Internet Retailer – Congress takes action on two new bills on Internet taxes
But NetChoice, an organization that represents web-only merchants and other Internet companies, contends that the new Senate bill is trying to tie what NetChoice considers a good law—the ban on Internet access tax—with what it says is a flawed Marketplace Fairness Act. Among other problems with that legislation, NetChoice executive director Steve DelBianco says, is that it doesn’t clarify how small retailers with only $1 million in annual remote sales could afford to cover the cost of collecting sales tax.
DelBianco suggests that the House, where the Senate’s Marketplace Fairness Act is under review by the Judiciary Committee, still needs time to address such shortcomings. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has said the Senate’s Marketplace Fairness Act has multiple problems to address, such as how small Internet retailers would be able to handle potential tax audits by multiple state revenue departments. Several conservative House Republicans have opposed the online sales tax bill as a new tax on consumers; proponents of the bill say consumers are supposed to voluntarily pay sales tax on online purchases, through few do.
DelBianco says supporters of this week’s Senate bill “are seeking to derail the deliberative process by sabotaging a highly productive House debate about how to collect remote sales tax without creating unfair burdens for Internet sellers.”
“We’re disappointed the Senate has chosen to link the controversial and fatally flawed MFA to the vitally important renewal of the Internet Tax Freedom Act,” he says. The members of NetChoice include eBay Inc., Google Inc, Liberty Interactive Corp. and Overstock.com Inc. Liberty Interactive and Overstock are Nos. 6 and 31, respectively, in the Internet Retailer Top 500. Liberty Interactive’s e-commerce operations include QVC.com, Provide Commerce, BuySeasons.com and Backcountry.com.