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Online Sales Tax Legislation May Find Traction in 2013

  • Jan 21, 2013 | Gail Cole

 Some Lawmakers Are Ready to Turn the Marketplace Fairness Act into Law.

As Washington D.C. prepares for balls, parades and other inaugural festivities, lawmakers are creating goals for the 113th Congress. They have a lot to consider, including guns, immigration, the economy, and national security. But at least two lawmakers have online sales tax on the mind.

Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo), who sponsored the Marketplace Fairness Act with Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn), hopes 2013 will be the year Marketplace Fairness passes. According to his spokesman:

"Senator Enzi plans to reintroduce the bill and will work with his colleagues to build support for this legislation. He hopes to see it finished this year."

Online sales tax legislation is supported by many governors, and hundreds of lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill last December to lobby for Marketplace Fairness. States want the tax revenue from those remote sales.

Marketplace Fairness is not about creating a new tax. It's about who is required to collect and remit sales tax on remote sales. In theory, if not in practice, a consumer use tax is due when sales tax is not paid on remote purchases. The Marketplace Fairness Act authorizes state to "simplify their tax codes to compel out-of-state Internet sellers to collect and remit sales taxes on purchases shipped to their residents," thereby shifting the responsibility from the cconsumers to the sellers.

Senator Alexander points out that the bill "simply says that you have the right to decide whether you will collect state and local sales tax from all of the people who owe or from some of the people who owe." His spokesman has confirmed that the senator from Tennessee will "attach his name as an original cosponsor of the Marketplace Fairness Act" again this year.

As of yet, neither Senator Enzi nor Senator Alexander has commented on whether or not they will alter the Marketplace Fairness Act prior to reintroducing it this year. (ecommercebytes.com).

photo credit: Garyisajoke via photopin cc

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.