So it is looking like there is a very good chance that the Congress might pass a bill here soon that will require all online businesses to collect/pay state taxes for our online purchases.

Saw one tidbit where they are going to try to exclude the small retailers(less than $1mm). Looking like the WalMarts and the Amazons are all for it, while EBay is against.

What do you guys think?
Is it just another tax or is it leveling the playing field on taxes that should have been paid in the first place?

Me, I'm all for it for refilling the emptying accounts at the state/local levels where it is needed more than anywhere else.

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I don't think it's bad in theory, but practice gets sticky. 

Who gets the revenue, the state where the purchaser is? the state where the seller is? The state where the facilitation website is? What about international sales? Whose tax rate to use - will this cause a mass flood of online business relocations to New Hampshire? (in the case of ebay, where private sales - e.g. garage sales would have done - who is taxed?) What is the method for wholesale/resale exemption (or is there).

What is the implementation method? The enforcement method? 

Lots of questions and complications that make this a very messy piece to just throw out there, and lots of unintended consequences, I think. 

That doesn't make it wrong to do, but it's going to be a long time before this really gets sussed out. 

Just another tax.  Just more government greed.  Liberals are always "all for refilling" government coffers at any opportunity.  Never met a tax they didn't like ... nickel-and-diming everybody to death to squeeze every last penny out of every business or consumer they possibly can.

 

And, if they get this tax passed ... they'll move on to the next brilliant idea for new taxes.  Rain tax.  Carbon tax.  Blah, blah.  One answer to every problem.

 

JB

A slippery slope type argument I want to lay out(that will probably derail) but where exactly do online "things" happen? How do we prosecute an infraction that happens online? Whose laws do we use? Is it considered federal? State? Global?

I am sure that there are probably some brilliant papers written on the subject, but this is honestly the first I've really let myself think on it.

If I am in Texas and I harass someone in Maine, do we use Texas laws, Maine laws or Federal laws?

So with taxes, if I am in Texas and I purchase a good here in Texas I pay taxes. But when I purchase online, where exactly am I purchasing it from?

The current tax laws have you pay tax, in the state in which you bought it, if the retailer has a physical presence there.

 

The classic example is Sears.  If you bought something from a Sears catalog, and mailed them the check, you paid sales tax if you lived in a state containing a Sears.  And *only* if Sears was present in your state.

 

By the same logic, Texans will now have to pay sales tax for Amazon purchases, since they put a physical location (shipping warehouse) in the DFW area.

 

The point is this.  Despite the change in the technology, the basic structure of "mail order" has not changed.  This bill should be dead on arrival, but unfortunately most of our legislators are seeing dollar signs, and are too stupid to realize that what they're doing is both unwanted and wrong.

US congress passing a law requiring State taxes?  Who's lobbying for that one?

The last article I read, it was the big retailers

And also State governors are lobbying, it appears... well, that does make sense.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/25/internet-sales-tax-bill-...

Write up on it if anyone is interested, got it from Fox News for anyone who complains about my posting HP

Now you'll get fussed at for citing Fox.  cest la vie.

California's online sales tax works this way.  It's all on the consumer.  If the seller doesn't have a "physical presence" in California, you're supposed to declare a "use tax" for your out of state purchases on your state income tax return.  The use tax at the same rate as the state sales tax.  This works, at least for now, on the honor system...which leads to a number of cars in Northern California initially having Oregon tags.

It passed the Senate, now time to see what the House does

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