Tax Internet Sales Legislation Introduced To US Senate

The Marketplace Fairness Act was recently introduced to the U.S. Senate. The Act, which supports the Internet sales legislation, would allow states to collect taxes on out-of-state Internet and mail order sales. The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) broke the news, and claims it will allow brick-and-mortar shops a fair playing field when competing against online retailers.

Read the official release from OIA on the Act.

BOULDER, CO (November 9, 2011) – Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) commended today’s introduction of The Marketplace Fairness Act in the U.S. Senate.  The legislation, introduced by Senators Durbin (D-IL), Enzi (R-WY), Johnson (D-SD), and Alexander (R-TN), would give states the option to collect sales tax on purchases from out-of-state retailers made via the Internet and/or through mail order catalogues.

“Brick-and-mortar specialty outdoor retailers are currently at a competitive disadvantage to Internet-only retailers that don’t always collect sales tax,” stated OIA President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer.  “OIA supports a level playing field for all retailers in the outdoor industry.”

Last year, Internet sales accounted for about $1.1 billion, and nearly 10% of all outdoor products sales.  OIA believes that this growth should be promoted and cultivated, but not at the expense of other sales channels.

Currently, not all states are required to collect tax on sales transacted over the Internet or through mail order catalogues, creating unfair competitive advantages over brick-and-mortar specialty retailers.

The Marketplace Fairness Act aims to coordinate the increasingly confusing patchwork of state laws that are difficult to understand and enforce.  Notably, the proposed legislation does not require states to collect sales tax nor does not create or increase taxes.

The OIA Board of Directors recently approved a position statement supporting a coordinated, national standard for states to collect a sales tax on from Internet-only remote retailers.  The Marketplace Fairness Act addresses many of the points raised in that position statement, including an exemption for small businesses and support for businesses to ease the burden of compliance.