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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:33 am 
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Mike Wilson wrote:
O.K. I just did a bit of internet searching. Here's what I found on the Los Angeles Dept. Of Finance page. Briefly, a Tax Registration Certificate and a business license is required if you physically perform work for seven (7) days or more per year. The Lit Show and swap meet are only two days.

I would encourage Stoddard et al. to verify this with the City of Los Angeles and not with a company that the City contracts for to collect taxes. I think they may be a bit over-zealous.

Mike is probably right. Most people who have been in business have experienced having some government agency harass them with threatening letters demanding an action or money unjustly which then results in many wasted hours of setting the record straight. Most of the time it also costs a company professional fees from lawyers and accountants. The IRS is constantly doing this type of harassment and they are masters at not responding to communication which really ups the psychological pressure. Government always has the advantage of unlimited resources and you don't.

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:34 am 
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Thanks for digging that up, Mike.

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:52 am 
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"Government always has the advantage of unlimited resources and you don't."

You left out the most important part of your statement, Cliff: It should read: "Government always has the advantage of unlimited resources of other peoples money and you don't."

Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:13 am 
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Jeffrey Leeds wrote:
"Government always has the advantage of unlimited resources and you don't."

You left out the most important part of your statement, Cliff: It should read: "Government always has the advantage of unlimited resources of other peoples money and you don't."

Jeff

So true!

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:07 am 
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Mike Wilson wrote:
O.K. I just did a bit of internet searching. Here's what I found on the Los Angeles Dept. Of Finance page. Briefly, a Tax Registration Certificate and a business license is required if you physically perform work for seven (7) days or more per year. The Lit Show and swap meet are only two days.
I would encourage Stoddard et al. to verify this with the City of Los Angeles and not with a company that the City contracts for to collect taxes. I think they may be a bit over-zealous.

Mike, just did a search starting here http://finance.lacity.org/content/Busin ... ionFAQ.htm and haven't found that exemption; did you save a link?
The form makes it clear that it is up to ME to prove THEY sent the form incorrectly:
"If you believe you are not subject to the City of Los Angeles business tax, please provide a written statement describing your circumstances with supporting documentation..."

Edit: Sorry, Mike, right there on that page.

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:19 pm 
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Sent an email to the agency linking the Lit Meet site, pointing out the relevant sentence and asking for a prompt confirmation that the forms are not applicable.
I'll post the response; got my fingers crossed.
Again, thanks Mike. I wasn't looking forward to dealing with bureaucrats willing to waste my time on my dime...

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:24 pm 
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If it turns out that I as a Seller have to charge this tax to buyers, or
that I have to pay this tax as a buyer if I buy something, I'm not going
to attend. Hope this isn't the case! Have not been able to attend for the
last several years!

CW

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:26 pm 
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Glad to help, Guys. In today's age, we have to be mindful of people trying to pull scams or at the least be unethical. This one started to smell when I read it. Call me a sceptic.

First I checked the company. They are legit in that they contract with cities and at least the state of California to check on and collect business license fees. They probably get a percentage of money collected and/or a contractual amount. However, they are not accredited by the Better Business Bureau. That's a red flag. Then I Googled "do I need a Los Angeles business license for one day?" and with the search results I went to the City of L.A. Finance Department where I found the requirements and exemption.

It made no sense to require someone to have a business license for one day. Think of the countless seminars, conventions and events that do very limited business in the state. If having a license was a requirement, out of state businesses would extend the middle finger to California or any state/city that had this requirement.

Solution? Obviously some of you have already been contacted so a response is required. I'd attach the statement from the City of Los Angeles Finance Department and send the info to both the City and their contractor. It would be really beneficial for Stoddard to get something in writing from the city acknowledging the exemption.

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:17 pm 
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Charlie White wrote:
If it turns out that I as a Seller have to charge this tax to buyers, or
that I have to pay this tax as a buyer if I buy something, I'm not going
to attend. Hope this isn't the case! Have not been able to attend for the
last several years!
CW

Charlie, I've never charged "taxes" on the show floor; the parts are sold at the stated "Show Special" prices and I've paid the taxes out of that income. There is no requirement that you specify a certain amount of the price as "tax", but unless you qualify for an exemption, you are liable for the taxes due, regardless of whether you add them on or take them from the revenue.
Pre Mat reports the sales and pay the sales taxes (Superman's cape and all). Dunno if you need to; there are exemptions, but since Pre Mat doesn't qualify, I didn't bother saving any links. It's probably worth a look at the CA 'Board of Equalization' (doncha' love the name?) web site, or do a more general search like Mike did.
Love to see ya there, but I can more than understand the frustration; I live in San Francisco, for pete's sake...

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:39 pm 
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I appreciate what you said. But it seems to me that the event organizers
have got to figure this out, if they haven't already, and make it crystal
clear to potential attendees what taxes are payable, if any, and who is
and is not exempt from such taxes. Like, I assume, other sellers, I don't
make any money selling books. Between costs of the books, costs of getting
there (rental car, gasoline, etc), hotel bills, meals, entry fees, etc it is not a
money making proposition. Paying sales taxes too is the last straw!

CW

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:20 pm 
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Good idea, Charlie. Has Stoddard been made aware of this issue?

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:12 pm 
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Mike Wilson wrote:
Good idea, Charlie. Has Stoddard been made aware of this issue?
Yep, the new owners know about it and are not ignoring it.
I've gotten no response to my email yet (hey, one day is an instant to a bureaucrat!), I'll start calling and getting names tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:07 am 
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I trust Stoddard will be on top of it. Apparently this is a new issue as I don't recall hearing that it was an issue with previous Lit Meets.

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:24 am 
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This matter with the L.A. and California authorities congers up the sordid image of Jimmy Cagney running an unlicensed lemonaid stand at the Lit Meet as the cops rush in. "Come and get me coppers. You'll never take me alive."

(My apologies to the monitor for bending the meaning of this thread)


Attachments:
cagney.jpg
cagney.jpg [ 21.86 KiB | Viewed 587 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Lit Meet
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:39 am 
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I feel threatened by the rampant examples of micro aggressions that permeate this forum. A picture of a man with 2 guns? I expect the Registry to provide me with professional counseling.

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Last edited by C J Murray on Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:05 am, edited 3 times in total.

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