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Sales Tax on Discounts, Coupons and Promos

When coupons or certificates are accepted by retailers as a part of the selling price of any taxable item, the value of the coupon or certificate is excludable from the tax as a cash discount, regardless of whether the retailer is reimbursed for the amount represented by the coupon or certificate.

With few exceptions, sales tax applies to the gross receipts received or gross selling price received from the sale of products or taxable services. The specific definition will vary by state but, for example, Georgia sales tax law defines the term “sales price” to be the selling price of the product less any “ discounts, including cash, term, or coupons that are not reimbursed by a third party that are allowed by a seller and taken by a purchaser on a sale.”

In layman’s terms, that means if the original price of something you sell was $100, but you offer a 50% discount, then the taxable price is $50.

Discounts-Percent and Dollar

Because discounts are generally offered directly by the retailer “store” and reduce the amount of the sales price and the cash received by the retailer, the sales tax applies to the price after the discount is applied. For example, your normal selling price is $30 but you are offering a 5 percent discount for first time customers. The tax base is $28.50. The same holds true if you are offering a dollar discount rather than a percentage discount. The normal price is $30.00 but you are offering a $5.00 discount for returning customers. Your tax base (prior to any taxable shipping) is $25.00.

If, however, the discount is sponsored by the manufacturer or the distributor and you will be reimbursed by either of these parties for offering the discount, the sales tax base is the full sales price and not the reduced sales price. As noted below with manufacturer’s coupons, because the tax base is the amount of receipts you receive for selling the product, the states generally don’t distinguish whether the payment comes from the customer or by some third party.   As noted above in the Georgia definition, coupons that are reimbursed by a third-party are NOT treated as a sales price adjustment. This rule is pretty uniform across the country.

The material and information contained in our blogs is for general information purposes only. Pomodo will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented in its blogs or on our website.

Tell-tale signs you need to make a change and upgrade your credit card processing

Still using an “old school” swipe credit card reader?

Still using a separate terminal?

Not yet using “chip” EMV

You could be losing money and encouraging fraud

Prevent fraud and chargebacks by

Integrating credit cards direct within your software

No need for reconciliation

Signature Capture and easy recall to reprint receipts with signature

EMV “Chip Readers” are standard

Swipe credit card readers are not secure

Security starts here

End-to-end encryption (E2EE)

EMV

PCI compliant with Secure plus is available

Special Pomodo Software features

Under 50$ no signature required option

Tip control

Card on file for returns and Recurring billing

Gift Cards and Loyalty

ACH

Never again not be able to take a credit card

Store and forward feature allows you “store “capture the credit card when your internet is down and when your internet is back up “forward” send the card over for processing.

Pomodo offers a Virtual Credit Card Terminal on the Pomodo Cloud so you can take credit cards on your mobile device or PC anytime anywhere.

Pomodo Support

Because of our relationship with our preferred credit card processor we can offer one stop support calling.

Easy Integration means no finger pointing if you have technical challenges.

A full credit card Portal to see all statements and real time reports.

Hardware replacement option on credit card hardware.

All of this and more plus competitive rates.

 

* Some features listed maybe future released or options.

Don’t be fooled by some credit card processor just offering “cheaper rates”

Over 17 years ago and a customer asked “What’s your rate?” it was easy to simply quote a % + 20 cents. Wow has that changed.

Over the past decades MasterCard and Visa, in their infinite wisdom, has developed a daunting list of interchange rules based upon your type of business, what type of card is presented by the consumer, the amount of the sale, what type of data you enter into your terminal or software, and if you swipe or manually key in the sale.

In the 1990’s there were a limited  number of different interchange categories while today the list is over 100 pages long.

Interchange used to be a trade secret but now it is publicly posted on Visa and MasterCard’s corporate websites.

It is important to know that every merchant account provider is bound by the exact same interchange schedule. It is the markup from this schedule that determines what you will ultimately pay.

So when today a sales rep quotes you a tiered low rate you really have to ask for the rest of the picture as very few of your transactions will qualify for that rate.

As you can see from Visa and MasterCard’s corporate websites, Interchange cost for almost every category is higher including all rewards cards, business type cards and keyed cards. Therefore only swiped debit/check cards and small ticket sales in a limited number of business types have an actual lower cost.

Pomodo’s Preferred Credit Card Processor is Vantiv  

 What is the difference (technically) with Vantiv vs. other types of processors?

It’s a whole different game technically when you integrate credit cards into your software vs. using a standalone credit card terminal.

Vantiv’s setup is not the same as a “raw” setup.

Vantiv has made a conscious effort to support software developers and help them integrate to Vanity’s own back-end processing into the developers software.

Vanity’s integrated technology eliminates the need to purchase additional payment processing software, which can add up to thousands of dollars. It also reduces costs for technical support and gets rid of gateway fees.

 Pomodo + Vantiv Adds up to Reliable, Secure Integrated Payment Processing

 

Credit Card Surcharges

Beginning Jan. 27, 2013, merchants such as Goldstone gained that right. Under a federal court case settlement, they can put surcharges of up to 4 percent on Visa and MasterCard transactions — which account for about 70 percent of credit card purchases — to cover the cost of card interchange fees, or “swipe fees.” But few merchants plan to use their newly won right — not even Goldstone.

“It’s going to be used as leverage against credit card companies,” the president of ScanMyPhotos.com explained. “Just knowing that merchants can (surcharge) will keep them from raising rates.”

Goldstone, whose company digitizes old photos, is a lead plaintiff in an antitrust lawsuit that pits retailers against Visa, MasterCard and major card-issuing banks. The swipe fee rule that took effect Jan. 27 is one part of a preliminary settlement; the other part, a $7.25 billion cash payout to retailers, faces final approval later this year.

Expect no surcharge surge
Although the surcharge represents a big change in the rules of retailing, the reality at most checkout lines — and at e-commerce companies such as Goldstone’s — will probably remain unchanged, at least for now, according to retail experts and card networks. Merchants can use the threat of surcharges as bargaining leverage, but most of them don’t want to irritate customers with an actual fee, industry representatives said.

There are other hurdles. Laws prohibit the surcharge in 11 states that represent about 40 percent of the population. In addition, the rules governing retailers who also take American Express, which is not covered by the settlement, make it more difficult for merchants to impose surcharges.

Eleven states—
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine,Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas—and Puerto Rico have laws that prohibit merchants from charging consumers with surcharges on credit card transactions.

Merchants who accept American Express have something else to think about, according to the federation. To add the surcharge to Visa and MasterCard transactions, merchants must also add it to those on American Express transactions. But American Express rules prevent the addition of a surcharge to any transaction. So merchants who want to add the surcharge cannot do so if they accept American Express cards.

There’s another issue to consider. Let’s say, hypothetically, you fit the criteria to add the surcharge. You still have to ask yourself whether the financial benefits of charging it will outweigh the disadvantages.

Visa, MasterCard ask surcharges to register
Retailers are supposed to register with the card networks in advance if they intend to charge the fee. However, representatives for Visa and MasterCard would not comment on the number of retailers that have signed up. Visa referred all questions to the Electronic Payments Coalition, an industry group that said it lacked surcharge registration data. At MasterCard, spokesman Jim Issokson said the company considered the information proprietary. Generally speaking, “We don’t expect a lot of merchants” to surcharge, he said.

For more info on credit card surcharges and all things related to integrated payments call and talk to a Pomodo representative today.

The material and information contained in our blogs is for general information purposes only. Pomodo will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented in its blogs or on our website.

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