Should The Senate Pass Online Sales Tax Legislation? [Updated]

    March 26, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Update: It passed.

Currently in the U.S., state governments are only obligated to collect sales taxes from online retailers that are based in their own states. If an online sales tax bill makes it to law, states could collect from online retailers that don’t reside in their state.

Should online retailers have to pay taxes to states where they don’t reside? Let us know what you think in the comments.

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Marketplace Fairness Act (S.336), before. The bill aims to ensure that states receive taxes that they’ve been otherwise missing out on. A similar proposal is up for vote in the Senate this week thanks to an amendment to a Democratic budget resolution from Senators Mike Enzi and Dick Durbin (pictured), who sponsored the bill.

Opponents are slamming the Senators for trying to “sneak” the legislation through. The Hill reports:

Phil Bond, the executive director of the WE R HERE coalition, accused backers of online sales tax measures of trying to “sneak through” their legislation outside regular congressional order.

“There are good reasons this policy hasn’t been considered in the US Senate for over a decade: Taxpayers don’t like it, it turns the Internet into a tax collection platform, it allows state tax collectors to exercise authority far beyond their boundaries and it will put thousands of small businesses out of business,” Bond, a top Commerce Department official under George W. Bush, said in a statement.

The official summary of the Marketplace Fairness Act says:

The Marketplace Fairness Act grants states the authority to compel online and catalog retailers (“remote sellers”), no matter where they are located, to collect sales tax at the time of a transaction – exactly like local retailers are already required to do. However, there is a caveat: States are only granted this authority after they have simplified their sales tax laws.

Simplification is required because of two Supreme Court rulings (Bellas Hess and Quill, described below) cite concern that collecting sales tax for multiple states would be too difficult.

The Marketplace Fairness Act requires that states must simplify their sales tax laws in order to ease those concerns and make multistate sales tax collection easy. Specifically, states seeking collection authority have two options for simplifying their sales tax laws.

Under the Marketplace Fairness Act, states can join others that have already adopted “simplification measures” of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) or they can meet five mandates listed in the bill. States would have to agree to:

  • Notify retailers in advance of any rate changes within the state
  • Designate a single state organization to handle sales tax registrations, filings, and audits
  • Establish a uniform sales tax base for use throughout the state
  • Use destination sourcing to determine sales tax rates for out-of-state purchases (a purchase made by a consumer in California from a retailer in Ohio is taxed at the California rate, and the sales tax collected is remitted to California to fund projects and services there)
  • Provide free software for managing sales tax compliance, and hold retailers harmless for any errors that result from relying on state-provided systems and data

You can take a look at the bill here. Hundreds of national trade associations, state and local trade associations and businesses support the bill. These are listed here. They include Amazon, Autozone, Barnes and Noble, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Best Buy, Buy.com, Foot Locker, Gap, Home Depot, Kroger, Lowes, Meijer, J.C. Penney, Safeway, Sears, Petsmart, and Walmart, to name a few.

The bill’s site only lists ten opponents, including: eBay, American Catalog Mailers Assocation, Americans For Prosperity, Campaign for Liberty, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Computer & Communications Industry Association, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Direct Marketing Association, Freedomwworks, Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, National Taxpayers Union, NetChoice, R Street, TechNet, and We R Here Coalition.

AT&T, Council on State Taxation, National Cable and Telecommunications Association, National Federation of Independent Business, and Verizon are listed as neutral or undecided.

The main difference between the Marketplace Fairness Act, and what is coming up for vote this week, is that the new proposal doesn’t include the mandatory simplification, and is non-binding, as CNET’s chief political correspondent Declan McCullagh explains.

“It appears to be intended as a clever political hack: secure plenty of votes on a non-binding Internet tax amendment, then use those vote totals to argue there’s sufficient support for S.336 when it’s up for a binding vote later,” he says, before going to quote eBay’s senior director of federal government regulations and global public policy, Brian Bieron:

“The strategy of the bill’s supporters is to offer this general amendment and then claim that all the senators that vote for it support the bill. That is not just a stretch, it is not accurate. But the game plan is to rack up a sizable vote and then make the claim the bill itself should jump over the Finance Committee and go right to the floor.”

Hence the “sneaking” accusations.

Some supporters of the legislation think it’s really just a matter of when, rather than a matter of if, and whatever happens with this week’s vote could have a significant bearing on that.

Either way, brick-and-mortars have ramped up their lobbying for online sales tax, but opponents claim it’s bad for consumers and for small businesses.

Do you think the proposed online sales tax legislation is bad for small businesses? Consumers? Let us know in the comments.

