Outside Section 69

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Sales Tax Registration for Remote Sellers

SECTION 69.   (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of revenue is authorized to initiate a program of registration and prospective sales and use tax collection from vendors not previously registered whose sales to Massachusetts customers are less than $500,000 in the prior 12 month period, as determined by the commissioner. Under such program, the commissioner may designate a period ending on or before December 31, 2019, during which vendors that register for collection of sales and use tax under chapters 64H and 64I of the General Laws and that commence filing and payment over of such taxes in good faith will not be held liable for collection or payment of tax under such chapters, or associated interest or penalties, for periods prior to registration.

(b) The program shall not apply to: (i) any vendor that had physical presence in the commonwealth in the 36 calendar months immediately preceding the effective date of this act; provided that any vendor not otherwise ineligible under this subsection who had such presence only through (a) tangible property maintained in the commonwealth during such prior months by unrelated third party fulfillment providers, or (b) contacts with the commonwealth during such prior months related to remote internet sales made to Massachusetts customers, may participate in the program; (ii) any vendor whose total retail sales to Massachusetts customers through all sales channels in the prior twelve month period, whether or not otherwise taxable under chapter 64H or 64I of the General Laws, reached or exceeded $500,000; (iii) any vendor that was previously registered for sales and use tax collection in Massachusetts; (iv) any vendor that has collected sales or use taxes from Massachusetts customers and has not paid such amounts over to the commissioner; or (v) any case where the commissioner determines that the vendor has engaged in fraud or willful avoidance of tax.

(c) Except as specified in this section, the commissioner is authorized to determine the scope of the prospective registration program and all associated administrative requirements for eligibility. The commissioner may authorize prospective registration and filing for personal income tax and corporate excise for qualifying vendors in the sales and use tax program, provided that any such personal income tax or corporate excise liability derives solely from the sales to which the sales and use tax registration program applies.

(d) Nothing in this section shall remove the obligation of a purchaser of tangible personal property or services taxable under chapter 64I of the General Laws to pay over such taxes to the commissioner in any taxable period.

(e) Any taxpayer who delivers or discloses a false or fraudulent application, document, return or other statement to the department of revenue in connection with application under this section shall not be eligible for the program and shall be subject to the greater of: (i) the applicable penalties under chapter 62C of the General Laws; or (ii) a penalty not to exceed $10,000 which shall be calculated and assessed according to rules determined by the commissioner and may be subject to de minimis or other exceptions that the commissioner may consider appropriate. This penalty shall be subject to said chapter 62C and shall be added to and become part of the tax due.

This section authorizes the Department of Revenue to create a registration program for remote seller vendors who had less than $500,000 in Massachusetts sales in the previous twelve months, but who nevertheless have a physical presence in the state by virtue of their inventory being held within Massachusetts.

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