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Amazon urges lawmakers to move on sales tax standard

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 03 Dec 2011 11:00 User comments (4)

Amazon urges lawmakers to move on sales tax standard Amazon seeking federal standard for sales tax collection by states.
Speaking at a House Judiciary Committee hearing,'s vice president for global public policy called on lawmakers to give a federal answer to the questions surrounding the collection of sales taxes by individual states from online retailers.

Paul Misener said exemptions to the tax should be kept "very low" for fairness reasons. Amazon has battled many attempted by individual states to task it, and other online retailers, with the collection of sales taxes. The U.S. supreme court ruled in 1992 that businesses without a physical presence in a particular state, are exempted from collecting sales taxes for that state.

That has given online retailers, such as Amazon, a huge advantage over brick and mortar retailers. "Online retailers have, let's face it, an unfair advantage," said John Conyers, U.S. Representative for Michigan's 14th congressional district.

Republicans question a federal standard for the collection of sales taxes by individual states, likening it to a tax hike. Democrats, for the most part, disagree. "This is not a new tax we're collecting," John Otto, an accountant and state representative from Texas, said. "It's a tax we've been unable to collect."

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4 user comments

13.12.2011 12:56

collecting tax from online retailers seems to come closer to reality, lets think about the their(government)are missing, they are not thinking that this is money people keep in they pockets. No need to redistribution...
I can personally say i have better experience shopping online than physical store...
I know i'll need to get out of the house someday :P

23.12.2011 17:17

Those damned senators in office only want the sales tax so they can keep in their pockets, not to benefit to the taxpayers. Time and history has already proven their track record, so why trust them now? I know I don't.

Chance prepares the favored mind. Look up once in a while and you might learn something. - BLUEBOY

34.12.2011 2:20

There are many facets to taxing online sales:

1) Amazon's duplicity in stumping for a sales tax, is purely to put their smaller online competitors out of business. A giant like Amazon can do the collecting, reporting, and remitting for pennies per sale compared to mom-and-pop vendors who will have to spend huge to comply with the complex, heavily regulated process.

2) Amazon will have a near monopoly just a few years after such a tax is instituted, and their history of bullying the markets will turn into a sledgehammer on consumers with few options.

3) It has always been a blatant lie that online sales have hurt brick-and-mortar stores. Walmart, Barnes and Noble, and hundreds of other retailers, successfully out-compete online sellers easily.

4) It is also a lie that this will not be a new tax. Obviously if the government is collecting more money from us....uhh, we must be paying more taxes!

5) This unwise new tax will badly unbalance a mareketplace that is currently in status-quo, and will result in massive price hikes.

44.12.2011 12:10

John Otto, an accountant and state representative from Texas, said. "It's a tax we've been unable to collect."

An Otto has TX to blame for that, not online, as TX needs to revise it's own laws first. Folks love to blame others for their own problems.

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