[Bug 710873] New Tax Declaration Info Report - multi-national, multi-purpose (private, business, ...)

Derek Atkins warlord at MIT.EDU
Mon Oct 28 11:16:47 EDT 2013

Mike or Penny Novack <stepbystepfarm at mtdata.com> writes:

> Perhaps totally underestimating the scope of the problem.
> For example, in the US there are 50 states, perhaps half of which have
> a sales tax. The problem isn't just that the rates would all be

I think many more than half the 50 states have a sales tax.  I think
it's more like "over 40".

> different but also that to what they apply (or not) would be
> different* and you'd need in addition a way to waive sales tax (for
> example, this customer is a non-profit that has filed a copy their
> exemption certificate with you). That's just for ONE country.

It's even worse than that.  Some states allow counties and cities to
set/add their own sales taxes, too.  So here in Georgia sales tax in the
city of Atlanta is 8.25%, but drive 15 minutes to get to Dunwoody and
taxes drop to 6% (different county and city).  From there drive 10
minutes to Sandy Springs (back in the same county as Atlanta, but
different city) and taxes are 7%.

But wait, there's more!  Some items (iirc certain food items) are taxed
at a lower rate (3%).. and some items are tax free!

> For doing this automated, leave to the folks (if any) trying to
> develop a "point of sales" system  (that would feed an accounting
> system like gnucash with the transaction already properly split).

Exactly; the system is WAY too complicated and requires ever-changing
locality information.  It's better for the people in the locality to
know what the local tax rules are.  For GnuCash to do this it would
require full-time people working on it to make sure it's correct.  I
doubt anyone would be willing to do that on a volunteer basis; do you
think GnuCash users would be willing to pay an annual fee for this

> Michael
> * You might want an example of complexity? I am in Massachusetts. We
> have a sales tax but (in this state) it does not apply to items of
> clothing below a certain cost. If I bought a fancy coat for $300 it
> would be taxable. If I bought four dress pants at $80 per pair even
> though the total for those pair $320 that would not be taxable. If I
> went to a supermarket and bought various items of food (for home
> consumption), a bottle of laundry soap, and while there from the deli
> dept a sandwich to eat while in the store the food isn't taxed, the
> soap and the sandwich are.
>   And proper calculation of sales tax amounts isn't to compute the tax
> individually on each item but to total up the taxables and compute the
> tax on that (like many states with sales tax the tax is rounded *up*
> to the nearest penny so if figured individually would average one cent
> more per item rather only rounding up once on the total). But I am far
> from certain all states work it that way.


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

More information about the gnucash-devel mailing list