Just before the Independence Day weekend, a bill was introduced in the House that would increase the tax collection burden for thousands of small, independent businesses using the Internet to sell their products.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association has serious concerns about H.R. 5660, the Main Street Fairness Act sponsored by Rep. William Delahunt, D-MA. The bill would allow states that have signed onto the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales and use taxes on purchases made by residents of their states, regardless of whether the retailer has a physical presence there. This legislation also would leave in place thousands of different state and local tax jurisdictions that retailers would have to comply with.
CCIA has long opposed taxes on e-commerce. The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President and CEO Ed Black:
“Given the current economy, it would be unfair and unwise to burden on-line vendors with the task of sorting through the policies of thousands of taxing authorities around the country, and serving as revenue collection agencies for each of them. Many mom and pop businesses could not afford the tax attorneys and CPAs that would be needed to comply with that many different state and local tax laws and would just close their business.
“Since the Agreement has yet to sufficiently streamline the rules for the different taxing jurisdictions, taxing on-line sales at this time would negatively impact the continuing development of e-commerce and the new economy.
“Innovation and entrepreneurship have always been the engines of our economic growth. It is counterproductive to add to the administrative burdens of small businesses at the very moment we need them to provide jobs and lead our economic recovery.”