Two bills that should be on everyone’s “Don’t Pass” list

With Congress back from the August recess, attention will quickly shift to the “Must Pass” legislation that has to be approved by the end of the year to avoid calamity.  But there are two Internet sales tax bills that should be on everyone’s “Don’t Pass” list, because if either is slipped into moving legislation, it would be a calamity for America’s small- and medium-sized businesses.

We’re talking about the fatally flawed Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) and the Remote Transaction Parity Act (RTPA), which was supposed to fix the problems with MFA, but actually made a bad bill even worse.

MFA would force America’s online and catalog sellers to comply with the sales tax laws of 10,000 local jurisdictions in our nation, creating costly administrative and compliance burden on small- and medium-sized businesses that can scarcely afford it.  It would also expose every single American business to new risks of government audits from any of the 46 states that impose a sales tax.

READ MORE at The Hill


Chaffetz Internet Sales Tax Bill Is Too Costly and Complex

Congress is looking for a sensible solution to the dilemma over how to collect Internet Sales Tax in a fair and reasonable way.  But the fatally flawed Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA) introduced in June by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, is exactly the wrong way to do it.

This legislation would impose large costs on America’s small businesses, is amazingly complex to administer, and creates uncertainty and fear of intrusive government audits from 46 different state tax departments across the nation.  Congress should find a better way – one that doesn’t favor big box retailers at the expense of small businesses in any corner of the country. Here’s why:


Tax Computer Keys Showing Taxation And Online Payment

Times Union – New York Lawmakers OK Budget Bill But Reject Gov. Cuomo’s Tax Proposals

Times Union – New York Lawmakers OK Budget Bill But Reject Gov. Cuomo’s Tax Proposals (NetChoice Oped)

As the song says about New York, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” But if the state budget includes a new sales tax mandate, online marketplaces may not make it in New York – or anywhere else, for that matter.

Online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay enable small producers and specialty retailers to reach customers across the country who might never visit their factories or stores. From handmade crafts to custom clothing to specialty tools, online marketplaces are empowering small businesses and meeting consumer demand.



The Marketplace Fairness Act: Too Close A Call

As you break out your credit cards this holiday season, you might not know how close we came to a law that would have put Internet retailers and their customers at a permanent disadvantage. Luckily, two Congressional leaders protected us from a radical new tax regime for online purchases.

Prior to the November elections, supporters of the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) declared their intent to leverage the unique pressures and chaos of the lame duck session to ram through their increasingly unpopular Internet tax bill.

READ MORE at Forbes


WSJ – Wednesday Is Tax-the-Internet Day

The Wall Street Journal editorial page has a great article about tax advocates’ last minute push to pass their online sales tax legislation (MFA).  We’ve talked about MFA’s problems before.  The WSJ editorial warns about the taxpayer funded National Conference of State Legislatures’s plot to storm the hill this Wednesday to demand higher tax burdens.

Read the article here.


Cruz Takes a Brave Stand on Internet Taxes

Sometimes doing the right thing in Washington means calling your allies out when they’re in the wrong. It’s a brave move for any lawmaker, and one we don’t see often enough in the halls of the Capitol.

That’s why its important to acknowledge Senator Ted Cruz’s brave decision to speak out against shadowy backroom dealings between Democrats and Republicans.  This shadow plan would sneak into law Sen. Reid’s new internet tax burden, the Marketplace Fairness Act, before the new Republican Senate arrives in January.

“There are some voices in Washington who want a lame duck precisely so they can engage in corporate welfare and blame it on the Democrats,” Cruz told National Review Online. Read more


A Lame Bill for a Lame Duck: Senate Eyes Sneaky Strategy for Internet Taxes

As a general rule, the less you hear about a particular political strategy, the more you should worry about it. So it’s telling that an effort by the Senate to impose a radical new Internet sales tax regime during this year’s lame-duck session is being planned in secluded Capitol hallways, far from public scrutiny.

We wonder what good, if any, will come from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s, D-Nev., intention to attach the ironically-named Marketplace Fairness Act — a bill that requires online retailers and catalogs to collect and remit sales taxes to nearly 10,000 U.S. tax jurisdictions — to the Internet Tax Freedom Act — a bill that would prevent new taxes on Internet access charges.



Overstock Calls Out Problems with Senate Internet Tax Bill

Today, NetChoice member Overstock penned an op-ed in Roll Call laying out the fundamental flaws with the Senate’s Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA).  In his Roll Call post, Overstock Chairman Jonathan Johnson reiterated his call that any federal bill must include a complete preemption of state law — the federal solution is the only way to allow state tax collectors to reach beyond their borders.  Of course the Senate’s bill does nothing to preempt states.

But lack of state preemption isn’t the only problem Johnson cited with MFA. Read more


Coalition Letter in Favor of a Permanent Internet Tax Moratorium

Dear Senators,

On behalf of the undersigned, we encourage you to pass a clean permanent extension of the Internet Tax Moratorium, and commend the House of Representatives on passage of H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA).

Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have introduced S. 1432, the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (ITFFA), which mirrors the House language.  Both ITFFA and PITFA reauthorize and make permanent legislation that has been U.S. national policy since 1998. The clean Internet access tax moratorium overwhelmingly passed the House, and similarly a clean ITFFA will easily pass the Senate, and again protect unfettered access to Internet connections. Read more


Internet Sales Tax Scheme the Easy Choice For Worst Internet Legislation

When we meet twice a year to put together the Internet Advocates’ Watchlist for Ugly Laws (iAWFUL), we’re looking at two key factors: the relative awfulness of the bill or law and it’s likelihood of taking effect.  It’s rare that one measure tops both categories, but for the August 2014 list, the choosing the worst of the worst was morbidly simple.

The ironically titled Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) has been a fixture on the iAWFUL since we first introduced the list – thanks to the unique burdens it seeks to impose on Internet sellers and customers.  But as bad as MFA is, the awfulness of the bill has always been tempered by our confidence that right-thinking lawmakers wouldn’t allow it to pass in its current, fatally flawed form.  Read more