  • David P Falzone

    This is logically simple – If I “physically visited” any other state and purchased a product, I would not have to pay the sales tax my State would normally collect. The big difference here is I didn’t purchase the product in MY STATE and therefore MY OVER TAXING STATE does not deserve to reap the tax benefit. Why is that so hard to understand.

  • http://hydrogengarage.com Andrew Batty

    Hello NO!

    Too many taxes already!

    Price of living goes up, but our wages stay the same! Economic prices that you can charge stay low, as the price of the dollar slowly sinks.

    TAX the bloody rich corporation CEO’s!!

  • http://www.mycheapmovies.com Mike Lee

    The government wastes resources. Take for example Social Security. Everyone agrees that the main purpose for Social SEcurity is to administer benefits. What is not know is that the administration goes way beyond this understanding and is actively involved in law enforcement. On April 13, 2012, Judge Sidney H. Stein of the Southern District of New York issued an order in Clark v. Astrue, culminating more than five years of litigation. He enjoined SSA from denying or suspending benefits by relying exclusively on outstanding probation and parole warrants as sufficient evidence that individuals are in fact violating a condition of probation or parole. SSA must also reinstate all previously suspended benefits retroactive to the date the benefits were suspended.
    More then 140,000 recipients are now eligible to have their beenfits reinstated. Keep in mind denial was based on criminal history and not disaility.
    It doesn’t stop there. The fililing system is paper based and violates even the basic mechanics.
    Giving the government more money is like rewarding your puppy for chewing up your shows. It can only lead to further grief and misery for thousands of us who sell on line

  • http://flowerhut.com Bill Miller

    Absolutely YES!

    As an independent florist, I get tired of having FAKE FLORISTS in other states HARVEST local orders because they don’t charge sales tax. Then, they “cloak” the orders and send them to me (or other local florists) after SKIMMING about 45% of the customer’s money for “fees.”

    • Nomore Taxes

      And we should raise taxes over this? No. You have the same opportunity as the “other” florists do. There is nothing unfair about this. They are simply doing something that you are not and you feel that is unfair. Start doing it, and do it better! That is how you win.

  • http://www.orthotape.com Ric

    No, i think it will hurt small business. we talk about trying to create an economy, but taxing people is just going to hurt the economy more. It will also make it more difficult for small companies to comply. It’s already complicated to collect tax for the state you live in. Big business just wants to crush the mom and pop internet stores. Walmart has to tax as they have a physical presence in each state. But again they want the to run out the small companies by making it harder for them to compete. Don’t states already get enough from Walmart, Lowes, HomeDepot, Staples, and all the other big chains. States always talk about how much money they are loosing by taxing. Why don’t they tell us how much they get right now. I bet it’s a huge number.

    • ajc431

       simplified method from our government not being mean but do you have fever with those fits. LOL our government can’t even deal with the current problems nor can they manage the tax money we all give.

  • http://dinnerwaredepot.com Scott Fulton

    As an owner of a small internet business this type of legislation would be crippling unless they come up with a very simplified method of reporting…which is not feasible coming out of Washington. The bottom line is legislation like this would probably put us out of business.

  • Best


  • ajc431

    Our government needs to learn how to manage the tax dollars they are getting now. It seems they are trying to become dictators where they tax everything and give nothing in return. They take and take until nothing is left then they take our wife and childern. NO TAX ON THE INTERNET.

  • Ellen

    1-Any brick and mortar that does not have an online presence is inexcusable. Sites and ecommerce can be set up with the smallest of budgets allowing brick and mortars to compete and profit from online sales as well. We’ve done both to compete, not to complain!

    2-The thought of giving greedy politicians one more cent is revolting. They NEVER have enough because their job is to SPEND SPEND SPEND! If online sales are taxed as proposed, it will still not be enough and it ONLY serves for the big retailers lobbying efforts!! These politicians are ALL (and I mean ALL) lining their own pockets and hawking their books anywhere they can, and the taxpayer is funding every penny of it with very little return except for broken promises! Make no mistake! This is not ‘For the people’ and to make online and brick and mortar a level playing field. This has gone from fair share, to greed, and now stealing! What’s going on in Greece & Cyprus along with ‘hummingbird’ drones, is just a greedy politician away!

  • http://www.TaxEsq.com Ronald J. Cappuccio, J.D., LL.M.(Tax)

    I am trying to think of a more accurate description for this bill. The first thing that comes to mind is the “tax lawyers and accountants full employment bill.” Second title might be “China Internet sellers full employment bill.” Another alternative would be “small business reduction bill”. My final proposal would be “Amazon and large business bill to crush small competitors.”

