Tax and the Internet

What’s the Issue: The money hungry states are lobbying, along with Amazon and the NRF (National Retail Federation)and Walmart to impose taxes on all internet sales. (Since they failed in the ligitations, they now jumped on the tax everyone bandwagon.) The proposal is known as The Marketplace Fairness Act. I am not against taxing sales on the internet in principal. What I am against is the number of sales tax authorities, reporting and the amount of time, labor and energy it would take to report in the thousands of sales tax districts in the US.  So while today we report in our individual state, now we would have to report in 50 states, 15,000 districts. And not every state is up-to-date with online software. It appears to me that some of the lobby is supported as well by businesses trying to captialize on this requirement. It’s every accountant’s dream, software that we all must use and for which they get paid to “oversee”. So they’ll charge all us small merchants to “sort” it out for us and the cost get added to the cost of doing business.
Why Do You Care: Ultimately, you the consumer will pay even more as this “service” becomes part of our operating budget expenses.  What’s Fair?  The only thing that makes sense from a small business prospective is a National Sales Tax.  One rate, wherever business is conducted online. Even so, if you expect that if left to the individual states, that still means we must submit 50 sales tax reports, payments at least 4 times each year. What does it mean for Wholesale Customers? Immediately, every wholesale customer will have to be re-evaluated to make sure your Resale Certificate (or whatever they call it in your state) is valid and that we have it documented.  What can you do?  If you have an opinion on this, there is another Lobby group (of course) which is supported by ebay which is attempting to put some sanity into the process. You can check them out at their website: WerHereConclusion: The tax will pass eventually as the states are looking at these “lost taxes” like sugar plums on a Christmas Tree.  The question is can our elected representatives in government produce a rational national sales tax that is not overly burdensome on small businesses.

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