer engaged in business in California and you ship the property directly to the consumer on behalf of a marketplace operator that is not engaged in business in California, you will be responsible for reporting and paying tax as a drop shipper. For additional information, please see publication 121, Drop Shipments.
Understand that whatever you're going to do, you'll need traffic. If you don't have any money at the outset, your hands will be tied no matter what anyone tells you. The truth is that you need to drive traffic to your offers if you want them to convert. These are what we call landing pages or squeeze pages. This is where you're coming into contact with the customers, either for the first time or after they get to know you a little bit better.
After that, you need to make a choice about how to construct an online presence that helps you achieve that goal. Maybe you need to set up an e-commerce site. If you’re interested in publishing content to drive awareness and subscribers, look into setting up a blog. A simple website or landing page with a lead capture form can help you start developing your brand and generating traffic. A basic analytics platform (like Google Analytics, which is free) can help you start to measure how you are tracking towards your initial goal.
DisabledGO, an information provider for people with disabilities in the UK and Ireland, hired Agency51 to implement an SEO migration strategy to move DisabledGO from an old platform to a new one. By applying 301 redirects to old URLS, transferring metadata, setting up Google webmaster tools, and creating a new sitemap, Agency 51 was able to successfully transfer DisabledGO to a new platform while keeping their previous SEO power alive. Additionally, they were able to boost visitor numbers by 21% year over year, and the site restructuring allowed DisabledGO to rank higher than competitors. Their case study is available on SingleGrain.com.
In June, the High Court issued a ruling in the case of Wayfair v. South Dakota, allowing states to require online retailers to collect sales tax--even in areas where they don't have a physical presence. It has been a month since the decision, and already many small businesses are considering their options for how to address, among other things, higher tax-compliance costs in a potentially reduced-sales environment.
For many years, states argued that they were losing a lot of money by not being able to collect sales tax on Internet sales to customers located in their states. Formerly the burden was on the customer rather than the seller to pay the relevant tax. In that case, the tax generally is called use tax rather than sales tax – and customers often simply did not pay use tax to the state.
And while large businesses, such as Amazon or Wayfair, may be able to easily absorb this cost, others would surely struggle to do so. "It's completely conceivable that the compliance costs alone could put people out of business," suggests Jesse Hathaway, a tax analyst with the conservative-leaning think tank Heartland Institute, based in Arlington Heights, Illinois.