LumaTax Sales Tax Terminology Glossary

This article provides clarification on terminology you'll find in LumaTax.
Written by LumaTax IT
Updated 1 week ago

Client/ Tax Payer: The accounting firm's customer and the owner or responsible party over a given company. This is also the individual who can be invited into LumaTax to complete a nexus survey. 

Client Connect: A LumaTax tool to invite clients to create an account, enter their profile information via survey, upload and share documents and files.

Client Data: A hub for the client's transaction data files, uploaded to LumaTax and mapped to fields for analysis.

Client ID: Unique identifier of your client in your firm.

Client Profile: A hub for a client's core company information (including States, Locations, Revenue, Business Operations), populated by the accountant or a client completing a nexus survey.


  • Effective Date of Law: the date the law became applicable. 
  • Threshold surpassed on: the date a company met transaction or revenue thresholds. 
  • Established on: The date a physical nexus was established by a company. 
  • Register by date: the date the state expects registration by, based on state laws. The amount of time between when threshold is surpassed and when registration is required can vary by state. 
  • Look-back period: The defined date range on which the threshold test should be applied.
    • Trailing 12 months: Usually, the prior 12 calendar months. Sometimes, the last 365 days.
    • Calendar year: The preceding or current calendar year, Jan-Dec.
  • 01/01/2017: The best practice is to use this as a starting date for transactions imported into LumaTax, based on Wayfair and some state look-back periods.

Economic Nexus: The connection between a business and a particular state created when the company generates a certain amount of sales. Some state agencies measure this figure based on the overall dollar amount of the total transactions generated, while others combine it with the total number of individual sales transactions.

Exposure: The audit risk associated with compliance gaps. Typically expressed as a dollar amount, it can be calculated roughly as the amount of sales tax that should have been collected and remitted by the seller in a given jurisdiction.

FBA, Fulfillment by Amazon: When a businesses stores products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and Amazon will pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products.

FEIN: Federal Employer Identification Number

LumaTax Compliance Score: Grades a client's SUT compliance on a scale of 1-100. Indicates which clients you need to spend the most time on, which clients you may have the most revenue opportunities for, and who is most in need of in-depth nexus analysis. This score does not indicate which clients have paid their taxes. Lower score = more immediate attention needed (and higher potential exposure).

Mapping: Process of matching the fields in a transaction file to LumaTax. LumaTax will auto-map many types of transaction files.

Marketplace Facilitator: A Business or organization contracted to sell goods and services on its platform and facilitate retail sales. Marketplace facilitators enable these sales by listing products, taking the payments, collecting receipts, and in some cases assisting in shipment. They also sometimes remit the tax payments on behalf of the business. Amazon and Etsy are examples.

Monitor: States to keep an eye on, as your client may hit economic nexus thresholds soon.

NAICS Code, North American Industry Classification System: A standardized code that a company chooses to depict their primary business activity.

Nexus: The connection(s) between a business and a U.S. state, as defined by the state. Nexus creates a legal requirement for a company to register and remit taxes with the state's taxing jurisdictions.

Nexus Analysis: Analyzes transactions and amounts against varying state thresholds and laws to determine whether economic nexus has been established.

Nexus Survey: Collects a client's profile data and estimates exposure risk using the LumaTax Compliance Score.

Over the Counter: On-premise sales (not shipped).

Physical Presence Nexus: The connection between a business and a state established when the company has brick-and mortar locations or storefronts in a state. It can also include physical presence established by having payroll, employee or independent contractor activities, warehouses, holding inventory, or having equipment located in a state. 

Practice Summary: Dashboard of activity across all clients/ users added to LumaTax.

Primary Physical Location: Legal Business Address 

Registered: The states/ jurisdictions where a client has complied and agreed to pay taxes.

SaaS: Software as a Service

Sales Tax Registration: The process of applying to remit payment and file sales tax returns in states where companies are obligated to collect and remit sales tax. Every state has a different application and process for sales tax registration.

Tax Liability: Sales taxes owed to the taxing jurisdiction.

Taxing Jurisdiction: Geographical location where taxes are owed and paid. 

Team: Staff at the accounting firm, added to LumaTax as users.

Timely vs. Untimely: Untimely means that you should have registered before the past 90 days, and this means you will need to file back tax returns that will be due with interest and penalties. With Timely, you're registering going forward.

Threshold: The limit on the amount of revenue and/or the number of transactions a business can generate within a jurisdiction before economic nexus is triggered. It varies by taxing jurisdiction.

Transaction Summary: All transactions uploaded to LumaTax.

Transactions: The client's individual sales records, exported from various sources systems (Amazon, Shopify, QuickBooks, et al.) and imported to LumaTax.

Wayfair; Wayfair Decision; South Dakota v. Wayfair: The June 2018 United States Supreme Court case in which the court held by a 5–4 majority that states may charge tax on purchases made from out-of-state sellers, even if the seller does not have a physical presence in the taxing state. 

VDA, Voluntary Disclosure Agreement: a contractual agreement between a business and the state in which the company comes forward voluntarily to pay its tax obligations in exchange for state concessions in the form of reduced penalties and limitations on the number of years under consideration for the outstanding tax liability. VDAs can be done anonymously through Tax Advisor, CPA, or Attorney.

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