Groupon, LivingSocial and other deal-of-the-day websites offer consumers an opportunity to purchase discounted gift certificates/vouchers that are usable at local or national companies. The gift certificates/vouchers are often purchased for less than face value and/or less than the value of the items or services that can be obtained with the certificates.
So, why is the Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) State and Local Advisory Council (SLAC) interested in these deal-of-the day opportunities? To define the sales price, of course. When these gift certificates are sold, what is the sales price? Is it the price that was paid by the customer? Is it the stated face value on the certificate? Is it the value of the goods or services that can be procured? Why is the sales price important? States need to know what amount constitutes the sales price so they can determine the amount of sales tax, gross receipts tax or other taxes that may be applicable to the transaction.
There are currently two separate proposals for interpretive rules regarding the treatment of deal-of-the-day vouchers. These proposals can be viewed, and public comments provided via the SST website.
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