Colorado Announces Online Sales Tax Collection Starting November 1

September 11, 2018

The Colorado Department of Revenue has announced (news release image below) that it will require by regulation collection of sales tax by online sellers starting November 1, 2018. The department says the regulation is forthcoming but will adhere to a $100,000 or 200-transaction limit as in other states and not collect retroactively.

That’s nice, but what the DOR doesn’t mention is that Colorado isn’t ready. There’s a reason the state is colored bloodred on our map from our report showing which states were ready for the post-Wayfair leap into online sales tax collection. Colorado’s big problem is that it allows its 349 county, city, and district local sales tax jurisdictions autonomy in administering, collecting, and auditing. Filing is very cumbersome as a result, with the state and local tax base not necessarily adding up on a given transaction.

The news release wasn’t clear on whether online sellers will have to collect state and local sales taxes, or just state taxes. If it’s state and local, which in Colorado means separate tax bases, that goes beyond what Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote was permissible in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision. If Colorado only requires collection of the state sales tax, that is more defensible legally.

We’ll keep monitoring and update as we hear more.



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