Basics of Multistate Tax: What to Consider

September 6, 2023

Navigating the complex world of multistate tax can be a daunting task for businesses. It is crucial for businesses to have a grasp of the fundamental aspects of multistate tax and its potential effects on their operations due to variations in tax laws and regulations across states. This article will provide an overview of multistate tax and highlight key considerations that businesses need to be aware of.

Understanding Multistate Tax

State Taxation Basics

  • Each state has the authority to impose taxes on businesses operating within its jurisdiction.
  • The types of taxes imposed by states can vary, including income tax, sales tax, property tax, and franchise tax.
  • Businesses may be subject to tax in multiple states if they have a physical presence or meet certain economic nexus thresholds.

Nexus and Apportionment

  • Nexus refers to the minimum connection a business must have with a state to be subject to its tax laws.
  • Economic nexus is now more significant. Many states have implemented laws that demand businesses to pay taxes if they reach specific sales or transaction thresholds.
  • Apportionment is the method used to determine how much of a business’s income is subject to tax in each state.

Do remote workers factor into a business’s nexus requirement?

Yes. In the context of multistate tax, nexus refers to the minimum connection a business must have with a state to be subject to its tax laws. With the rise of remote work, businesses may have employees working from different states. This can potentially create nexus in those states, as the physical presence of employees can establish a connection between the business and the state.

Some states have specific rules regarding nexus and remote workers. For example, if a business has remote workers in a particular state, it may be considered to have nexus in that state, even if it doesn’t have a physical location there. This means that the business may be required to comply with that state’s tax laws, including filing tax returns and paying taxes.

It’s important for businesses to consider the impact of remote workers on their nexus requirements and consult with a tax professional or advisor to ensure compliance with the multistate tax regulations.

Tax Planning and Compliance

  • Compliance with state tax laws is crucial, as failure to do so can result in penalties and interest.
  • Businesses should consider working with tax professionals who specialize in multistate tax to ensure compliance and optimize tax savings.

Key Considerations for Businesses

State Tax Incentives and Credits

  • Many states offer tax incentives and credits to attract businesses and encourage economic development.
  • Businesses should research and take advantage of these incentives to reduce their tax burden.

Sales Tax Collection and Reporting

  • As online shopping becomes more popular, it is crucial for businesses to grasp their responsibilities in collecting and reporting sales tax in every state where they serve customers.
  • Failure to collect and remit sales tax can result in significant penalties and liabilities.

State Tax Audits

  • Businesses should be prepared for state tax audits, as states are becoming more aggressive in enforcing their tax laws.
  • Maintaining accurate and organized records is essential to successfully navigate a state tax audit.


Navigating the complex world of multistate tax requires businesses to have a solid understanding of state tax laws and regulations. By staying informed and working with tax professionals, businesses can minimize their tax liabilities and ensure compliance with state tax laws.


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