Posted at 20:25h
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2018
Ampersand Accounting, LLC
Jen Little, Public & Media Relations
Small Woman-Owned eCommerce Business' $10K+ Victory Over S.C. Department of Revenue
Staunton, VA -- The state of South Carolina seized 100% of the assets of a small, woman-owned eCommerce retailer earlier this year. Stay at home mom, mother of three school-aged boys, Stacy Richmond, owns the Amazon marketplace store Slow and Steady.
In total, the South Carolina Department of Revenue wiped out Stacy's checking and savings accounts to the tune of $10,521.40. The state has since refunded the cash and expunged the lien.
"I didn't know what to do or say," said Stacy about the moment she learned her banking accounts were empty. "My immediate concern was my three employees. How was I going to pay them?"
Stacy shared that the hardest part of this process was telling her hardworking employees she couldn't pay them on payday, "I pay my employees. I pay my taxes. Why was this happening?" she said. Stacy continued to pay her employees and bills, but out of her own pocket, while the state held onto her assets.
Ampersand Accounting, LLC serves as Slow and Steady's sales tax accounting firm nationwide. Ampersand announced in October that situations similar to that of Slow and Steady would happen with South Carolina relating to the state's $500M lawsuit filed against eCommerce giant Amazon.
Ampersand Accounting, LLC notified the media about situations like Slow and Steady's in October, yet the specific, identifiable information was withheld as advocacy efforts to regain the funds were ongoing.
“South Carolina is trying to have it both ways," CEO of Ampersand Accounting, LLC, Peter Mantell said, "How can South Carolina sue Amazon for $500 million, and also try to get the same money for the same taxes from retailers. It's double dipping into the tax code!"
"We (Ampersand Accounting, LLC) saw this coming. We reached out to South Carolina very early on Stacy's behalf, and they refused to return phone calls or provide us with information. The government arbitrarily seized her assets as if there was some sort of eminent domain portion of the South Carolina tax law. That shouldn't be allowed."
"Sadly we are uncertain how far this sort of government overreach goes and how far it may extend nationally," Mantell said regarding South Carolina seizing the assets of eCommerce retailers. "Our sales tax specialists are prepared to advocate for our clients nationwide to protect their business interests. Ampersand is more than a company that files reports, we advise and advocate for our clients."