BNA Bloomberg - Digital Sales Tax Bill Set for House Subcommittee Hearing

“We’re relieved to see that Congress is waking up to the problems caused when states reach across borders to regulate and tax businesses in the country,” Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, told Bloomberg BNA in a July 18 email. “It’s reached a crisis in the area of remote sales tax, where states are creating chaos with unconstitutional and illegal regulations and laws.”

Several e-commerce trade associations applauded the hearing announcement.

“Sensenbrenner’s bill deserves attention because it has the potential to hit the pause button on state cross-border regulation, so that Congress can exercise its constitutional authority over interstate commerce,” DelBianco said.

“In recent years, rogue states have attempted to target out of state businesses to comply with onerous tax collection regimes that ran afoul to the Supreme Court precedent,” Hamilton Davison, president and executive director of the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), said in a statement. “We applaud the U.S. House Judiciary Committee for holding this hearing and proposing much-needed solutions like Rep. Sensenbrenner’s No Regulation Without Representation Act.

“It’s a sound piece of legislation that would provide clarity and regulatory relief for remotely located catalog and e-commerce businesses that sell their products nationally,” Davison said.

An increasing number of states have passed legislation or regulations in recent years to challenge the Quill rule and enforce taxes on out-of-state sellers. NetChoice and ACMA are parties in several legal challenges to states’ remote sales regimes, including South Dakota, Indiana, Tennessee and Wyoming.


BNA Bloomberg - Ohio ‘Cookie Nexus’ for Online Sales Tax Likely to Crumble

NetChoice and the American Catalog Mailers Association “are researching legal arguments and raising funds to challenge Ohio’s new remote sales tax law,” Steve DelBianco, executive director of internet commerce trade group NetChoice, told Bloomberg BNA through email. “If the state has violated Supreme Court precedent and the Internet Tax Freedom Act, we look forward to our day in court. Moreover, we don’t see how a court will agree that electrons flowing into a computer or smartphone can possibly create a ‘physical presence.’”

NetChoice and ACMA recently sued and prevailed on procedural grounds against a similar Massachusetts directive. That directive worked in a similar way to create a tax based on physical presence in the state proven by cookies installed on computers or phones.


BNA Bloomberg - Washington’s Marketplace Sales Tax Law Heading for Battle

“We definitely anticipate a legal challenge,” Steve DelBianco, executive director of the e-commerce trade association NetChoice, told Bloomberg BNA July 10. “NetChoice and the American Catalog Mailers Association are now developing legal arguments and raising funding for a lawsuit.”

DelBianco said Washington’s $10,000 threshold is particularly problematic, calling it “a significant burden on America’s small businesses. Washington’s new law reaches the tiniest of businesses anywhere in the country if they happen to have customers in Washington state.”

Washington’s imposition of tax and reporting requirements on marketplace facilitators “would be unique, since these facilitators are not the seller of record,” DelBianco added. He accused the new law of targeting facilitators and marketplaces in what amounts to discrimination against electronic commerce, which is prohibited under the Internet Tax Freedom Act.

“We’ll also challenge the privacy violations that this would bring on Washington residents, as the state would now be collecting data on their personal and sometimes sensitive Internet purchases,” he said.


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NetChoice, a trade association focusing on electronic commerce, reportedly is developing legal arguments and rounding up money to challenge the plan.

“Washington is not likely to see any new revenue from this law, since a court would bar enforcement while legal challenges are resolved,” Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, told the Tacoma News-Tribune in an email. “So nobody in Olympia should be counting on new tax revenue in the near term.”


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BNA Bloomberg - Indiana Caught in Web of Digital Sales Tax Lawsuits

The complaint filed by Washington-based NetChoice and the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) asks an Indiana trial court to strike down the state’s recently passed gross retail tax that applies to sellers without a physical presence in the state ( Am. Catalog Mailers Ass’n. v. Krupp , Ind. Super. Ct., No. 49D01-1706-PL-025964, complaint filed 6/30/17 ).

“We are confident that the court would grant an injunction barring enforcement of the Indiana law, just as a South Dakota court did in March by invalidating a nearly identical law there,” Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, told Bloomberg BNA by email. NetChoice, along with the ACMA, has also sued South Dakota and Tennessee over their remote sales tax regimes. They withdrew litigation in Massachusetts after the state revoked a directive ordering digital retailers to begin collecting state sales tax.


BNA Bloomberg – Wyoming Boots Up Online Sales Tax Lawsuit, Joins Four Others

BNA Bloomberg – Wyoming Boots Up Online Sales Tax Lawsuit, Joins Four Others

Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, said Wyoming won’t be able to compel online retailers to collect the tax while the case is litigated. The law originally required retailers to commence complying on July 1.

“By operation of the underlying statute, enforcement of the law is enjoined during the pendency of the litigation,” DelBianco told Bloomberg BNA through email.

The dispute in Wyoming mimics a battle in South Dakota involving a nearly identical statute. Under S.B. 106 (codified as S.D. Codified Laws Chapter 10-64), nexus is triggered for remote retailers with annual in-state sales exceeding $100,000 or 200 separate transactions. South Dakota’s law has been attacked by many of the same online retailers named in Michael’s lawsuit. The state’s Sixth Judicial Circuit Court found the law unconstitutional under Quill, and the matter is now before South Dakota’s Supreme Court.

The Wyoming lawsuits broaden the battle over internet sales taxes, with other lawsuits pending in Alabama, Indiana, and Tennessee.


NW News Network - Online Sales Tax That Undergirds Washington Budget Likely To Be Challenged

But can the state really count on that? The director of NetChoice, a trade association for Internet companies, said his team is actively developing legal arguments and lining up funding to challenge the tax expansion.

NetChoice has battled state tax collectors for more than a decade. 

“We have an excellent track record of challenging laws,” NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco said in an interview Wednesday. 

DelBianco argued the imposition of the internet sales tax would place “an undue burden on interstate commerce” and could “boomerang” back on home state e-commerce businesses if it inspires other states to tax their cross-border sales. 


Gloucher Times - State backs off online sales tax — for now

But NetChoice — which represents, eBay, PayPal and other online retailers — argued that the Baker administration didn’t have legal authority to tax businesses with no actual presence in Massachusetts. The American Catalog Mailers Association also signed onto the lawsuit.

“The new rule blatantly violates the provisions of Internet Tax Freedom Act, a statute crafted by Congress — and made permanent in 2016 — specifically to prevent the kinds of state tax obligations purportedly created by the directive, namely, those targeting internet vendors precisely because the vendors engage in electronic commerce,” the group argued in its lawsuit.

NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco said the state also violated administrative procedures by not holding public hearings on the new rule.

“State tax collectors must have been working in a dark basement in Boston, since they developed and adopted this regulation without public comment or even a single public hearing,” he said.


POLITICO - Morning Tax

GONE, BUT MAYBE NOT FOREVER: Massachusetts backed away from a directive that would have expanded its ability to collect sales tax on online purchases in a court appearance this week, but state officials say stay tuned for more, the Lowell Sun reports. The Massachusetts directive, which would have gone into effect on Saturday, would have counted smartphone apps or web browser cookies as the physical presence within the state needed to charge sales tax. But instead of dropping the idea altogether, state policymakers say they’ll instead go through the regulatory process and hope to have something in place by the fall. If they succeed, opponents say Massachusetts can expect to find itself right back in court. “I’m surprised to learn that the state plans to go right back to a policy that clearly violates the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act and longstanding legal precedent and if they do come back to this approach we will refile our lawsuit and look forward to another winning day in court,” said Steve DelBianco of NetChoice.