BNA Bloomberg – Expect Tax Overhaul if South Dakota Loses E-Retail Litigation

BNA Bloomberg – Expect Tax Overhaul if South Dakota Loses E-Retail Litigation

“I think that gets to the root of what we’re saying,” NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco told reporters April 27. He said a state imposing rates, rules and audits “needs to be a regime where I have a physical presence allowing me to have some say in my state government and in my regulations.”

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WBUR – Mass. Will Collect Sales Taxes On Online Purchases July 1 (If There’s Not A Legal Fight First)

WBUR – Mass. Will Collect Sales Taxes On Online Purchases July 1 (If There’s Not A Legal Fight First)

Steve DelBianco is on the shameless side. He leads NetChoice, a national trade association representing e-commerce and online businesses.

“Massachusetts has this unique theory of electronic presence,” DelBianco said. “But under that theory, your business is subject to the taxation [and] regulation in any state where a user simply enters your website address. That can’t hold up to legal scrutiny, ’cause it certainly doesn’t hold up to common sense.”

For DelBianco, the only option left is a legal challenge to fight the idea that a cookie on your computer is the same thing as a storefront on Newbury Street. He said his group has sued a number of other states for online sales tax laws and he’s looking at a legal fight in Massachusetts too.

“We’re researching the legal arguments and raising the funds to pursue a lawsuit right now,” DelBianco said. He said it’s “too soon to say when we’ll be ready.”

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BNA Bloomberg – States Refresh, Reload on Marketplace Provider Taxes

BNA Bloomberg – States Refresh, Reload on Marketplace Provider Taxes

During an April event co-hosted by Bloomberg BNA and Reed Smith LLP, NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco characterized the New York effort as “Batman Returns,” with Cuomo attempting to jam through the bill.

“But the Justice League prevailed,” he said.

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BNA Bloomberg – Tax Reporting Laws ‘Disappear’ if High Court Reverses

BNA Bloomberg – Tax Reporting Laws ‘Disappear’ if High Court Reverses

Some legislators in Colorado are also raising privacy concerns, vocalized by retail groups like NetChoice Inc., arguing consumers might not like it that information about their online purchases—including total amounts spent, shipping addresses and billing addresses—is forwarded to the state. 

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BNA Bloomberg – States, Retailers Continue to Spar as Online Sales Grow

BNA Bloomberg – States, Retailers Continue to Spar as Online Sales Grow

“You are going to unleash a crimson tide of federal legislation by overturning Quill,” Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a coalition of e-commerce companies and trade groups, said. “Overturning Quill unleashes the states to pursue no simplification whatsoever and to send auditors to every corner of the country.”

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BNA Bloomberg – Online Sales Tax Rule Suspended in Tennessee

BNA Bloomberg – Online Sales Tax Rule Suspended in Tennessee

“In granting this injunction, the Tennessee court matched the reasoning in South Dakota’s court, holding that a bald-faced challenge to 150 years of federal doctrine cannot be enforced until lawsuits are concluded,” Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, told Bloomberg BNA in an email.

“State lawmakers and regulators might think they can flout the constitution and Supreme Court with impunity, but these court rulings provide a much-needed reality check,” he added.

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Politico Tax – Avoiding the doom of a repeat

Politico Tax – Avoiding the doom of a repeat

TO CLARIFY: Morning Tax reported on Monday that one key opponent of federal online sales tax legislation believed that the National Conference of State Legislatures’ estimate that $26 billion worth of sales tax from remote sales weren’t collected was over the top, with a more feasible finding being at most $11.6 billion. But Steve DelBianco of NetChoice, who came up with that projection, believes a more likely figure is $5.2 billion. So in short: Supporters and opponents of allowing states more latitude to force out-of-state vendors to collect sales tax continue to have wildly different projections about how big the problem is.

Also of interest: The Colorado Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing today over a measure to repeal a law that forces out-of-state companies to inform the customers about sales taxes owed, a law that wound its way to the Supreme Court.

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Boston Business Journal – Retail group warns of lawsuits against Baker online sales tax

Boston Business Journal – Retail group warns of lawsuits against Baker online sales tax

The administration’s unique legal theory is “too clever by half,” Steve DelBianco, the executive director of the trade group NetChoice, said in an email Tuesday.

“The Supreme Court said that out-of-state sellers who mailed ‘an avalanche’ of catalogs into North Dakota could not be forced to pay the state’s sales tax,” he said of the 1992 decision. “So how in the world can Massachusetts deny that this ruling applies to e-retailers, who merely post a website that may be requested by Massachusetts consumers?”

DelBianco expressed hope that “state lawmakers will realize this DOR directive is headed in the wrong direction, by inviting lawsuits while bringing in no new tax revenue.” The administration has projected the tax will bring in $30 million a year in additional revenue.

The reference to litigation is likely no idle threat on the part of NetChoice. The organization has brought lawsuits in South Dakota and Tennessee against similar taxes implemented by those states in recent years. South Dakota was forced to file lawsuits against three major retailers, including Boston-based Wayfair, after they did not register with the state to collect sales taxes.

Asked if NetChoice was prepared to sue Massachusetts, DelBianco indicated that if that group did not, someone else could. “Too soon to say whether we would be the ones to sue Massachusetts,” he said. “We have lawsuits in progress already in South Dakota and Tennessee, and there are plenty of potential plaintiffs to go around.”

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BNA Bloomberg – Online Sales Rule Sparks Tennessee Lawsuit

BNA Bloomberg – Online Sales Rule Sparks Tennessee Lawsuit

NetChoice and the ACMA’s lawsuit against Tennessee’s rule asserts that it is “plainly unconstitutional” as it “violates the Quill physical presence requirement, usurps the role of Congress in regulating interstate commerce, and unlawfully expands the State’s taxing authority over companies, individuals, and organizations located throughout the United States, and potentially the world, based solely on their having customers in Tennessee.” The groups ask the court to bar enforcement of the rule.

Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, told Bloomberg BNA April 4 that the groups had to pursue an administrative challenge before filing the lawsuit.

DelBianco told Bloomberg BNA that “[f]urther economic nexus challenges are simply unnecessary now that this is headed to the highest court of the land, wasting taxpayer dollars while eroding respect for the legal system and, in fact, our entire system of government.”

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Morning Tax – Digging In

Morning Tax – Digging In

But opponents of online sales tax legislation have long said that those sorts of estimates far overstate the amount of sales taxes left on the table — and this time is no different, said Steve DelBianco of NetChoice. DelBianco came up with a far skinnier figure — at most $11.6 billion in uncollected sales, extrapolating from 2015 data that suggests around $23.2 billion in total sales taxes were due on online purchases, and one could conservatively assume that around half of that was collected.

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