Senate Commerce Hearing Increases Momentum for E-Fairness, says Alliance for Main Street Fairness

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Small Business Owners Explain How Today’s Technology Makes Remitting Online Sales Tax Easy

Remitting sales tax from out-of-state customers is not that hard, and those perpetuating the myth that it’s wildly complicated and costly are simply trying to preserve the special treatment in the tax code they currently enjoy.

The Alliance for Main Street Fairness (AMSF) today issued the following statement in anticipation of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation hearing on S.B. 1832, the Marketplace Fairness Act. This legislation, which enjoys broad bipartisan support, would give states the authority to collect sales taxes from online-only retailers and level the playing field for Main Street retailers.

While some argue that online sales tax collection would be too burdensome for small Internet retailers, providers such as TaxCloud deliver a free and easy service for companies to instantly calculate sales tax rates across the country.

“Today, keeping track of a few thousand local tax rates and filing requirements is not an insurmountable technical, administrative or financial burden. TaxCloud proves this point by calculating and collecting sales tax on any purchase for any tax jurisdiction in the United States in less than one second. The service is free to all retailers,” said David Campbell, chief executive officer and co-founder of TaxCloud.

Members of the Alliance for Main Street Fairness also reacted to claims about the so-called difficulty small business owners face when collecting sales taxes for online purchases.

“When our family business was founded in 1937, we never thought we would sell and rent music equipment to customers across Pennsylvania and New York,” said Pete Sides, co-owner of Robert M. Sides Family Music Center in Williamsport, PA. “Yet with the technology available today, collecting and remitting sales taxes from our online customers is easy. I would strongly encourage members of Congress to level the playing field, and close the online sales tax loophole.”

“I am happy to testify before the U.S. Senate Commerce committee to explain how traditional retailers are adapting to the online marketplace, and collecting and remitting sales taxes to out-of-state customers,” said Steve Bercu, co-owner of BookPeople in Austin, Texas. “Remitting sales tax from out-of-state customers is not that hard, and those perpetuating the myth that it’s wildly complicated and costly are simply trying to preserve the special treatment in the tax code they currently enjoy. Congress should level the playing field and let us all compete on price in a free market.”    

Today’s hearing on the Marketplace Fairness Act will take place today at 2:30 PM EST and will be webcast live via the Senate Commerce Committee website. Refresh the Commerce Committee homepage 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time to automatically begin streaming the webcast.

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