April 10, 2018. The Trump Organization’s online store on Monday quietly added Virginia to the list of states in which it collects sales taxes, following reports that the site collects such taxes in just two states. As late as Monday morning, the Trump Organization’s official retail site, Trumpstore.com, only identified Louisiana and Florida among the states in which it collects sales taxes.
Although the Trump Organization is headquartered in New York, the store does not claim to collect sales taxes in the state.
There are 45 states that levy sales taxes. Tax experts speculate that the Trump Organization could be employing a tactic commonly known as “entity isolation” to avoid levying sales taxes in most of those states. Such a strategy would class the organization’s website as a separate entity from the physical locations around the country, including Trump’s golf courses, resorts and the headquarters itself.
According to the article, this exemption may not apply to New York. The online store’s explicit connections to the brick-and-mortar storefront in Trump Tower potentially classify it as a sales tax vendor in the state.
“The Trump Organization should be paying sales taxes on any goods that they’re selling in New York state,” said Ron Deutsch, executive director of the New York-based Fiscal Policy Institute.
According to the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, online retailers are considered sales tax vendors if they “maintain a place of business in the state, such as a store, office, or warehouse, and sell taxable, tangible personal property or services to persons within the state.”
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