Michigan Considers Click-Through Nexus, Simplified Tax Code
- Feb 5, 2013 | Gail Cole
The Michigan House has released the 2013-14 House Republican Action Plan. Among other things, it calls for the state to "address unfair tax loopholes" and "simplify the tax code." GOP lawmakers are calling for "Main Street Fairness" with respect to online retailers.
The relevant section of the action plan reads:
Address Unfair Tax Loopholes Among Michigan Businesses
1. "Eliminate more tax loopholes: 'Main Street Fairness' requires online retailers like Amazon.com to collect and pay sales taxes, just like every other business. We will remove the 6% competitive advantage that out-of-state online retailers enjoy over Michigan companies."
Michigan main street retailers, under the umbrella of the Michigan Retailers Association, want "the state to send Amazon.com a bill for uncollected sales tax." They point out that Amazon has physical presence, or nexus, in the state, and therefore can be required to collect and remit sales tax under the 1992 Supreme Court ruling, Quill Corp v. North Dakota. Amazon wholly owns its subsidiary, Brilliance Audio, in Grand Haven.
The Michigan Treasury disagrees. In July 2012, treasury spokesman Terry Stanton said, "Our position is [Brilliance Audio is] not an entity that gives Amazon nexus, so we don't have the authority to send them a bill."
Governor Rick Snyder (R) would like that to change. Last year, he urged "the U.S. Senate to pass legislation allowing states to collect sales tax from online and catalog retailers."
The recently released House Republican Action Plan supports that stance.
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