Guest TaxGirl post: “Why I support the Marketplace Fairness Act”

Every August Forbes contributor Kelly Phillips Erb, who writes the TaxGirl blog, asks her readers to send in guest posts to be published while she’s on vacation.

This year she provided three topics for guest posts, including “Is it fair to require online retailers to collect and remit state sales tax?”

Sten R. Wilson has contributed a post on that topic titled “Why I support the Marketplace Fairness Act.” In it, Wilson, owner of a sheep farm in upstate New York, explains that for him, collecting sales tax has been made much easier by states’ simplification of sales tax laws (through the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement) and by automated sales tax management services.

He supports the Marketplace Fairness Act because it provides incentive for states to simplify their sales tax laws:

The combination of today’s freely available technology and states’ simplification efforts is a great benefit for small businesses like mine. It eliminates bureaucracy, promotes efficiency, and increases productivity and profitability. It makes dealing with sales tax much, much easier for small business owners.

Passage of S.1832 the Marketplace Fairness Act will prompt all states to simplify their sales tax laws. Therefore, I support the Marketplace Fairness Act.

We sincerely agree! Wilson’s perspective as a small business owner is an important one in the online sales tax collection debate, and one that we haven’t seen enough in the media. The post is definitely worth a look.

2 Responses to Guest TaxGirl post: “Why I support the Marketplace Fairness Act”

  1. Ken Miller says:

    On the on-line form on my computer screen, I see a post by one Sten R. Wilson, the owner of a sheep farm in upstate N.Y. He claims that the SSUTA has helped him in his sales tax collection efforts. Since not all states have adopted the SSUTA,he apparently has dealt with states that have and has happily paid sales taxes he did not have to pay because of the wise decision by the Supreme Court back in ’59,or whenever. I can only assume that he is a Liberal Democrat as well, since they are the most likely to want to tell you how much good they can do with other peoples’s money. If only the states would learn to live within their means, as all the families and individuals in the US must do!! No, instead they want to piggy back on other businesses in other states, so they can continue their profligate ways.
    I think Mr. Wilson needs to stop his late night talks with his sheep and discuss this issue with a real person. I’ve never known a sheep that didn’t like a new tax.
    Ken Miller

    • Sten Wilson says:

      As a conservative I believe that everyone who continually elects for ballot initiatives demanding increases in educational, infrastructure and services should honorably remit the sales taxes pledged to fund their elected desires. Over the past decade states have been compelled to increase property, income and other state taxes and fees due to resident taxpayers increasing decisions to vote for but evade the very sales taxes designated to pay for their desires. Sales tax evasion made possible and exploited by some Internet merchants. More importantly lower income families with limited or no credit and access to the internet are paying more at local registers while their wealthier constituents continually evade sales tax already due. Sale tax policy only works best when equally applied. Sales tax policies were never intended to segregate merchants providing an advantage to one group of retailers over another.

      “A sale is a sale! Since the great depression states with sales and use taxes have always and still do require their residents to self track and remit the proper sales tax due to support the local services and infrastructures they desire. The problem is many Internet merchants now market their goods as tax free falsely educating internet consumers. Sales taxes in many states fund local infrastructures and services that insure the safe, reliable and efficient deliveries of goods from out state enabling the very Internet marketplace we all benefit from. As an Internet merchant it is in my best interest to support my customers desires by simply collecting and remitting sales tax already due, and eliminating any possible chance they might be audited, fined and possibly imprisoned for tax evasion. Doing so supports local communities and economies guaranteeing a more vibrant marketplace for all communities and businesses to thrive and grow. Since TaxCloud freely automates my sales tax processing it is a “win win” for consumers, communities and businesses.

      TaxCloud enables any business to seamlessly automate calculations, collections and remittances of sales tax for any jurisdiction. After all, it is actually much much simpler to process sales sales tax than it is to deal with the many variables involved in shipping, and since I use TaxCloud, a SSUTA Certified Service Provider, my company receives indemnification from SSUTA states sales tax audits. Any state seeking collection authority will also have to indemnify merchants from audit risks.

      After all, we live in a democracy where we elect our representatives to uphold the laws of the land. Sales tax is currently required in all 46 states with sales and use taxes.

      I strongly support and urge Congress to immediately pass S.743/ H.R. 684 The Marketplace Fairness Act.

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