Orwellian Government Language Update

In all the states we operate in, sales tax registrations are open-ended.  This means that once you register for a sales tax license, you keep it without having to do any sort of renewal.  However, there are penalties for not reporting every month on an active license, so there are pretty strong incentives to report a closed license as soon as one is not using it.  In effect, your monthly report is your renewal.

For some reason, Arizona has decided that it needs to put businesses through an annual renewal process for sales** tax licenses.  I have no idea why.  Even California does not make folks jump through this hoop.  Anyway, I chuckled at the name they assigned to this change: "TPT Simplification Program."  Because everyone knows that adding an extra paperwork step each year is a simplification.  I guess it simplifies the process of keeping their employment numbers up at the Department of Revenue.


** AZ actually call its sales tax a "transaction privilege tax."  Since I do not consider voluntary business transactions between two individuals to be a "privilege" that can only be granted by the state, I refuse to use the term.


  1. Matthew Slyfield:

    You will have a much easier time understanding Government announcements / regulations, if you understand that in government speak certain words have the opposite meaning from their ordinary usage. Simple and all variations there of are on that list.

  2. Mike Powers:

    What happened is that somebody without enough to do suddenly sat down and got brain-locked because "REPORT" and "RENEWAL" are two different words, and therefore they CANNOT POSSIBLY be the same thing.

  3. Chris:

    "Doctor, if you were organizing a regiment of infantry and it was to be the first regiment of infantry organized in the army, what would you call it?"
    "What is this, Major?"
    "It's a straight question, Jopp. What would you call it?"
    "Well, I expect I'd be inclined to be logical. I'd probably call it the First Infantry."
    "Precisely" -- Allshard nodded -- "but the powers that be didn't. They called it the Second Infantry. Now, if you will accept the fundamental fact that the First Infantry is officially the Second Infantry, you will understand everything else there is to understand about the Army" -- Allshard chuckled deep in his throat -- "because everything else becomes quite clear wen correlated with that fundamental fact. And that knowledge should keep you sane."
    -- "The Devil At Crazy Man," by James Warner Bellah, first printed in The Saturday Evening Post, 21 June 1947 and later reprinted in a paperback collection of stories entitled Reveille, 1962.

  4. STW:

    I suspect is is simplified compared to the other plans that were put forward. I also suspect that this is merely the prelude to charging a license fee for the privilege of working as a tax collector for the state. I predict that fee, only to pay the cost of managing the license renewals you understand, will begin in three to five years.

  5. Incunabulum:

    " only to pay *increasing* the cost of managing . . ."

    Because you know, for some reason, the costs of managing this program keep going up each year - even though we're 'simplifying' all the time.

  6. ColoComment:

    It sounds to me as though AZ is combining local "sales" taxes with the state-level tax in a single filing. I should think that would be a GOOD thing?


    Here's more detail: