With billions of state and local tax dollars going un-collected each year because a number of online retailers either aren’t required to collect the taxes or are shirking their responsibilities, a proposal circulating around Congress takes a new “simplified” (but really kind of complex) approach to get more e-tailers collecting sales tax. [More]
For nearly 25 years, the general standard for whether a state could compel a mail-order or online retailer to collect sales tax from customers was that retailer’s physical presence (or lack thereof) in that state. More recently, some states have tweaked their laws so that total sales — and not physical connection — is the determining factor. Online tech store Newegg is the latest retailer to challenge these new rules, taking issue with Alabama’s determination that the company owes the state more than $185,000 in sales tax. [More]
Amazon now collects sales tax in more than half the states, but that still leaves a substantial portion of the country not paying taxes on their purchases. Even in states where Amazon is collecting taxes, some other online retailers say they don’t have to collect taxes because they have no physical presence in the state. A new South Dakota law is a direct attack on these companies, and if it stands up to legal scrutiny it could have nationwide implications. [More]
Amazon would rather not collect online sales tax in Minnesota — at least, it doesn’t want to do so because the state orders it to — so instead, by the end of the month it will cut all ties to its Minnesota-based affiliate websites. Those sites get a fee every time they refer shoppers to Minnesota, so they’ll be out of luck as of July 1. [More]
If you’re one of the many Amazon customers whose state has yet to reach an agreement about the collection of online sales tax, this will probably be bad news. This afternoon, the Senate voted in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would give each state the authority to compel online businesses to collect applicable taxes. [More]
Will they or won’t they? That’s the question now as legislators over yonder in Washington, D.C. are considering perhaps finally voting on whether or not to allow businesses to collect online sales tax. As it stands now, retailers can only impose the tax on a customer if they have a physical location in that state. Amazon is all for the bill, but eBay, not so much. The Senate could vote next week, so now it’s all about waiting and then, seeing. [via Reuters]
For several years, there has been a lot of talk — and a handful of legislative efforts — regarding a federal law that would give states the authority to compel online sellers to collect sales tax on purchases. None of these bills have passed, so it’s time to try again. [More]
This afternoon at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn got the chance to talk about the state of his company and the recent spate of reports declaring the beginning of the end for the nation’s largest chain of electronics stores.