Sales and Use Tax: The Hidden Danger in Invoices

Webinar: ID# 1012347
Recorded CD
About This Course:
Effective control of use tax exposure requires an understanding of sales and use tax laws and critical evaluation of invoices for hidden dangers. Sales and use tax compliance is a predominantly form over substance discipline where the documentary evidence of a transaction guides the proper application of tax. Evaluation and retention of invoices and contracts is essential for ongoing, accurate compliance.

The hidden dangers lurking in even the most seemingly innocuous of invoices can cost companies thousands of dollars under audit. Examination of features such as shipping terms, defined shipping points, the nature and description of services performed, bundled pricing, nexus implications for proper tax application, statements of tax and the rates of tax charged is essential. Of equal importance is ensuring that the form of the transaction (i.e. the invoice) accurately reflects the substance of the transaction, because it is that form which governs the application of sales and use tax.

By attending the presentation, 'Sales and Use Tax: The Hidden Danger in Invoices' you will not only gain a greater understanding of the pitfalls in sales and use tax compliance, but you will obtain the tools to put this knowledge to work in minimizing your company's sales and use tax exposure.

Learning Objectives:

  • You will be able to discuss Nexus implications and their effect on invoicing.
  • You will be able to define Lump-sum vs. Bundled invoicing.
  • You will be able to identify solutions for automation and manual matrices.
  • You will be able to describe the economic presence and impact on invoicing.


I. Concepts in Sales and Use Tax

  • Nexus Implications and Their Effect on Invoicing
    • Physical Nexus
    • Economic Nexus
  • Form Over Substance – Documentary Evidence
    • Purchase Orders
    • Invoices
    • Contracts
  • Situs/Sourcing Issues
    • Services
    • Shipping Terms Transfer of Title/Possession

II. Types of Transactions

  • Services
  • Real Property vs. Tangible Personal Property
  • Software
    • Canned vs. Custom
    • Maintenance
    • Method of Delivery
    • Software as a Service
  • Leases
  • Employee Purchase Cards
    • Recordkeeping
    • Electronic Receipt Settlement
  • Purchases in Manufacturing and R&D Environments
  • Resale Certificates
    • Acceptance in Good Faith
    • Purchases for Use

III. Invoicing Pitfalls

  • Shipping Address vs. Billing Address
  • Shipping and Handling Charges
  • Separate Statement of Tax
  • Tax Charged for the Correct Jurisdiction?
  • Lump-Sum vs. Bundled Invoicing
  • Labor Charges

IV. Solutions

  • Automation
    • Product Based Exemptions
    • Customer Based Exemptions
    • Use Based Exemptions
  • Manual Matrices
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses

V. Planning for the Future

  • Marketplace Fairness Act
  • Economic Presence and Impact on Invoicing

Who Should Attend

This live audio conference is designed for accountants, CFOs, controllers, accounts payable professionals, tax managers, presidents, vice presidents, bookkeepers, enrolled agents, tax preparers and attorneys.


William Cole, Senior Consultant, SC&H Group LLC

  • Twelve years combined sales and use tax experience as an auditor and audit manager for the Comptroller of Maryland and as a consultant for SC&H
  • Has worked with some of the nation's largest companies, having performed audits, audit defenses, transactional analyses, and tax-efficient contract structuring
  • Member of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation
  • M.B.A. degree in accounting, Loyola University
  • B.S. degree in applied mathematics, Towson University

Sean Mello, CPA, Manager, SC&H Group LLC

  • Expertise in sales and use tax
  • Has performed audit defense and reverse audit services for a variety of companies including Fortune 500s, biotechnology companies, and defense contractors
  • Well versed in the utilization of valid statistical sampling for audit defenses and recovery audits
  • Maryland CPA and a member of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute for Professionals in Taxation
  • B.A. degree in accounting, Towson University

Continuing Education Credit

Credit is available only for the LIVE webcast. Recorded versions do not qualify for credit. Only registered and paid attendees will receive continuing education credit. Certificates of Completion are provided to each registered attendee. Your certificate will be emailed to you within two weeks following completion of the program.

Sales and Use Tax: The Hidden Danger in Invoices
Available on CD format
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