OK, here is a thought. If a Taser law enforcement distributor visits a local police agency and pushes Tasers to that agency, then the distributor receives a purchase order from that agency for say, 50 guns, a couple hundred cartridges, extra holsters, training targets and a handful of spare battery packs, how is it delivered?

I ask this because of one small insignificant and almost always overlooked piece of paperwork that must be filed with every ultimate vendor (the one who actually delivers the items). Whether it’s the distributor who delivers the product from their standing stock or if it is drop-shipped from the actual manufacturer, a properly filed out and filed State Tax Exempt entity form must be filed with everyone involved.

Every police, sheriff, city marshal, corrections, probation, district attorney office//agency/department/bureau is issued an identification number by its state taxation unit for proposes of identification of exempt status from sales and use taxes. Federal agencies have no such exemptions and as such must pay taxes in addition. It would stand to reason that every ultimate vendor of that agency has someplace within its files, a hard copy of a Tax Exempt Status declaration signed by someone within the entity authorized to sign such.

Here is the tricky part, if the sales are through a distributor (as in a drop-ship) and not by that distributor (as in sold from inventory) then a signed in ink hard copy of the consignee’s Tax Exempt Declaration must be kept on file by the drop-shipper. The distributor who is the vender to the agency already has the Tax Exempt paperwork. It doesn’t matter who first collects the check first. The entity that did the actual shipping must have that document in their hands first.

It’s strange but if a civilian buys a Taser of the factory’s website, Arizona sales Tax is not added to the credit card charges. This raises another question: Are Taser’s Law Enforcement Distributors who are given assigned sales territories actually an entity of Taser’s in that or those (in the case of a few lucky distributors) state(s). That opens up a whole can of worms with regard to collecting sales and use taxes for on-line sales.

The reason I bring up this kettle of fish is this: If Taser restricts a particular LE Distributor to an assigned Sales territory, and Taser can direct day to day operations of that entity (as far as selling price, amount of stock on hand to maintain franchise, and what can or cannot be said in marketing pitches) does that make the distributor an extension of Taser International? And as such, is Taser liable for Sales Tax and the record-keeping requirements associated with them?

For example, let’s take a state like Illinois. Their tax laws are pretty strict with huge penalties for infractions of the rules and regulations. If a Factory authorized Taser Law Enforcement Distributor is involved in an agency sale, it must keep records proving the tax exempt status of said agency. Read this next part carefully. If the items or products are shipped into the tax exempt agency from an out-of-state manufacturer, that manufacturer must also determine the tax status via a hard copy of an Exempt Certificate issued by said agency. Reason being; because there is only one source for the product (through the sole-source LE Distributor of that state) that the distributor in question is an extension of the out-of-state manufacturer, at least as far as the state of Illinois Department of Taxation is concerned.

I am using Illinois as an example only because I’m familiar with their Tax codes.