AdvoTECH 002 Panel Discussion — Tennessee Software Sales Tax
Written by: Alex Curtis | Posted Jul 8, 2016

Panelists at the second NTC AdvoTECH event on July 7, 2016 (apologies for the video quality)


On July 7, 2016, the NTC held it’s second AdvoTECH panel discussion. The topic: recent changes to Tennessee sales tax as part of 2015’s Revenue Modernization Act, that broaden how Tennessee assesses tax on the sale and use of software.

Our members have raised concerns about these new changes.  The changes have caused confusion for businesses that provide remotely accessed software-as-a-service, provide software services to clients that reside out of state or have users in multiple states, and those that provide software maintenance contracts. Although the Tennessee Department of Revenue has issued a number of clarifying rulings to tax law since July 2015 companies have voiced their difficulty understanding how the law applies to their business.

We asked our members to provide their feedback via a poll on the new tax policy through our AdvoTECH partner (and NTC member) icitizen, a civic engagement platform built here in Nashville, Tennessee. The poll is still open and we encourage you to participate:

Take the poll

The NTC assembled a panel — a mix of industry and policy makers — to discuss the issue.

David Gerregano: Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Revenue
Paul Fassbender: Managing Director of Public Affairs, Asurion
Mark Loftis, CPA: Director, State & Local Tax, Crosslin & Associates, PLLC
Bo Spessard: COO, Emma

The panel provided the background on the issue and perspective from small to large businesses and the state regulator. What was important about the event was that attendees had the chance to connect with others businesses that are adapting to the legal changes, ask questions of experts, and build a relationship with a representative at the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

Although not specific to software sales tax but equally important to online companies with customers in Tennessee, the upcoming August 8th public rulemaking on the collection of  sales taxes from out-of-state online retailers was briefly discussed at the end of the panel.

Please watch the video, we think it was a productive discussion. We thank the panelists for giving of their time and expertise to discuss this important issue with the tech community.

We plan to continue to build on AdvoTECH events like these to provide overviews of specific policies and discuss the nuances of how it is impacting local technology providers. These are opportunities build relationships: to talk with your peers and to help policy makers better understand your business.

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