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Missouri Study Encourages Internet Sales Tax Laws


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“Internet Sales and Use Tax Issues in Missouri,” a study developed by researchers at the University of Missouri Truman School of Public Affairs, was submitted to Missouri state legislators in April.

According to the study, “…researchers analyzed historical data on e-commerce activity and estimated that the state will miss out on $1.4 billion in potential revenue from 2011 to 2014.”

David Valentine, research associate professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs Institute of Public Policy, notes that Missouri has not been inclined to join the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) in order to allow voluntary payment from online retailers. However, he indicates that “The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement is a short-term fix. Since the agreement is voluntary, the amount of revenue collected is much less than the amount of tax we would expect the state to collect if all e-commerce retailers remitted sales taxes.”

Dr. Valentine “…recommends that Missouri legislators lobby Congress to pass new federal legislation permitting sales tax on Internet transactions across state lines.” Whether federal legislation is passed or not, “…MU researchers think that the state economy could benefit from e-commerce sales taxes as well. By taxing out-of-state online retailers, the state would level the playing field for retailers located inside state lines, incentivizing consumers to buy locally.”

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Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”