New Efforts To Tax and Regulate Electronic Retailers A Bad Idea

Share Article

Julie Coons, ERA’s president and CEO speaks out against the ‘Main Street Fairness Act’ bills introduced by Senator Durbin and Congressman Conyers.

New and misguided remote tax schemes will represent a dramatic blow to electronic retailers struggling to survive in these harsh economic times.

Julie Coons, president and CEO of the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA), made the following statement regarding the introduction of internet sales tax bills by Senator Durbin (D-IL.) and Representative Conyers (D-MI.) to force electronic retailers to collect tax on remote sales. The bills would allow the states who have adopted the “Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement” to require out-of-state sellers to collect tax, whether they have a physical presence of any kind in the state or not.

“New and misguided remote tax schemes will represent a dramatic blow to electronic retailers struggling to survive in these harsh economic times. New regulatory burdens and draconian cost increases would significantly damage both the marketplace and the consumers who rely on it.

“ERA and its collective membership strongly urge Congress to protect electronic retailers, both large and small from these efforts and continue their support of our entrepreneurial work to create jobs and help stabilize the economy.”

Currently, electronic retailers are only required to collect sales tax from out-of-state customers only if they have a physical presence such as a store.

Under the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court Quill v. North Dakota decision, the court found that the 45 state and 7,600 local sales tax systems across the country were too complicated for an electronic retailer to realistically know how much tax to collect and remit.

Representing a $300 billion market, the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) is the trade association in the U.S. and internationally that represents leaders of the direct-to-consumer marketplace, which includes members that maximize revenues through electronic retailing on television, online and on radio. ERA strives to protect the regulatory and legislative climate of direct response while ensuring a favorable landscape that enhances e-retailers' ability to bring quality products and services to the consumer. ERA members include some of the industry's most prominent retail merchants, including Allstar Products Group, Discovery Communications, Gaiam, Guthy-Renker Corporation, HSN, Oak Lawn Marketing, Telebrands, ShopNBC and Thane. For more information about ERA, please visit http://www.retailing.org.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Dave Martin
Electronic Retailing Association
(703) 908-1031
Email >
Visit website