Online Shopping: Marketplace Fairness Act aka The Internet Tax

Avatar for cmerin
Administrator
Registered: 01-20-2004
Online Shopping: Marketplace Fairness Act aka The Internet Tax
3
Mon, 04-29-2013 - 1:48pm

What do you all think about the Marketplace Fairness Act? It's showing signs of being passed. Does it matter to you?

Here's the full bill: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:s.743:

It simply means that if you purchase something online, if your state has sales tax, you're going to pay sales tax. Currently you just pay sales tax (again if your state has it) if the store you're purchasing from has a brick and mortar store in your state.

Erin
Community Technical Assistant | Community Moderator
iVillage.com

Avatar for emty_nstr
Community Leader
Registered: 05-25-1999

When I was younger with 5 kids at home I couldn't get anywhere to shop all the time so I am sure that my kids didn't know for many years that you could buy clothes in a store and not through a catalog. Then came the tax and I got rid of the catalogs with tax. Soon it was all of them. So I am sure that because it is so easy to buy off the internet that we probably won't quit doing that but probably think a lot more before buying. I still won't, probably, buy in a store more often but I will probably not buy as much.......

But it is like smoking and drinking... ( I used to cook in a bar and grill) Everyone said that if the price of beer went up as much as they were talking about people would quit dirinking it........and after that happened I don't think they quit they just bought it and took it home to drink but then they missed being in the bar and went back. And the smoking , you can't smoke in the bar then why go. and it did for a few weeks cause a problem in the little bars but like all things that can be enabled the bars started putting tables and chairs out the back door and the drinks came back....... so I am sure there might be a little problem with tax at first but shoppers can be enabled too......and personally I don't think it will be enacted as soon as some think..............have to wait and see.

Avatar for melissamc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2007

The concept is nothing new because technically, consumers are supposed to report and pay sales tax on any purchases in which tax was not collected at the time of the sale.  This doesn't happen, though, so they are resorting to this measure. 

I used to work for a business that sold both mail order and retail.  Sales tax was a huge issue for us, not only on deciding what states to enter with retail stores but also with the collection/submittance of the correct tax.  I was responsible for the returns, and it was a feat with just a dozen states even using sales tax software.  I can't imagine how long it will take them to do 45+ returns.  Every state has different rates, collections methods and returns.  It would be a headache to do on your own.   I'm sure the sales tax reporting softwares are going to love this, they'll be getting a lot more business and their maintenance fees per state are not cheap!

It will help your smaller, local businesses be a bit more competitive.  I was shocked that Amazon is changing it's tune and supporting the bill now.  They closed down a distribution center in Texas several years back after the state tried to force them to pay back tax for sales made in the state. 

While it does provide retail stores a bit more of a competetive edge, it's going to hurt smaller internet businesses.  A minimum of a million in sales will require that tax be collected,  and when you think of the costs going into running a business these days, it could really make a hit on their bottom line.   I think they need to increase that to a higher amount. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2012

While I don't personally like it, I do think it's only fair to brick and mortar businesses that everyone have to pay the same kind of taxes. Of course I would much rather they get rid of sales tax in brick and mortars to make things fair...