MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

1997 Regular Session

To: Ways and Means

By: Representative Williams

House Bill 1697

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 27-65-33, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT PUBLIC OR PRIVATE COMMUNITY COLLEGES, JUNIOR COLLEGES, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO REMIT TO THE STATE TAX COMMISSION SALES TAX COLLECTED ON SALES MADE BY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE COMMUNITY COLLEGES, JUNIOR COLLEGES, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES; TO PROVIDE THAT SALES TAX COLLECTED ON SALES MADE BY SUCH INSTITUTIONS SHALL BE RETAINED BY THE INSTITUTION MAKING THE SALE ON WHICH THE TAX WAS GENERATED, AND MAY BE USED BY SUCH INSTITUTION FOR ANY LAWFUL PURPOSE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES. 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. Section 27-65-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-65-33. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the taxes levied by this chapter shall be due and payable on or before the twentieth day of the month next succeeding the month in which the tax accrues, except as otherwise provided. Returns and payments placed in the mail must be postmarked by the due date in order to be considered timely filed, except when the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, returns and payments placed in the mail must be postmarked by the first working day following the due date in order to be considered timely filed. The taxpayer shall make a return showing the gross proceeds of sales or the gross income of the business, and any and all allowable deductions, or exempt sales, and compute the tax due for the period covered. The provisions of this section shall not apply to taxes collected on sales made by public or private community colleges, junior colleges, colleges and universities. Any sales tax collected on sales made by such institutions shall be retained by the institution making the sale on which the tax was generated, and may be used by such institution for any lawful purpose.

As compensation for collecting sales and use taxes, complying fully with the applicable statutes, filing returns and supplements thereto and paying all taxes by the twentieth of the month following the period covered, the taxpayer may discount and retain two percent (2%) of the liability on each return subject to the following limitations:

(a) The compensation or discount shall not apply to taxes levied under the provisions of Sections 27-65-19 and 27-65-21, or on charges for ginning cotton under Section 27-65-23.

(b) The compensation or discount shall not apply to taxes collected by a county official or state agency.

(c) The compensation or discount shall not exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per month, or Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) per calendar year, per business location on each state sales tax return, or on each use tax return.

(d) The compensation or discount shall not apply to any wholesale tax, the rate of which is equal to or greater than the tax rate applicable to retail sales of the same property or service. The retailer of such items shall be entitled to the compensation based on the tax computed on retail sales before application of the credit for any tax paid to the wholesaler, jobber, or other person.

(e) The compensation or discount allowed and taken for any filing period may be reassessed and collected when an audit of a taxpayer's records reveals a tax deficiency for that period.

All returns shall be sworn to by the taxpayer, if made by an individual, or by the president, vice president, secretary or treasurer of a corporation, or authorized agent, if made on behalf of a corporation. If made on behalf of a partnership, joint venture, association, trust, estate, or in any other group or combination acting as a unit, any individual delegated by such firm shall swear to the return on behalf of the taxpayer. The commissioner may prescribe methods by which the taxpayer may swear to his return.

The commissioner may promulgate rules and regulations to require or permit filing periods of any duration, in lieu of monthly filing periods, for any taxpayer or group thereof.

The commissioner may require the execution and filing by the taxpayer with the commissioner of a good and solvent bond with some surety company authorized to do business in Mississippi as surety thereon in an amount double the aggregate tax liability by such taxpayer for any previous three (3) months' period within the last calendar year or estimated three (3) months tax liability. Said bond is to be conditioned for the prompt payment of such taxes as may be due for each such return.

The commissioner, for good cause, may grant such reasonable additional time within which to make any return required under the provisions of this chapter as he may deem proper, but the time for filing any return shall not be extended beyond the twentieth of the month next succeeding the regular due date of the return without the imposition of interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month or fractional part of a month from the time the return was due until the tax is paid.

For persistent, willful, or recurring failure to make any return and pay the tax shown thereby to be due by the time specified, there shall be added to the amount of tax shown to be due ten percent (10%) damages, or interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month, or both.

Any taxpayer may, upon making application therefor, obtain from the commissioner an extension of time for the payment of taxes due on credit sales until collections thereon have been made. When such extension is granted, the taxpayer shall thereafter include in each monthly or quarterly report all collections made during the preceding month or quarter, and shall pay the taxes due thereon at the time of filing such report. Such permission may be revoked or denied at the discretion of the commissioner when, in his opinion, a total sales basis will best reflect the taxable income or expedite examination of the taxpayer's records.

Any taxpayer reporting credit sales before collection thereof has been made may take credit on subsequent returns or reports for bad debts actually charged off, if such amounts charged off have previously been included in taxable gross income or taxable gross proceeds of sales, as the case may be, and the tax paid thereon. However, any amounts subsequently collected on accounts that have been charged off as bad debts shall be included in subsequent reports and the tax shall be paid thereon.

In cases where an extension of time has been granted by the commissioner for payment of taxes due on credit sales and the taxpayer thereafter discontinues the business, such taxpayer shall be required to file with the commissioner within ten (10) days, or such further time as the commissioner may direct, from the date of the discontinuance of such business, a special report showing the amounts of any credit sales which have not been included in determining the measure of the tax previously paid and any other information with reference to credit sales as the commissioner may require. The commissioner shall thereupon investigate the facts with reference to credit sales and the condition of the accounts, and shall determine, from the best evidence available, the value of all open accounts, notes, or other evidence of debt arising from credit sales. The value of all notes, open accounts and other evidence of debt, as thus determined by the commissioner, shall be used in determining the amount of the tax for which such taxpayer shall be liable. When the amount of the tax shall have been ascertained, the taxpayer shall be required to pay the same within ten (10) days or such further time as the commissioner may allow, notwithstanding the fact that such note or accounts may still remain uncollected.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.