TaxGirl guest post about Amazon and the Main Street Fairness Act

Forbes - TaxGirl Guest Post: Why Amazon Is Doing the Right Thing for Online Sales Tax

Forbes - TaxGirl Guest Post: Why Amazon Is Doing the Right Thing for Online Sales Tax

The infamous TaxGirl (Kelly Phillips Erb), a Forbes contributor, has published our CEO’s article!

Guest Post: Why Amazon Is Doing the Right Thing for Online Sales Tax

Our CEO wrote this opinion piece at the invitation of TaxGirl, for her to publish while on her well-deserved summer vacation.

8 Responses to TaxGirl guest post about Amazon and the Main Street Fairness Act

  1. Bob1234 says:

    “New enforcement of taxes” is just as bad as “new taxes.” The Main Street Fairness Act (aka the “Internet Sales Tax”) will deeply hurt small online companies and raise prices for consumers. Instead, States should be LOWERING their own sales taxes to make “Main Street Retailers” more competitive with the online companies. Contact your U.S. Rep. today to stop the Internet Sales Tax!

    • FedTax says:

      Thank you Bob1234 for taking the time to voice your opinion.

      As you might expect, we strongly disagree with your assertion that the Main Street Fairness Act (MSFA) will hurt small online companies. Our completely free TaxCloud service accurately calculates, collects, and remits sales tax due for any jurisdiction in the United States.

      Regarding your concern that enactment of the MSFA would raise prices for consumers – we disagree with that as well. Consumers already owe sales or use tax on purchases in forty-five states. When an online retailer fails to collect the tax at the time of the transaction, the consumer still owes it (as we have written about extensively). Responsible online retailers that care for their customers should collect the tax at the time of purchase to relieve their customers of the burden to self-report and remit on their own (or risk subsequent audit liabilities).

      Finally, we do agree with your sentiment that states should (or at least could) lower their own sales tax rates upon enactment of the MSFA. In fact we have written about legislators trying to do just that here and here.

      Thank you again for contributing to our dialog.

  2. […] we have stated several times before, we firmly believe this is the best course of action: As states such as California […]

  3. John Daly says:

    There is a long standing body of case law that established years ago that it is unconstitutional to impose a tax collection responsibility on a person without nexus to a taxing jurisdiction. I wonder what Amazon has to gain from giving its support to these bad bills. Maybe they have forged an agreement with the feds that will prevent states from finding a way to impose nexus on them and forcing them to file and pay 20 years of back taxes in dozens of states.

    • FedTax says:

      Mr. Daly,
      Thank you for providing your input on this matter. Regarding your reference to a “long standing body of case law,” you must be speaking of the Supreme Court’s 1967 National Bellas Hess vs. Illinois Department of Revenue ruling which stated that the ability of states to compel remote or out-of-state businesses to collect local sales tax hinges on minimizing (or eliminating) burdens implied by such an obligation. In its majority opinion (now forty-four years ago), the Court ruled that

      the many variations in rates of tax, in allowable exemptions, and in administrative and record-keeping requirements could entangle National’s interstate business in a virtual welter of complicated obligations to local jurisdictions.(emphasis added)

      Fortunately, California has been working with 43 other states on the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement since 2000 —a system that alleviates all of these burdens (and is FREE for retailers to implement with TaxCloud). The pending Main Street Fairness Act will finally fix this problem.

  4. […] continues (as our regular readers know, we come down firmly on the side of “yes,” for many good reasons), whether or not online purchases should be subject to sales tax is not in question. […]

  5. John Daly says:

    Thanks. I was actually referring to Quill, Bellas Hess and Miller Bros all get us to the same place. Tax cloud may be free, but compliance software was never the real problem with sales tax. part of the problem, maybe, but the big problems come from determining whether your product is taxable and then, if it is taxable, what states do and don’t tax it. Not everyone sells widgets. You also have audits to worry about once you are in the states’ computers. My opinion only, but the Main Strt Fairness Act will do nothing but drive 100s (maybe 1000s)of small businesses out of business and help huge companies like Amazon eliminate competition and prevent states from going after Amazon for back years exposures. Don’t sound too fair to me.

  6. […] time, is federal legislation allowing states to require online retailers to collect sales tax, for [many] [good] [reasons]. Share […]

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