    When you tax something you get less of it!

  • http://www.thelittlechickenfactory.com roy

    I ship to 50 states. If a sales tax is passed, where would I send the money? How often?

    Bump up the customers’ cost for a tax? No thank you.
    No tax, pls. Too much paperwork. I’d rather spend the time and money making more product and more sales, not collecting taxes for 50 state governments.

  • David P Falzone

    Look instead of “Complaining” about unfair competition, Retailers in States with hign Sales tax rates should Demand that their state reduce or eliminate Sales Taxes to make them more competitive. Don’t complain about other states that have their act together.

  • http://bossy-girls.net Lila Sovietskaya

    With so many free tube sites distributing adult media it is hard to find people willing to spend $3 for a video. If a Sales Tax is added, they are even more likely not to purchase. Or, the meager earnings could be reduce by paying the tax in behalf of purchasers so that the $3 price does not increase. Reducing earnings, means that the state would lose tax revenue gained by that sales tax. I agree 100% David P. Falzone who said:

    This is logically simple – If I “physically visited” any other state and purchased a product, I would not have to pay the sales tax my State would normally collect. The big difference here is I didn’t purchase the product in MY STATE and therefore MY OVER TAXING STATE does not deserve to reap the tax benefit. Why is that so hard to understand.

  • Nomore Taxes

    The government is extremely inefficient with the taxes it already recieves. Here is one very small example: It spends millions of dollars and man-hours raiding small dairy farms with bulletproof vests on and guns drawn because someone is selling unpasturized milk. Here’s a pro hint: small farm unpasturized milk is nothing new. Our ancestors drank it, hence we are here. Until the government can whittle away at unnecessary policy that is in place due to the revolving door effect of corporate partners moving into government to enact costly policies that improve their constituents’ bottom lines, I see no reason that we the people should enable the ineffective and inefficient practices that are currently in place. The decision we should make on this matter is simple: Do we want to reduce the number of small business startups or reduce governmnet spending on unnecessary government jobs? By taxing the internet we enable the latter, and detrimentally reduce the first. If we want to stimulate the economy, it is not done by increasing taxes. Every person who took economics knows that.

  • Michael Rohrman

    By now we all know our government overspends, and this is but one more we to get capital for the offices it makes up each day. The war machine must also be fueled, look at the present war which in my opinion being a military veteran or puppet has done nothing, but create unnecessary death and an array of ridiculous offices to supposedly protect us. We as citizens can stop this by writing our state representatives. We do have the constitutional right to take up arms and overthrow the government, but america has become a nation of softies. The current President has spent and wasted more than all the presidents before him, have you ever known someone to have as many vacations as he has. I think he is a piece of shite anyway, he was vacationing in Hawaii on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, and did not even visit the site, but days later attended an anti american concert go figure. Tax tax tax is all they know. The ultimate way to shut down our government is simple STOP paying taxes, and see how long they can stay open.

  • http://www.zariaandbellas.com Lance O. Dzintars

    I started my small gift shop out of my attic on line, we then moved to a small store front and our only life saving grace has been the online sales. If this bill is passes, I see no other option but to close my doors. I’ve been in business just under 2 years now, and life is hard enough, this would be a nail in a coffin for us.

    Any retailer, should be worried about this bill, small businesses will never survive the hectic confusing tax papers and endless problems that will arise. Small business in America is on a verge of a medical alert, while huge corporations, lawyers and politicians stare off to the corner ignoring the dying patient.

    A small business can become a communities hiring powerhouse when given the help, this will not help!

  • JS

    The Constitution forbids this. ART. 1, Sect 9, “No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state”.

    If they pass a law allowing states to tax exports from other states, it violated the Constitution.

    • http://www.coppergaslanternsplus.com Ginger Rushing

      Internet sales didn’t exist when the constitution was written so that would be open to SC interpretation based on the world we live in today. When you go to another state and you purchase an item, that state collects the sales tax. When a resident from a different state vists your state and shops they pay the sales tax. Right now, you can shop all the place, by pass your own state’s online retailers and pay no tax to anyone. How is that fair? Without the internet, you would be shopping in person and paying sales tax. I am an ecommerce business owner but I can see how this is not fair. We just need a simple way to pay the tax and not be expected to report and pay to 50 different states. That’s the nightmare.

  • http://www.sfpincchicago.com Shadow Fire Promotions, Inc.

    Doesn’t our government have enough things to worry about, or at least more important things to worry about?

    The impossibility of filing taxes for every single state (and we’ve done business in all of them!) we’ve ever transacted business in would not only make filing next to impossible, but would also needlessly complicate things.

