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View Full Version : Any advice or suggestions on how to change existing laws?


Can I Mow Your Lawn?
03-30-2007, 12:35 PM
I have looked at the sales tax issue in Texas and there is a glaringly INSANE provision in the law.

http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxpubs/tx94_112.html

What the legislature has done is make landscape services subject to the state sales tax. But they also have a loophole for lawn care and landscaping by the self-employed.

Lawn care and landscaping (other than pest control services requiring a license) are nontaxable when done by a self-employed individual who:

does the actual lawn care or landscaping services;
has no employees, partners or other persons providing the services;
has gross receipts from the services of less than $5,000 during the most recent four calendar quarters.

If your income from landscaping and lawn care exceeds $5,000 during the most recent four calendar quarters, you must begin collecting tax on these services on the first day of the quarter after the threshold is exceeded. When your gross income from these services falls below $5,000 for the most recent four calendar quarters, the exemption resumes on the first day of the next quarter.

SIX ACCOUNTS.

That's all it takes to gross over $5K per year.

34 cuts X $25 X 6 clients = $5,100

And that assumes no extras at all. No shrub trimming. No mulch. No flowers. No one time cuts. Nothing. In all actuality, a guy ought to be able to gross $5K per year on 2 to 4 accounts.

If you call the Comptroller's office of enforcement, they will willingly acknowledge that tax evasion is rampant within our industry. But, they are quick to make excuses, siting the above loophole, which allows them to sit in their cubicles and do nothing to actually enforce the laws.

This loophole simply should not exist. I'd like to get the law changed to eliminate this loophole.

So, my question is, if you want to change a law, and you are willing to put some money and effort into it, how do you go about it? I am certain a letter to my representative is worthless. What I am thinking of doing is trying to raise money to fund a lobbyist organization or something like that. Perhaps there are organizations in place already, looking for donations or something.

Any advice on how to get a law changed that makes no sense?

It shouldn't be that big of a fight, honestly. Texas needs money and landscaping and lawn care is a HUGE industry. I am guessing most lawn mowing companies aren't complying with the sales tax laws as of now, and given the way the laws were written, I don't expect that to ever change.

Later,
Can I Mow Your Lawn?