By Mary Alexander and Timothy Gustafson

The Colorado Department of Revenue determined that a mail-order seller was required to collect state and local sales tax on orders shipped to localities where it had established nexus and state use tax (and any applicable special district use tax) on all other sales shipped to customers in Colorado. According to the Department, the obligation to collect state sales or use tax requires (1) nexus with Colorado and (2) a taxable event. The out-of-state seller had a sales representative who both lived and rented an office in Colorado. The representative solicited new business and maintained customer relationships from the in-state office; thus, the Department concluded that the seller had nexus with Colorado for purposes of sales and use taxes. Furthermore, the Department explained that a taxable event occurs in Colorado when property is sold to a customer in Colorado because “[a] sale generally takes place when and where the retailer delivers goods to the buyer.” Consequently, when the seller delivered goods by common carrier to a buyer in Colorado, the Department determined that a sale took place within the state. In addition, Colorado cities, counties and special districts can also levy sales and use taxes, but a seller only has an obligation to collect such sales taxes (or use taxes) for state-administered local tax jurisdictions if it has nexus with them. Accordingly, when the seller shipped products to a customer located in the same local jurisdictions where its “direct or indirect location” was located, the seller was required to collect local sales taxes. However, when the seller shipped products to a customer located in a local jurisdiction in which it did not have a “direct or indirect location,” it was required to collect state use tax and, if the customer was located within a special district that levied a use tax, any applicable special district use tax. Col. Gen. Info. Ltr. GIL-14-005 (Apr. 28, 2014).