Paying Online Sales Tax?

When it comes to paying online sales tax, it can be confusing. The sales tax doesn’t usually become clear until you receive and e-mail confirmation thanking you for your online order. Wouldn’t it be nice to know before you purchase your product what the sales tax is going to be? More and more online purchase cycles don’t introduce online sales tax until the very end of the order. So, is there anything you can do? According to Forbes, there are at five things you can do or understand before making your next online purchase.

Does the online store have a brick-and-mortar store in state? If you buy from a site that has a brick-and-mortar store in your state, you must pay tax. This is true even if you are purchasing a product to be ship out-of-state. How is the product distributed? Even if the online store you’re shopping at doesn’t have brick-and-mortar store in state, a warehouse or distribution facility may be enough for tax nexus with your state.

What is the Amazon tax? A number of states now have expanded connection called nexus. This connection makes sales tax apply. If you are in one of these states, expect to be taxed. Amazon currently collects sales tax in California, Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Washington. Between 2013 and 2016, Amazon will beginning collecting tax from Virginia, Indiana, Nevada, Tennessee and South Carolina.

Some online sellers make deals with particular states to remit tax for sales made to customers there. The online store might tell you about the tax, but more than likely, it’s added to the total when you’re checking out. The only states that don’t have sales taxes are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. Most states, however, are taxed. In fact, 45 states and the District of Columbia have sales tax and a use tax.

Forbes wrote – Isn’t This Unconstitutional? No, it doesn’t appear to be although that may depend who you ask. In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota that no state can constitutionally force an out-of-state merchant to collect sales or use tax unless it has a nexus—physical presence—in the state. But the Court actually invited Congress to pass a national law. The constitutional prohibition is only on the states.


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Commercial Real Estate “Strategic Alternative”

LNR Property LLC, is the nation’s largest commercial real estate lender with distinct capabilities in property development, specialty finance, asset management and investing. LNR recently decided to sell, calling it a “strategic alternative.”

According to the WSJ, LNR has been on the bidding block since this summer. Today, only three bidders remain, Lennar Corp’s Rialto Capital Management, Starwood Capital, and Island Capital Group. LNR’s business is expected to stay strong until 2017, creating a huge incentive for buyers. Out of the bidding race, Andrew Farkas‘ C-III Capital Partners, which is one of LNR’s largest competitors. C-III Capital Partners pulled out of the race because it wasn’t getting as much information about LNR as it wanted to.

C-III Capital Partners specializes in finding innovative debt solutions tailored to address specific needs. C-III Capital Partners offers a broad range of services including, primary and special loan servicing, loan origination, fund management and principal investment. Earlier this year, C-III Capital Partners announced its acquisition of NAI Global. NAI is the largest premier network of independent commercial real estate firms.

“The completion of this transaction represents a significant step forward in our strategy to build a fully diversified commercial real estate services company,” said Mr. Farkas. “With the NAI Global acquisition, we are gaining the world’s leading commercial real estate network and a tremendous foundation for future growth. As we begin a new year, we look forward to partnering with the NAI team to provide enhanced services to the commercial and institutional real estate markets they serve as well as continuing to take advantage of other opportunities to grow and expand our platform.”


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Offshore Wind Farm Could Benefit South Carolina

Not only could building an offshore wind farm produce thousands of jobs in South Carolina and billions in wages and government revenue, it will also produce massive amounts of clean, renewable power to use at local and regional levels. Good for the environment and for the economy. Over the years, South Carolina has attracted some of the most influential manufacturing companies pioneering the use of alternative energy and innovation all around. It should come to no surprise that South Carolina would become the home for alternative energy development.

According to a recent report, the offshore wind farm would create an average of more than 3,900 jobs per year during its 10-year construction period and over $2 billion in wages from 2016 to 2030. The development could also add about $630 million to state and local government revenues during the construction period. South Carolina officials agree, green power means jobs, government revenue and long-term growth.

The Director of S.C. Energy Office Ashlie Lancaster believes the development will boost the state economy, create green jobs, reduce fossil fuel dependency, and greenhouse gas emissions. Lancaster said, “Not only would an offshore wind industry help diversify South Carolina’s energy sources, it also would have the potential to generate thousands of long-term jobs and create a sustainable industry that could become the envy of the nation.”

Wind energy-related jobs make-up about 14% of the jobs in South Carolina with an average salary of $78,308. According to a survey at Clemson University, about 33 wind-related businesses call South Carolina home.

South Carolina, S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt told Clemson News, “Commerce supports ongoing research and development that will help further our state’s portfolio of alternative and sustainable energy, including wind…These industries can help fill the pipeline with high-skilled, high-paying jobs.”

The US is at a turning point – One study suggests that the US could harness more than 1,300 gigawatts (GW) of energy from coastal waters. That much energy could power 14 million homes, create over 300,000 new jobs and $200 billion in new economic activity.


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How to Cut Energy Bills at Home

Cutting energy isn’t always as easy as it sounds. What are you suppose to do you do on those chilly winter nights or those dreadfully hot summer days? Freeze? Melt? Relevant to where you live the temperature starts to drop between the months of September through November. The first thing you do when the temperature starts to drop is pull out the winter clothes, sweaters, long sleeves, jackets, scarves and hats. That’s exactly what Melanie Cadenhead, living her 90-year-old house in Rye, N.Y., did. Cadenhead spent an extra $1,000 a month to heat her home, she said, not this year.

“I’ll just sleep in one of those Daniel Boone hats with the ear flaps,” she says. “Winter is not my friend.”

According to energy efficiency experts, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort of lifestyle to cut energy costs. All you need to do is follow a few simple tricks and you can cut energy cost without sleeping in a parka. From sealing air leaks to unplugging cell-phone chargers, you can cut energy costs drastically without making “big-ticket” purchases like new windows or a new air and heating system.

First step, seal the air leaks and upgrade your insulation. Air leaks are often found around the foundation, pipes, recessed lights and chimneys. Air leaks are easy to identify and relatively inexpensive to fix.

After you seal all the leaky air, it might be time to upgrade your insulation. Even if you seal all the leaky air holes, if your insulation is dated, the warm air in your house could be moving right through it.

“We all recognize that we have to replace our cars and computers, and people love to do that,” said Scott Stefan, a home energy auditor for Elmsford, N.Y. “But most people have really old insulation — and it’s really beaten down and it’s not doing them any good.”

You can also cut energy by unplugging what Ken Collier, editor-in-chief at The Family Handyman calls, “energy vampires,” such as TVs, cell-phone chargers and computers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. households spend approximately $100 per year to power such devices while not in use. Collier says the expense could be closer to $70 a month.

Source: Washington Post

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