    The main issue with the tax code as it stands is that it is needlessly complex (this comes from men I know with a Masters in Taxation), and every attempt to simplify it ends up making it more complicated.

    Instead of stressing about money that the government does NOT have (and also focusing on stifling business at all levels, because it doesn’t matter how small or big you are, if you have to start worrying about restricting business to your home state only because the tax code wants more of your money to spend, business WILL slowly start being less competitive across state lines), let’s keep our eye on the prize, so to speak, and worry about the funds that we do have that our government can’t seem to manage, among the many other things our government seems to be unable to focus on.

  • Dianne

    Instead of online sales taxes, why not cut the politicians salary in half? They make full-time wages for part-time work anyway! Problem solved!

  • http://www.jiwantamang.com.np/seo_in_nepal.php Jiwan Tamang

    The tax system policy make me sometime confusion but gov have to make policy according to people need and desire is too better..

  • Nomore Taxes

    Let’s not get confused about the issue. The reason that “big box” stores are taking losses to internet sales are as follows:

    1. “We don’t compete with internet sales” – who hasn’t heard that before in a Be$t B$y…

    2. Their pricing is higher regardless of taxes… They want a premium price for their products, often MSRP or a high margin over MAP.

    3. You have to drive to the store when its easier to just wait two days for something from Ama$on.

    4. Most of the time, the on-site “experts” are really not that knowedgeable. The salesperson routine went out the door when Google and Bing started delivering really good search results.

    The “unfairness” we are hearing local retailers complain about is that they don’t feel they should have to adapt to a new marketplace. Enter Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand of the Marketplace. Either they adapt or they are replaced by something the market, us, feels is better.

    We don’t need any whiny snivling crybabies using Washington to intervene with the free market system. That has been done over and over again already. It doesn’t work. See (Japanese voluntary export restrictions in the late 70’s. GM did not retool, they upped prices to get an extra buck. Because of this, they were unable to compete and need a government bailout just recently). Competition, people competition is what drives the economy, not taxation. Let the competition squash the unproductive and stimulate those that will and can produce viable products worthy of our hard earned cash.

  • Pam

    NO….. Many states don’t just have one tax for the whole state they have a different tax for each county in that state. When I travel out of state and purchase something I pay that states tax which is fine. We are taxed on everything and how is it managed? The officials get a raise or a bonus and the money isn’t being used for what it should be. Government needs to show that they know how to handle all of these taxes. My husband hit the top of his pay scale the 5th year he was there and for the last 11 years hasn’t even had a cost of living raise, I sure don’t see anyone on Capital Hill not get a raise and they diffidently haven’t taken any pay cuts, so let them pay the tax.
    Now if we just had a 2% sales tax straight across and it would all be paid in fund then there little group or organization could distribute it to the states how ever they wanted. That would boost sales because 2% would be cheaper than any state tax, so order on line. That 2% would not be added to your state tax. If you buy on line you only pay 2%, but greed is in the picture and that would never go. Government has been in our pockets too much and this is one area that they need to stay out of.

  • http://www.coppergaslanternsplus.com Ginger Rushing

    I actually have no problem with States collecting tax on internet sales. I have a problem with paying them without a centralized agency to pay the tax to. Everyone wants to yell about the government but it isn’t hard to understand that every state is losing tax revenue due to internet sales. I own and operate 3 ecommerce web sites and worked with Brick & Mortar for 30 years and I have seen this coming for a long time. Rather than fighting the inevitable, we should be pushing for a simplied method to do what we will eventually be compelled to do. THis could be done with 1 agency to collect and administer internet sales tax. We all have software bulit into our web sites that allows us to set tax rates for individual states. The issue is then having to report to and pay 50 different states. That would certainly overwhelm many small businesses. Let’s stop fighting against the inevitable and start pushing for simplification before we lose out entirely. If we use reason instead of “bitching” we just might have a chance to end up with a system we can live with.

    • Gregg

      Agreed! Let’s make things easy and have a centralized location that we pay to and they distribute the money to each state as regulated. Small businesses WILL suffer and not sure how we would do it. It’s hard enough to figure out all the ins and outs in your own state when it comes to sales tax… Can you imagine dealing with each states tax laws??? What a mess! It is inevitable, but if they put a small tax and centralize the distribution then it should be simple enough and people will still buy online because the tax will be less than if you purchased in your home state (well, except for those that don’t pay sales tax in their state).

  • http://www.copypackmusic.com Roy Rummler

    That would just add another fee and complications. No, they should leave it alone.

  • Conran

    Man I love Orwellian BOUBLESPEAK!
    Fairness Tax? Really?

