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Internet Sales Tax Update

The kerfuffle over the “Marketplace Fairness Act,” which would subject internet sellers to sales tax collection and remittance obligations, has abated for the time being. For those who can’t let go of the topic and those who fear (rightly) that the issue won’t go away, here is a little piece I wrote for Forbes (no, I did not write that headline). And here is a link to a discussion on wallstreetoasis.

Striking, to my mind: with the exception of state officials, big retailers, and the U.S. Senate (which voted 74-20 for this concoction), nobody seem to support this exercise in “fairness.” There are potent constitutional arguments against wholly extraterritorial tax collection obligations but that’s not what drives the opposition; it’s visceral.

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on May 01, 2013 at 14:34:02 pm

Elsewhere it has been suggested that the proposed legislation offer a simplifying alternative:

Internet vendors would simply collect and transmit to states the delivery and billing address (with names of the billed) and the $$ amount of the transaction, but no details on the subject matter (privacy). From that the states can do their own collection of "use" taxes.

That is much simpler than "software" to deal with the variances in goods (or services [?] ) subject to use taxes, as well as exemptions. Those will be determined in the states' collection processes.

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R Richard Schweitzer

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.