In a press release issued today, the National Retail Federation urged the congressional “supercommittee” on deficit reduction to focus on the economy and job creation, and it named the Main Street Fairness Act as one of three key initiatives Congress should enact:
The panel is an important opportunity to look at a range of policies and reset our national priorities so that we can put our nation’s economy back on track and put Americans back to work. For the nation’s retailers, this means a tax system that treats all players fairly instead of being riddled with special breaks, and it means looking at rules and regulations that kill jobs. . . .
The Main Street Fairness Act . . . would make it easier for states to require out-of-state Internet retailers to collect sales tax on sales to their residents. The legislation would end an unfair tax advantage held by online retailers over Main Street stores, which are struggling to keep their doors open and to continue providing employment in local communities across the country.
The other initiatives the NRF recommended: corporate tax reform and “relief from the employer mandate provision of the 2010 health care reform law.”
We’re glad to see the NRF point out how much the Main Street Fairness Act can contribute to the economy and job creation. By leveling the playing field between online and local retailers, the MSFA helps keep local stores open and employing local residents. It also means that states will receive the sales tax revenue that has been steadily disappearing as shoppers have moved online over the past decade—revenue that pays for schools, police, parks, and libraries.
In all the talk lately about the debt ceiling, deficit reduction, and the economy, we’ve been a bit concerned that the Main Street Fairness Act could get overlooked. It’s worth remembering that this bill, without raising taxes or creating a new tax, helps everyone:
- Large and small retailers alike, both local and online, would find it easier to collect and remit sales tax;
- State and local governments would benefit from much-needed revenue that funds vital services
- States would no longer need to resort to controversial presumed nexus laws
- States that have already implemented presumed nexus could repeal them
- Affiliate marketers would no longer be threatened by state-by-state legislation
- Retailers that rely upon affiliate marketing would be able to continue (or resume) doing so;
- Consumers would no longer be subject to use tax self-reporting and payment obligations.
For anyone concerned that compliance with MSFA would be difficult or costly, we remind them that TaxCloud is absolutely free, and handles all aspects of compliance including calculation, collection, reporting, returns, and remittance—and even will respond to jurisdictional audits.
We agree with the NRF (and many other organizations) that the MSFA should be one of Congress’s top priorities.