Just when you thought your online purchases were safe from pesky sales taxes, think again. Supporters of a new internet sales tax proposal, with the support of a few very large companies, are counting on a vote from the U.S. Senate (as early as today) that might give them the kind of push that they need to require you, me and every other American to pay sales tax while shopping online.
Macy’s, Walmart, and Best Buy are among the big corporations who are pushing along with tax supporters to institute the very first remote sales tax law that would include all product sales made on the internet.
Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wy) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill) are involved in offering a new amendment to a democratic budget resolution that would effectively allow all states to collect tax on any remote sale and will ultimately result in the very first internet sales tax.
The taxpayer advocates who are against the bill are up in arms, arguing that the amendment is being shoved through by mixing it with a completely unrelated budget resolution. A spokesman for the National Retail Federation argues the opposite, saying that it is only fair that people pay sales tax on everything they buy, no matter where they buy it. He went on to say:
We’re working overtime in pushing this, talking to our members, activating our grassroots.
The big retailers are pushing the tax as well. Why? Their argument has been the same for almost 10 years. Online merchants who don’t charge sales tax are blatantly depriving their home state of revenue, all while gaining a competitive edge over the big retailers who do collect taxes.
On the other end of the spectrum, having to comply with tax laws is no simple task for the extremely small business man (think eBay, Etsy, etc…) and advocates for small businesses say that this law is placing an unnecessary burden on little salesmen who help drive the economy.
Whether a matter of economic fairness, or an unfair burden on small business men, it looks as though we may see the results of the vote as early as today. How do you feel about the vote? Should customers have to pay taxes no matter where they buy or should small internet merchants remain tax free? Let us know what you think about the proposal in the comments below.