    We all know that this will man smaller companies being sunk, while corporations get special treatment from their sponsored puppets in government!

    This is nothing more than another attempt at the massive corporations to destroy all small business and make them the only option for billions of online buyers.

  • jaishree knauff

    Online sales tax will put an undue burden on small retailers. We’ve already got too much to worry about with the ever changing online landscape. And now to add a gigantic task of collecting sales tax..and it WILL be complex (tax and simple are two words never go together), this might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  • Don Mac

    Will never work except for the big box stores. Joe public will continue doing business across state lines and on the auction sites as now and the government, as always, will have no control over these taxes, or for that matter anything else it attempts.

  • Conran

    Lets make one thing perfectly clear here… the buyer pays these taxes, not the business. All fees and taxes are passed onto the buyer, otherwise these wouldn’t be businesses, they would be CHARITIES.

    All those who might support this should really think if they would be happy paying more to a state where they do not live. The buyer will be paying tax to another state.

    Corporations will not have this problem though, because they can afford to buy in bulk and swallow the cost. Meaning the biggest companies get bigger and sell for less, while all smaller businesses sink because they have to charge more.

    This is a subsidy for corporate America disguised as a tax, and if people support this then you deserve to live in a country run by oligarchs.

  • JS

    I live in Florida.

    What is wrong with this whole thing, is if I sell something to a person in Texas, what lawful right does Texas have to tell me I have to collect and pay a tax to them?

    The limitations in the Constitution spell it out, no exports from any state are taxable. If I sell something to a person in a different state, no tax can be laid on that item. It is exported from one state to the other, and its a protection to insure that equality among the 50 states exist. Texas has no authority, legal or moral, to tell a retailer in Florida that they have to do anything, period.

    • Sten Wilson

      I have been following this issue for three years, and voluntarily and seamlessly calculating, collecting and remitting sales tax back to my customers jurisdictions using one simple freely available CSP service. It’s easy, and I am honored to remit my customers sales tax obligations back to their communities. Communities that provide valuable infrastructure and services making delivering my goods efficient, affordable and safe. Now, thanks to technological innovation and simplifications standards, it’s actually easier to process sales tax for a mere 10,000 jurisdictions using one system than it is to deal with complexities involved in shipping goods to over 40,000 different zip codes.

      My business using modern technology freely available is now more competitive and profitable thanks to the efforts the SSUTA states and innovators.

      This is a non issue. A sale is sale.

      I strongly support and urge Congress to immediately pass S.336 the Marketplace Fairness Act.

      • Ellen

        CSP service providers will profit temporarily if this passes! You must be in that business. They are the ones indeed that will profit temporarily. If all you say is accurate, then why are states, communities , struggling with revenue…Why is employment/underemployment a problem everywhere? Why are schools failing? Underwater mortgages?Because municipalities operate on self imposed lean budgets to keep tax base? because DC just doesn’t give them enough funding? Going back to the community for goods and services? That ship has LONG sailed!

  • http://WebProNews Lori

    No. Try and think of one thing that is not taxed. In a round about way everything we do, eat and think is taxed. I wrote this and pay taxes on my internet bill.

  • http://spiritkaraoke.com Brad

    How can small businesses grow when the Gov. keeps catering to the large corporations. What about mail order at brick & mortar stores. Give us a break. No wonder the economy is the way it is. Tax the illegal immigrants.

  • Sten Wilson

    I have been following this issue for three years, and voluntarily and seamlessly calculating, collecting and remitting sales tax back to my customers jurisdictions using one simple freely available CSP service. It’s easy, and I am honored to remit my customers sales tax obligations back to their communities. Communities that provide valuable infrastructure and services making delivering my goods efficient, affordable and safe. Now, thanks to technological innovation and simplifications standards, it’s actually easier to process sales tax for a mere 10,000 jurisdictions using one system than it is to deal with complexities involved in shipping goods to over 40,000 different zip codes.

    My business using modern technology freely available is now more competitive and profitable thanks to the efforts the SSUTA states and innovators.

    This is a non issue. A sale is sale.

    I strongly support and urge Congress to immediately pass S.336 the Marketplace Fairness Act.

    • Robert

      I’m sure Brick-and-mortars are knocking down the doors to implement that product.

    • d charles

      What is the product you sell that is more safely delivered due to your volunterism or what ever ism it is that you follow? How honorable to help the already out of control government collect more taxes. Congress should be shut down until an appropriate budget is passed that reflects the values of the vast majority of this country.

