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Sales tax online

Oct 6th 2011
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A lot of people have opinions about whether or not purchases made on the Internet are subject to sales tax. The Streamlined Sales Tax Commission has been trying for more than a decade to get enough states to agree on how to simplify the sales tax system and move forward so that states can get a piece of the Internet retail action. Not an easy task. The arguments continue to focus on a 1992 Supreme Court ruling (Quill vs. North Dakota) that concluded that a company can't collect sales tax in a state if the company doesn't have a physical presence in that state.

Like so many laws, Quill was decided BE (Before eBay) and BA (Before Amazon), and who the heck (besides Jeff Bezos and Pierre Omidyar who wanted to help his wife expand her Pez dispenser collection) could have foreseen how these companies and so many others would change our lives? Anyway, the latest variant on the Streamlined Sales Tax Project is legislation called the Main Street Fairness Act - maybe that's a more user-friendly name, but the end result will bring the states one step closer to being able to line their pockets (and repair their roads) (Ahem, Michigan!) with some of the revenue that has been lost due to the online retail craze.


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