Tax-free shopping on the Internet could be in jeopardy under a bill making its way through the Senate.

The bill would empower states to require online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet. The sales taxes would be sent to the states where a shopper lives.

Under current law, states can only require stores to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state. As a result, many online sales are essentially tax-free, giving Internet retailers a big advantage over brick-and-mortar stores. (source)

On the minus side, purchases will cost more.

On the plus side, it'll allow more business to be done at the local storefront operation, probably creating more jobs and certainly benefiting the local tax base,

What are the pros & cons as you see them?

Tags: commerce, linternet, taxation

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feeding the machine that steals from us and often uses it against us.

DownsizeDC has a letter that we could sign and send, I just did. (but I ignored the contribution part after signing)

https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/hands-off-the-internet/

It's just another way to squeeze more money from the citizens, they have more than enough ways as it is, they don't need another to annoy us. I'd rather feed UPS or FedEx than give it to the government to waste.

Don't we already pay sale tax on items bought on the internet? All the items I bought from Amazon I had to pay state sales tax. What will this change?

That's state and local tax, I believe (sorry for that word) it's a federal thing, it's up before congress. But I'm sure in any case we will be paying more. A equal opportunity tax for the government. I saw this,

http://www.zdnet.com/why-an-internet-sales-tax-is-such-an-incompreh...

According to this NPR article, Amazon, by far the largest online retailer, is now supporting collecting sales tax, and the reason is predatory:

1) "...it would be more of a burden for smaller online retailers. From Amazon's point of view, that's a good thing — it makes life harder for Amazon's smaller competitors."

2) Amazon does have to pay sales tax in states where it maintains warehouses. It has depended upon citing these warehouses in smaller states with lower sales taxes, but now Amazon has a new strategy, that will give it an advantage over its major online competitors as well as brick and mortar stores: same day delivery.

It's called "the (so-called) “Marketplace Fairness Act.” Another euphemism for something that someone cleverly thought up.

For all those small businesses, it's turning into "Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it." When Amazon starts doing same-day delivery on online sales, there goes one of the last reasons for shopping at a local storefront store.

Australia currently has a similar issue. All of our purchases inside Australia have 10% tax on them. When we buy from overseas via the internet, anything under $1000 is tax free. Heres the fun part... we could get an estimated $500 million in taxes by taxing those purchases... at a cost of about $2 billion. It's just not worth the effort to track and collect that tax money.

I don't know how they handle taxing income from, for example, waiters/waitresses in Australia. Here, since the government can't be there to count each tip, the government assumes that they average a certain amount. It's a way of collecting tax money when the transactions occur out of site and in situations where personal honesty can't be assumed. 

Similarly, suppose, rather than taxing individual online transactions, it's assumed that anyone with an internet connection is probably using it for online purchases and thus an additional x% tax is added to the cost of your Internet connection, collected by the local Internet provider, and handed over to the government. 

It's really insulting to be constantly at the mercy of these "reps" in the home of the brave, land of the fee. To be consistently on the watch they aren't ripping you off or compromising the rights that are supposed of be ours without question. 

It seems we now find ourselves in a public mental state where people no longer question nor challenge taxation.

America...Land of the Free Sheeple...Home of the Brave Weak.

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