taxes

Tax Policy News

September 2014

The Comptroller's office publishes this online newsletter to keep you informed about Texas taxes and what is happening in the Tax Policy Division. Tax Policy News provides general information and is not a substitute for legal or other professional advice.

In This Issue...

Roundtable Discussion – Sept. 30

Franchise Tax – Qualified Courier and Logistics Companies

The Franchise Tax roundtable discussion on qualified courier and logistic companies has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 2:00 p.m.

On Sept. 30 at 2:00 p.m., the Tax Policy Division will host a franchise tax roundtable to discuss qualified courier and logistic companies, as defined by Texas Tax Code Section 171.1011(g-7).

We will discuss industry terms such as "expedited," "same-day delivery," "overnight delivery," and "storage and delivery."

Registration information is available online.

To keep attendance at a level that provides a fruitful discussion, we will limit attendance to a maximum of 25 participants. We will notify selected participants by email.

Reminders

Coin-Operated Amusement Machines Tax

2015 Renewal Applications Due by Dec. 1, 2014

Coin-operated amusement machine owners and operators must file their renewal applications for a 2015 General Business License, Registration Certificate, Import License or Repair License by Dec. 1 or be subject to penalties assessed on applications received after the due date. The Comptroller mails renewal application packets each September.

Because the due date of Nov. 30 falls on a Sunday this year, the due date for the 2015 renewal applications moves to the next business day of Dec. 1.

A $60 occupation tax for each coin-operated amusement machine that is exhibited or displayed on location is also due by Dec. 1. An occupation tax permit decal must be affixed to each machine in use.

Coin-operated amusement machine owners and operators who have not received renewal packets by Oct. 31 should contact our office.

Franchise Tax

Combined Reports with Missing Affiliates

The Comptroller is implementing a franchise tax processing improvement effective for the 2014 extended due date.

Sometimes, a reporting entity for a combined group requests an extension of time to file and includes an entity on its affiliate extension list that, for various reasons, is not included when the report is ultimately filed.

When the Comptroller's tax system evaluates the reported data and finds the two sets of affiliate data do not match, current processing rules create a delinquency for the reporting entity and for all members of the combined group until the discrepancy is resolved.

Beginning in mid-October, we will change this process. We will notify the reporting entity of the failure to report the affiliate. If the issue is not resolved, the tax system will sever the affiliation between the entity that was not reported and the rest of the combined group. The severed entity must file a franchise tax report on its own, while the combined group members' right to transact business will remain intact.

Public Outreach

Presentations by the Tax Policy Division

Members of the Tax Policy Division often receive requests to discuss taxability issues with various interested organizations.

Recent events include:

  • a presentation to the Federation of Texas A&M University Mothers' Clubs Fall Meetings and Workshops featuring a discussion of sales and use tax rules as they relate to fundraising activities; and
  • remarks by the division manager at the Texas State Taxation Conference of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accounts in Houston.

Members of the division also represented the Comptroller at the following meetings:

  • Multistate Tax Commission annual meeting in Albuquerque, NM
  • Federation of Tax Administrators Tobacco Uniformity meeting in Knoxville, TN
  • International Fuel Tax Association, Inc. annual business meeting in Pittsburgh, PA

Form Revision

Coin-Operated Amusement Machine Renewal Applications

Coin-operated amusement machine owners and operators file preprinted applications to renew their licenses or certificates.

The Comptroller recently updated the 2015 renewal applications for a Registration Certificate, General Business License, Import License and/or Repair License.

Publications

Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax

The Comptroller revised Motor Vehicle Tax Commissions: Changes in 2015 (Pub. 96-1246) to explain how Texas County Tax-Assessor Collectors will receive their annual 5 percent commissions from tax collected, rather than from registration fees, beginning in 2015.

Sales and Use Tax

The Comptroller created a Spanish version of Garage Sales and Texas Sales Tax (Pub. 94-437).

Other News

A Message from the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services – Service Animals and Their Access to Public Places

As a courtesy to the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, the Comptroller is helping them spread the word about trained service animals used by disabled people and their right to access public places.

Texas law and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act guarantee the right of a person who is blind or has other disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to be accompanied by a trained service animal in all public places.

For a complete description, see Information about Service Animals and Their Access to Public Places on the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services website.

Rules - Proposed and Adopted

Proposed Rules

Insurance Tax

The Comptroller proposed amendments to the following rule for public comment through the Texas Register on Aug. 15, 2014. The comment period ends 30 days after publication.

Rule 3.827 – Captive Insurance Companies

Information about proposed rules is available from the Texas Secretary of State's website.

Adopted Rules

State and Local Sales and Use Taxes

The Comptroller filed the following rule for adoption with the Secretary of State on Aug.12, 2014. The effective date is Sept. 1, 20 days after filing.

Rule 3.345 - Annual Refund Program for Providers of Cable Television, Internet Access, or Telecommunications Services