AGRR Magazine™ received this statement by the Minnesota Independent Auto Glass Association (MIAGA) just before press time today.


In Minnesota, the answer is, "No."

Several months ago, Harmon Solutions Group (HGS) announced that they were going to start paying the sales tax to the State of Minnesota, Department of Revenue for the glass shops.

"When the networks short pay, they don't give a breakdown of parts, material or labor. So how is anyone including the state going to be sure the proper taxes are being paid, or if the networks are paying any tax at all?" said Rick Rosar, president of MIAGA.

Minnesota shops have been frustrated by HSG's refusal to reimburse the amount of taxes on submitted invoices - and fearful that ultimately they might be liable for those taxes, so the Minnesota Independent Auto Glass Association (MIAGA) took up the fight. Rick Rosar, board president and owner of Rapid Glass in Minnesota, called HSG and asked them what gave them the authority to collect and submit taxes on behalf of the glass shops. HSG assured him it was legal.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue said HSG wasn't on file with the State of Minnesota, but that even if they were on file, each glass shop would have to sign an agreement to allow HSG to withhold and submit tax on their behalf.

Based on many calls made by MIAGA shops and the information provided by MIAGA, the Dept of Revenue began holding meetings on the topic, and we were recently informed by the Dept that HSG was officially under investigation.

Today we were notified that effective June 1st, HSG invoices would not be paid on a tax-exempt basis. In the letter from HSG, they informed Minnesota glass shops that "invoices that do not have sales tax applied to parts and materials will be rejected."
All of the glass shops we spoke with include tax on their invoices. We believe it was a clever way for HSG to "convert" some of "our" money into "their" money.

Rick Rosar who is also a board member of the Independent Glass Association, wants to inform the other 49 states, "This isn't just a Minnesota issue. This is probably going on across the United States. When you are organized and can deliver a unified message to the proper authorities like we did here in Minnesota, you can make a difference."

If this scam is happening in your state, MIAGA encourages you to call your Dept of Revenue, your legislators, your insurance commissioners, and your Attorney General. Tell them how the state is losing millions of dollars in revenue each year from these companies that are short paying and not paying the proper taxes. "Maybe when they see how it affects their state's finances, they'll understand how it feels to be us," says Rosar.

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