It's been about eight months since the Streamlined Sales Tax Project - the sales tax and use system designed to retrieve lost revenue for states whose tax base is dwindling as a result of online commerce - came into effect on October 1.The goal of the SSTP - which was originally conceived about six years ago - is to formulate a workable interstate agreement that would create a simplified sales and use tax collection system that could be used by retailers regardless of their location. The SSTP establishes uniform definitions of taxable goods, sets rules for sourcing transactions, and centralizes the registration and administration process for retailers to participate in the system.
Thus far, the SSTP is still a voluntary initiative, with well under half of the states signed on as project members. Thirteen states (see box, next page) qualify for the status of "full member" in the SSTP, meaning that they are substantially in compliance with the requirements of the SSTP. Another six states are defined as "associate members," meaning that they have either enacted the provisions of the SSTP but those provisions are not yet in effect, or they have indicated that they expect to have the SSTP provisions enacted by Jan. 1, 2008.
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