  • Jim Cartwright

    States are only looking for a way to further screw anyone out of a penny, as they have all mis-managed their budgeted income from their own state taxpayers. It’s still true today that brick and mortar based stores who take orders via the phone or directly from a customer in a store (and where the customer has the store ship to their home in another state) does not have to collect sales tax…unless it’s an abutting state with a reciprocal sales tax provision, i.e., New York/New Jersey – Wisconsin/Illinois, etc. So they are making an issue only because they don’t have the economic development team(s) in place, in their own state(s) to develop or attract online retailers. I live in a state that does not have sales tax on anything…the states abutting our state complain all the time about their own residents crossing the border to shop in our tax free state. They have even tried to force borderline stores in our state to collect sales tax for their state…it’s illegal, and when they past a law in one of the states to force businesses in our state to collect in behalf of their state…the law was stricken down by the courts.
    All states and in particular, our federal government need to learn how to live within their means.
    As our beloved former U.S. Mens’s Olympic Hockey Team said during his pep talk to the Miracle on Ice Team “Screw ’em”!

  • David Smith

    No online retailers should not have to collect tax in a state where they do not live. It is going to make the tax law a whole lot more complicated if that happens. Because then the retailer will have to get all 50 states of a tax code. Who wants to do that? NOBODY!! It would be much more easier if when a purchase was made online with a national retailer that the retailer report the purchase to that states comptroller and then the comptroller of that state will have a record of the transaction and then collect that tax from the consumer. Why in this country do people make it so difficult just to do business. Also though since the law is so complicated, there are things that retailers are not allowed to tax in our state.

  • Robert

    Couple of my thoughts,

    1. I’m a resident of California, my resale license is from California not Ohio, not New York etc. I don’t believe I should be collecting their taxes because I didn’t get a resale license from them. If any thing their state citizens can pay my state tax rate because they came to “MY” place of business here in California.

    With that in mind,

    2. Brick-and-mortars should then also be required to collect other States taxes also! Bet the brick-and-mortars would change their tune real quick.

    3. You open that can of worms of letting states collect taxes from other states next thing will be Counties, Cities and every other Tom Dick and Harry wanting their share too.

  • Neil

    We are a very small company. Currently, because of the economy; we have lowered our prices and offer free shipping just to break even. If it becomes necessary to collect sales tax for every state and send out checks; it will become an accountant’s dream. We cannot affort the extra cost involved. We will simply go out of business.

    • helen

      Exactly, Im in the same boat and the ONLY people wanting this are people who arent hurting economically. The one serious drawback to our society in the USA is that most of us are poor and we work so hard that we dont have time to fight the rich people that control everything. When we take time out our children go without.

  • http://simplifun.com Lou Anne McKeefery

    My business is run by me, myself and I. We don’t want to learn yet another system and add yet another activity to our accounting systems to calculate, collect and pay sales tax. Actually, that would be the easy part, that’s 20% of the task. The 80% is doing it accurately enough to pass an audit and keep the proper documentation to prove you did it.

    My products are digital downloads from $2 to $30. There’s not enough profit to compete online and calculate and issue the checks. We could collect the taxes but verification of that collection and payment is where the real cost is to business.

    • Susan

      I don’t know if this tax would apply to digital services. It would be a great thing for someone to clarify.

  • http://allbrands-hottubandspa.com Steve Cee

    The “Simplified” version almost makes sense, but without it, it will
    be near to impossible for smaller retailers to comply. However, the
    whole issue is not in the best interests of our country….A national
    Transaction tax should be put in place on ALL interstate transactions.
    This transaction tax would all transactions that cross state lines,
    stocks, bonds, realestate, services, etc. and would completely replace the current incometax. NO EXEMTIONS, NO EXCLUSIONS ! One rate, one form, one payment to one enity !

    • d charles

      You want more taxes? Think Eurozone. You want another new national tax? Why do you want more taxes? Our elected officials never remove or trade one tax for another. In additional I believe in States Rights, I think that is Federalism.

  • http://www.guldedge.com Mark

    You bet people should pay sales tax on thier purchases. I loose business all the time to people buying material off the internet because of the no-sales tax sales. Collection of sales tax would even the playing field for all of us who have brick & mortar stores, employees & overhead. It costs me to maintain a cabinet hardware showroom; I have to compete with people operating out of a small office operating on a short profit margin with minimal material experience & customer service.
    The measure includes an exception for smaller on-line companies that have gross sales of less than $1 million dollars; so the guy with the “small” company (Neil) won’t have to go out of business.
    If our city could collect a few more dollars in sales tax maybe the snow would get plowed faster and the potholes filled.
    This sales tax thing is more about fairness to both the local merchant as well as the taxing district rather than the goverment getting into your pocket.

