“There’s an app for that”: Fox Business on taxing internet sales

Fox Business Video

This video on Fox Business News, featuring Steve DelBianco from NetChoice, covers Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) expected introduction of the Main Street Fairness Act. The host does a good job of keeping the discussion factual and fair and makes the point that, depending on the website you buy from, you may already be paying the sales tax at the point of purchase.

One of the co-hosts poses this question: If  “for many years on the internet we wanted to keep our hands off it, let’s not tax it, we didn’t want to stop it from growing . . . since when did the internet become fair game for new taxes and new restrictions?”

Again, this is not a new tax, and as for internet sales being fair game, yesterday’s New York Post article (blogged about here) stated that “some reports indicate that online sales hit a whopping $165 billion in 2010—an annual growth rate close to 15 percent.”

Steve DelBianco makes a few points that we are in complete agreement with:  “To call it an online sales tax is really not helpful”; “every business, whether you are online, catalog or store, you all collect sales tax”; “there’s never been anything like an online sales tax exemption”; “Senator Durbin has . . . been brought in to support the state system—this is not one new rate and this is not one new tax.”

Our favorite moment in the video came at the end when, in response to the question of technical feasibility, the co-host says, “There’s an app for that.” Yes indeed, there is—TaxCloud—and it is easy to implement, easy to operate, and completely free to retailers.

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