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House Speaker John Boehner now plans to deliver the bill to the House Judiciary Committee

The Internet sales tax bill passed with flying colors in the Senate, but the House of Representatives may prove to be more of an obstacle.

The Senate voted 69-27 in favor of the Internet sales tax bill (also known as the Marketplace Fairness Act) on Monday. The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to force out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax on Internet purchases -- even if the e-tailer has no physical presence in that buyer's state.

The legislation offers an exemption for merchants that generate less than $1 million in annual out-of-state revenue.

However, many e-tailers like eBay and Overstock.com oppose the new bill, saying that it would hurt small businesses. 

Those who are onboard with the legislation include Amazon, which is looking to simplify its U.S. state sales tax payments, and brick-and-mortar stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy, which have complained about the unfair advantage online retailers have when it comes to the lack of sales tax collection in certain states. 

Also, state government's in need of extra revenue like the idea of the new bill. The California Board of Equalization, for instance, said it made $96.4 million in sales tax on internet commerce from September-December 2012, which is the first full quarter that the state started collecting.

Back in April, the Marketplace Fairness Act scored a big victory in a procedural vote of 74-20 in the Senate. It even won backing from U.S. President Barack Obama. 

While the Marketplace Fairness Act has had an easy time in the Senate, things are expected to change in the House of Representatives. The issue is that Republicans control the House, and they refuse to consider new federal revenue from eliminating tax breaks (which would be part of tax reform). 

House Speaker John Boehner now plans to deliver the bill to the House Judiciary Committee. 

Source: Reuters



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Looking a bit closer.
By drycrust3 on 5/7/2013 4:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to force out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax on Internet purchases -- even if the e-tailer has no physical presence in that buyer's state.

I should point out that I'm not American, so I guess one can argue this isn't my business, but when I looked at the actual wording of the Market Fairness Act, which I found rather confusing, it seems to me the onus is on the state the e-retailer is in to determine whether that e-retailer should or should not collect the sales taxes another state wants. Also, if a state's sales tax system doesn't comply with the requirements of the Market Fairness Act then sellers sending goods to other states don't need to collect sales taxes another state wants.
For example, if someone in a cash starved state like California orders something from an e-retailer, who happens to have two warehouses, one in Arizona and one in Pennsylvania, and either Arizona decides it doesn't want to collect taxes for other states or its sales tax system doesn't comply with the Market Fairness Act, but Pennsylvania state does comply or want to collect for other states, then the e-retailer doesn't need to collect the sales taxes for shipments to California from the Arizona warehouse, but it does from the one in Pennsylvania.
I can see this will result in some very confusing pricing differentials depending on where the shipping warehouse is located.




RE: Looking a bit closer.
By Quadrillity on 5/7/2013 4:51:48 PM , Rating: 2
And to think... just how many of these problems could be solved with a flat tax system.


RE: Looking a bit closer.
By mcnabney on 5/7/2013 10:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
You think a Federal sales tax is going to change state sales taxes?

If anything, pushing sales taxes over 30% will destroy retail, bring back barter, and boost international purchases. I have bought a fair number of items directly from overseas. That would skirt a Federal sales tax too.


RE: Looking a bit closer.
By ianweck on 5/7/2013 4:59:19 PM , Rating: 3
So you're saying this is a piece of legislation that hasn't been fully thought out yet?
I'd say that's impossible but then I look over at Obamacare.


RE: Looking a bit closer.
By gglenn on 5/7/2013 6:40:14 PM , Rating: 3
Well heck, we should just pass it to see what's in it then.


RE: Looking a bit closer.
By dgingerich on 5/8/2013 8:40:32 AM , Rating: 2
That just worked out SO well last time!


RE: Looking a bit closer.
By drycrust3 on 5/7/2013 6:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure it is well thought out, after all you Americans do pay people to write this stuff, so I'm guessing they do a good job, but there are questions about this legislation that remain unanswered. Like what happens if a state decides it wants its retailers and e-retailers to comply with this legislation and then later on decides it doesn't want them to comply? There is a 90 day or a 6 months implementation time frame (well, that's what your act says), but no exiting time frame. Does this mean that once a state implements this act it can't exit from it? Or does it mean that no one thought about exiting from the agreement?
Or what happens if later on down the track a state implements a law that means it no longer complies with the requirements under which an e-retailer has to send sales taxes to other states? Does that mean e-retailers now have an option as to whether or not they do collect the extra-state sales tax, or do they still have to collect it but now have a choice about forwarding it on or not?
And what happens when an e-retailer collects sales taxes and then finds it wasn't necessary? Does the collected sales tax still have to go to the relevant state, or should it be sent to the state the e-retailer is in, or can the e-retailer refund sales taxes collected to those they have collected it from, and can it charge an administrative fee for all their wasted time before they return it?


RE: Looking a bit closer.
By StuckMojo on 5/7/2013 8:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
Your guess would be wrong.


RE: Looking a bit closer.
By ianweck on 5/9/2013 2:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
All good questions.
Like I said, not well thought out.


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