    • helen


    • Robert

      So Mark as a Brick & Mortar your willing to ask a customer for some sort of proof of residence so you can appropriately tax them and send that tax off to where ever ? Think about it carefully.

    • d charles

      Maybe in your town they should cut the pay of the government and you should do with out so many services? Do you offer anything more than online sites? Maybe you need a website.

  • http://restlessmouse.com John Everett

    Our business and thousands of others would simply disappear, making the post office deficit worse. We wouldn’t have the extra income from that side business, and hence would spend less.


    If on-line retailers would be required to collect sales tax from residents of other states, then brick and mortar businesses who sell to non-residents visiting their state should also have to collect AND PAY the sales tax of each buyer’s resident state….folks crossing state lines in person for better shopping prices shouldn’t be treated differently…after all, not all states charge sales tax, and not all who do charge the same tax. In fact, in our state, every county, even every municipality can potentially have a different sales tax. (Wouldn’t that be a lovely mess to account for nationally?) Better idea: outlaw sales taxes, period. It’s probably the most regressive, unfair tax that exists. This legislation will kill the small entrepreneur businesses; the large ones, like Amazon and Walmart, won’t mind at all….they might even MAKE money from it, offering the “service” of record keeping to ‘help the little guy out’–for a fee, of course. brassl

  • JArtist

    It’s just going to kill small businesses. Especially women owned businesses that operate their online stores from home so they can bring in extra income to support their families.

  • helen

    Internet is free. No taxes. Our economy is dead. Taxes mean the 95% of us that bleed for our money ..bleed more to that 5% who control everything. If you are American and let this happen, you give in to dictatorship and should be deported because really YOU ARE NOT AMERICAN

  • http://www.labarhomeaccents.com Larry

    No new thoughts, just want to register myself, my wife and our small home business, as being opposed to such enactments. Also we personally order online for everything we can get there, this would surely cause us to stop buying many items and then everybody will loose revenue.
    This is a very bad idea! PLEASE, LET’S KEEP THE NET FREE!!!!
    Remember; (America, Home of the FREE)!!!

  • http://www.ryanhogan.com Ryan

    NO. The more they tax, the more they waste. DC isn’t even held accountable for its out of control spending. Big government run-amok.

  • thomas mcwhorter

    when they stop automatic pay raises and accept only the same % amount as people on SS get then they can think about new taxes not one second before

  • Lisa

    We are all struggling now. Add another cost and I might just quit doing business on the internet altogether!

  • d charles

    The idea that states are losing out on taxes is the problem. There is already to much taxation in this country. If I have to charge tax on out of state sales then I lose my competitive edge over states with high sales taxes. The revenue I bring to my state would be lost, because an online consumer would by in their own state if they had to pay “my” sales tax. Americans need to remove the collective head from the sand and stop ALL new taxes. Enough already. At best this is just one more revolving door similar to why people that live close to state lines cross for cheaper beer,cigarettes and GAS, due to the tax rates in their own state.

  • David Thobaben

    I do not feel that there should be an online tax for anything.Im for repealing tax on pretty much everything except for taxes that are needed for things like social security and medicare.

    • d charles

      Social security and Medicare are modern programs that Never should have been enacted. The issues that those two programs suppose to address have been handled through the course of human history by family and community, Not government. Freedom can easily replace both programs. National taxes should address national security, interstate commerce and free international trade.

      • //n/a...lol radford

        Charles : Taxes are the ruling-class-way to justify their existence. “Greed” come$ knocking on the working class door (“Gimme, gimme!”).
        Ancient kings & pharoes(sp?) knew where the $ was….

        Rob the ma$$e$ … $upport the rich! When lawyers (Congre$$ & $tate legi$lature$) make the rule$ … we don’t stand a chance !!!

  • http://ulc.net Become ordained online

    In this economy? It would be a death blow to small business. But then maybe that’s what they want. Small businesses are not the ones lining their campaign coffers, and big businesses will benefit from having the little guys go under. It’s pretty scary that it could even be floated as a concept, much less talked about as a serious proposal.

  • Rob G.

    No on internet taxation. We already pay tax when we eat, buy gas, Use a phone. A small start up or someone starving just selling their stuff (much of which they already paid tax for when they got it) (one of a kind items)(stuff from your house you no longer need or want) is simply wrong, unwise, foolish, stupid. We need to be able to vote on how tax money is used. Tax all those damn commercials online. Leave the little people. The 99.9% of us alone. Stop trying to tax freedom of speech. Taxation between States would be a muddy mess anyway. Should not be done. Maybe in 20 years or when we have single payer not for profit health care.

