More Taxcloud Nonsense – Lower the Small Business Exemption to $100,000?

Taxcloud’s September 2010 statement on the Small Business Exemption (from the streamlined tax website library)

They are the gift that keeps on giving.  They weren’t on my radar but sure will be now and forever.  R. David L. Campbell been talking to anyone who will listen about how there are no issues, his software is free (paid for by states).  He continues to lobby for business while blatantly downplaying any issues.  But what really pissed me off about this document is he had pushed for the small business exemption to be dropped to only $100,000 in national sales.  And he actually wanted even that exemption to be dropped but it wasn’t an option for him to support.  He believes all businesses should be subject to collecting interstate taxes for all states, no matter how small they are.

Not only that, this was from September 2010, when Taxcloud supported even fewer partners and carts.

He’s actively trying to promote his business on the backs of all the small remote retailers he’s throwing under the bus.

Let’s analyze his self-serving and frankly in this case, dubious statements.

“Taxcloud handles every aspect of sales tax collection and remittance for our clients”.  Catalog?  Phone? Every aspect is a rather strong assertion.

“The three most widely used shopping carts are the complete e-commerce platforms offered by Ebay, Amazon and Yahoo!Stores which together service millions of sellers”  – Totally Agree!  So why don’t you support them?  Yahoo store has been around for almost 20 years.  How can you possibly lobby that government should lower the exemption by 50-fold from what it was in the bill at the time, trumpeting the free software to solve it.  How vapor-tastic!  Their press release in July 2010 announced they were certified as a provider.  2 months later they’re doing this?  Pretty nervy.

3 years later (at the time of this writing), Taxcloud STILL doesn’t even support Yahoo’s shopping cart, which is just the tip of the iceberg anyway.  Computing sales tax in a cart is probably the easiest part of the whole thing.  And they don’t appear to support Ebay or Amazon.  Or BigCommerce, or Volusion…

Comments

  1. Certainly, one can understand that David Campbell, CEO of TaxCloud, is motivated to grow his tax program business. He has worked with the software a long time and knowledgeable about what tax programs such as his can accomplish. However, when one ask the right questions, it becomes clear that for most smaller businesses, integrating the software would require expensive consulting costs, expert tax code knowledge, and careful consideration of the compiled data, checking it against a manual given o the seller by the TaxCloud company, prior to the tax being automatically pulled from the bank account on a designated date.

    Accountants familiar with various different tax collection programs, as well as tax code, quickly recognize and advise that the use of such software is far from viable, simple “plug and play” solutions. For this reason, accountants oppose the MFA. They are simply worried that requiring sellers to become use tax collectors that remit all over the country would not only substantially detract from their ability to grow their business, but would expose them to highly probably harmful audit possibilities when they make mistakes with the tax coding. These mistakes would be the responsibility of the sellers, and not David’s TaxCloud company. Similarly the time spent coding merchandise would be the seller’s responsibility, not that of TaxCloud. And the software cannot intuit tax code entry errors, but rather the seller would be strongly advised to check the compiled figures against a manual book chocked full of complicated tax code figures applicable to tax distraction throughout the United States and territories.

  2. R. David L. Campbell says:

    Mr. Smith,

    I am flattered by the attention, thank you.

    I wanted to take a moment to respond to your justified frustration that several of the largest hosted commerce platforms do not support TaxCloud yet. Let me simply say that we share your frustration. We have spoken to all of them, and many of them believe that most of their sellers will be exempt (below the $1M small seller exception in the MFA). Accordingly, they are reluctant to devote resources to enable TaxCloud. As you know, in a hosted commerce environment (versus installed software), only the host can make modifications to the platform – so, we must standby for their cooperation.

    Thanks again,

    -David

    • Rick Smith says:

      My (and other store owners’) problem is not that you don’t support many e-commerce platforms. And as I’ve stated before, the cart is just a tip of the iceberg, not the whole shebang.

      Our problem with you and your company is that you are one of the most vocal proponents of the MFA and repeatedly misrepresent that everything is free and everything is solved. You do this while obviously knowing that there are many gaps but never mentioning any of this in your repeated writings, posts and statements regarding the challenges of compliance. Your shameless promotion of MFA, your company and the obvious profits that await you if this damaging legislation is passed is the problem. I’ve taken issue with Avalara playing both sides of the fence, but Taxcloud has been the most shameless in their promotion while misstating how easy it is and there are no issues at all.

      And what’s your personal or business relationship with Sten Wilson? It strains credibility to think of him as merely a satisfied customer.

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