SALT technology checklist

A quarterly publication that summarizes technology-related state tax guidance and legislative developments.

Harley T. Duncan

Harley T. Duncan

Managing Director, State & Local Tax, KPMG US

+1 202-533-3254
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States are increasingly attempting to address the application of tax to emerging technology and business models through new law, court cases, and administrative rulings. Tracking developments is critical not only for technology providers, but also for purchasers of technology. 


To make recent developments more accessible, KPMG's Washington National Tax –State and Local Tax practice has created a quarterly Technology Checklist (Techlist) that summarizes recent state guidance for topics such as the taxability of software, guidance on digital equivalents, and much more. 

Highlights of the current issue include:

  • Kansas: The Kansas appellate court held that electricity consumed to power HVAC units that cooled telecommunications equipment was exempt from sales tax. Without the HVAC units serving their climate control function, the transmission and switching equipment could not operate properly to generate a continuous and reliable telecommunications signal. Thus, the HVAC units were "essential or necessary" and the electricity they consumed was exempt from tax. 
  • South Dakota: The South Dakota Department of Revenue issued guidance providing that beginning July 1, 2020, internet access will not be subject to the state and municipal sales tax.  
  • Washington: The Washington Court of Appeals held that access to an online research library was a digital automated service subject to the retailing B&O and sales tax. In the court's view, the research service did not meet the human effort exclusion from the definition of digital automated services, because the effort involved for developing the content occurred prior to a customer purchasing access to the research library and the taxpayer did not allow any requests for content modifications. 
  • Utah: The Utah State Tax Commission ruled that convenience and order processing fees associated with ticket sales made by a third- party vendor were not subject to sales tax. The Commission found that because the fees were only charged when a ticket was sold through a third-party vendor, the payment of the fees did "not affect" the use or operation of the admission, but were associated with the service of being able to buy the ticket conveniently. 

Many more developments are covered in the Techlist - download it below.

State and Local Tax Technology Checklist - 1st Quarter 2020
Technology-related state and local tax guidance issued during the 1st quarter of 2020

Previous Issues