  • //n/a...lol radford


    I know, I know … it is not a democracy – it is a republic. A republic run by the lawyers. Tell me I’m wrong.

  • //n/a...lol radford

    The key word here (“Should on-line retailers …”) is ON-LINE! Tax the internet??? What a concept!
    Greed is everywhere! And lawyers are right in the middle….

  • me

    dont do it and while they are doing their work…hh…lets give them the same health we all have and not a special program the have. pay for work. they need diapers and bottles like the babies they are

  • John

    Don’t let it happen. It is BB and greed

  • http://atticdiggers.com WAHM

    Sales tax is the most regressive of taxes. It hurts the little guys most. And no matter what they say, this will put a lot of small businesses out of business.

    This law is another way for the corporations to rid themselves of all competition. And another way for the greedy rich to steal from the poor, as the social safety net is cut again and again in favor of other programs to aid “business” and “job creation” (which, if you’ve noticed, never happens, though the tax money is spent.)

  • http://www.em3marketing.com Janyer Dominguez

    I say they should if they intend to invest a good percentage of the tax revenue to increase the internet connectivity speeds and expand WiFi in public areas. They can use the rest to pay down the national debt.

  • http://www.richmondcomputer.com Jon Frey, Richmond Computer

    Charging sales tax for online sales is not standardized. For example, when ordering hardware from Dell, they will charge you sales tax if you’re not a reseller or otherwise tax exempt, but other online resellers won’t. At minimal, the government needs to standardized the practice. Either charge it or don’t.

    As more commerce is conducted online, its likely that eventually the government will have to rule in favor of, government.

  • Frank Xappa

    So does this mean if the internet company picks up the phone and we pay via voice we dont have to pay the tax then – only if the transaction is online?

  • Robert

    No, I don’t support the ideal of the Senate.

  • Nathan

    Read this before you say no to this bill. If this doesn’t get passed, states will continue to issue nexus tax bills killing small business affiliates: http://www.amnavigator.com/blog/2013/02/15/marketplace-fairness-act-affiliate-nexus-tax-eliminator-in-congress/

  • http://me.com me

    Abolish all parts of the Federal Government EXCEPT National Defense and Border Security. Hand over all the other aspects of Government back to the States and FIRE all the members of Congress. Let the States take care of their own Citizens. If a State cannot keep it’s budget straight,sell off parts of it to neighboring states until it’s gone.

    Charge all the Federal Politicians with TREASON and deal with them as was done 200 years ago. Firing Squads,ropes and trees or quarter them with Horse pulls.

    How’s that sound? I know the Left leaning,do gooder liberal pansies won’t like it,so send them to France where they belong.


  • http://www.graciousstore.com Nina

    I think it will be the worse act of greed for Senators to pass a law for on-line retailers to pay tax to states where they do not reside. Such act will simply destroy the on-line retail stores. On-line retailers cannot afford to keep track of sales tax for every state and remit theses sales tax quarterly or however each state requires the sales tax to be remitted.

  • Clint

    It looks like the money is running out for many states so they are getting desprate to raise money at the cost of the small guy. Big Box Retailer love and back this online sales tax, to harm smaller sellers trying to make ends meat, so the big box retailer can have more of the greed money pie.
    If a National sales tax must be impossed to submit sales tax to all 50 states might be to much papaerwork and hassle unless you are a big dog.. If any tax must be impossed It might be better to submitt the money to one place, like helping to Refund social security and medicare so the elderly won’t be seen eating out of garbage bins. In the end! the everyday consumer will be the one to pay the tab.

  • john

    No! The cost of collecting these taxes would be overwhelming to the small business. Different rates for each state. Keeping track of the collections, filing deadlines and requirements of each state being different. The cost will have to be passed on to the consumer. Small businesses now only serves as a tax collection device for governments as it is, this would push things over the clift.

  • Donna Varesi

    It seems the complexities of taxing online retailers across state lines will add a tremendous hardship to small online retailers. Another piece of legislation that has no plan how it will be carried out but let’s do it anyway. I am becoming more skeptical of the intelligence, lack thereof, of our legislators at the same time incredulous of the enormous size of their egos.

  • Mike

    Absolutely not! It’s bad enough that we have to pay local taxes….now they want to squeeze us some more and try to get us to pay taxes to states where we DON’T live? Are they kidding? How about the Senate giving back some of that easy money they make ( and it’s a lot!) seeing that we’re the one’s that made it possible for them to make…not to mention that we even gave them the right to give themselves raises anytime they like and giving us no say in the matter! What’s THAT all about? NOOOOOOO, no out of state taxes for internet buyers, not now, not never!