Internet Sales Tax Push Set For Tomorrow

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Tomorrow, December 10, more than 200 state legislators will fan out across downtown Washington to push their federal counterparts to allow comprehensive online sales tax collections. 

As part of the National Conference of State Legislatures, state senators and state representatives from across the U.S. will visit individual U.S. House and Senate offices, imploring congress to pass a bill to tax all Internet purchases, thereby leveling the playing field and eliminating the current advantage that Internet retailers hold over brick-and-mortar stores. 

As the law stands, only a fraction of Internet purchases of pool and spa items are subject to sales tax. Internet retailers must charge sales tax on purchases from states where they have a physical presence such as headquarters or a warehouse. For example, sells everything from pumps to automatic pool cleaners to filter cartridges nationwide, but currently collects sales tax on purchases from only 23 of 50 states. Other, smaller online retailers collect sales tax from a far smaller proportion of states.

Support for the current bill in the U.S. congress runs across party lines, as does opposition. The measure, called the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act - S.2609, would create a much more equitable retail tax regime. It was introduced and read in the U.S. Senate on July 16 of this year and remains on the legislative calendar.

Endeavor on the part of individuals to sway their federal representatives now would likely benefit from the concerted effort.

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