Cyber Monday 2013 was an unprecedented success for everyone involved – including state tax collectors. So why are we still arguing about new Internet tax schemes?
According to most estimates, Cyber Monday sales were up nearly 20 percent from 2012, a jump made even more impressive by the otherwise plodding pace of our economic recovery.
For consumers, Cyber Monday was an opportunity to get great deals, away from the massive – and sometimes dangerous crowds at the stores on Black Friday. For online retailers, it was the biggest sales day of the year. And for tax collectors, Cyber Monday was a massive infusion of cash. Read more
Imagine if the cashiers handling your Black Friday checkouts asked to see your driver’s license so they could look up sales tax rates and rules for the town where you live, READ FULL ARTICLE…
Internet sales tax advocates, led by the big-box retailers, are a creative and well-funded bunch. To justify creation of a new tax on internet sales, they are happy to promote any argument, no matter how tenuous.
But this week the internet sales tax advocates abandoned one of their favorite justifications, “showrooming”. Read more
As the issue of Internet sales tax heats up in Congress, there has been much speculation about the costs that online and catalog retailers will face in integrating so-called “free” software under the Marketplace Fairness Act.
The notion that free software, from providers like Avalara and others, will keep costs low for businesses is untrue and ignores the significant costs of integrating and running “free” software. Read more
I came across an op-ed the other day in The Hartford Courant, Online Tax Fairness Act Will Hurt Small Businesses. And much to my surprise, the author, Terri Alpert, was not a tax accountant, or an advocate, but a small business owner who sees how the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) may be the thing that pushes her business over the cliff.
So concerned about the MFA’s harms, she took time away from selling her items and growing her business to write this op-ed.
Terri founded her catalog and online brands to advertise unique items that you just can’t find in a big box store. So far she’s seen success with mail-order and online sales.
But if the MFA is passed, she knows the problems that come with it:
- Makes ordering by mail and calculating the required tax so difficult customers will stop buying — disenfranchising senior citizens who do the most shopping by mail.
- Squeezes out unique sellers and the “little guys” as the cost of becoming a remote sales tax collector for some 10,000 different jurisdictions makes it impossible for them to operate.
- Staves off innovation that local businesses need now more than ever. Read more
Growing up I read comics about super-heroes stopping a trains before they went of the cliff. Today, Chairman Bob Goodlatte showed his own form of heroics by stopping the internet sales tax train from taking us all over the cliff. He released a set of principles which set this train on a new path…one without a cliff.
I boarded this train a decade ago when the states created a real effort to simplify tax collection on remote sales. Back then it was called the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP). While this train was on the right track, it wasn’t moving fast enough for some. And like the bad guys in the comics, the big-box stores took over the train, switched the tracks, and set it full throttle on a collision course with mid-size businesses and over the cliff…enter the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA). Read more
Polling released today makes it clear that the American public doesn’t support a new Internet tax system. It’s good to see the public isn’t fooled by proponents’ efforts to cloud this issue in buzzwords and misdirection about fairness and the defense of small retailers.
Helping businesses comply with increasingly complex state tax laws can be a lucrative endeavor for certified public accountants. So, in the case of the proposed Internet sales tax system, one would think they’d be shouting with joy over guiding online businesses through state tax requirements – and, of course, increasing their bottom line. Yet the exact opposite is happening.
The American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants (AAA-CPA) has recently come out against Internet sales tax under the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA). Seems like taking this position – at the risk of profitability – would require some sort of truth serum, but not so. Its membership realizes this unfair and ill-defined tax system will overburden our national economy and ultimately cost more to administer than it raises. Read more
NetChoice engages in federal and state efforts to breakdown the barriers to e-commerce. Whether this involves dealing with taxes on the Internet and goods through the Internet, non-tech neutral privacy initiatives, or other international Internet issues, NetChoice will weigh in to protect the free operation of e-commerce.