Late last Friday, January 27th, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced a 6-month reprieve for remote sellers required to register with the Commonwealth to collect and remit sales tax for purchases made by Pennsylvania residents. Citing pushback from remote sellers and in particular, issues with getting tax collection software online in order to turn on collections by February 1, 2012, the Department will require all remote sellers with nexus to complete registration by September 1, 2o12. A copy of the Department’s Press Release announcing this extension can be found here.
Could this reprieve signal there’s more to come? Since the issuance of Bulletin 2011-01 on December 1, 2011, some remote seller and affiliates (read: Pennsylvania advertisers and web-based marketers) have cried foul on the Department, citing that the Bulletin improperly applies nexus to out-of-state retailers whose only connection with Pennsylvania might be the placement of a banner advertisement on a website or print advertisement in a publication. (Our prior coverage of the Bulletin can be found here.) Other remote sellers have found further issue with the Bulletin for not providing a threshold or “small seller exception.” In addition, there are reports that some out-of-state sellers have cancelled their affiliate (read: advertising) contracts with in-state organizations.
Although the impacts on in-state affiliates is not insignificant, it remains whether the Department will issue any substantive guidance or clarification–absent of considering ruling requests–before the new September 1, 2012 deadline.