Online sales tax is a very hot topic these days and the interesting thing about it is that it has never been discussed with such excitement ever before. Representatives of many online retailers like eBay, Overstock.com and Amazon.com have made statements about online sales tax, which, in short, gives the view that there is a very slight chance of a federal bill to be passed before the national elections. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Regarding this matter, few supporting groups are also demanding a specific resolution.
The president of Overstock.com, Jonathan Johnson said about the online sales tax that some view it as a new tax even though it is not. Likewise, eBay’s senior director of federal government relations Brian Bieron presented his perspective about the online sales tax and said there is more energy behind doing something now more than ever. A number of laws have been sanctioned in New York, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Arkansas. Legislation is being proposed in Florida, Indiana, Kansas and other states, whereas some states are considering this legislation.
However, Congress wants to make it quick and allow the businesses to enjoy certainty and consistency overtime but unfortunately, there is lots of confusion regarding the legislation as there is a variety of tax rulings across the U.S. These all things seem to make the situation a little hopeless, but there is also some consistency in how state legislation affects intermediary associates that have an existence in states where the e-commerce sites are based or do business.
eBay’s representative Bieron said that eBay’s priority is to “protect small businesses”, while Overstock, Amazon and WokingPerson.com are supporters of a national approach. The affiliate relationships in the states where the legislature was passed, has been ceased by two e-commerce sites, Overstock and Amazon.com. In this matter, it would be unfair to put all the blame on the states, for states is also in need of more capital, as according to a study in 2008 from the University of Tennessee, the estimated total tax loss from e-commerce is roughly $50 billion.
There is a pressing need for a national tax, as favored by a major retailer WorkingPerson.com, because it allows for consistency and predictability whereas, state-by-state taxes do not allow for such consistency and certainty instead they promote variation. Online sales taxes mean a great deal for many major online retailers and no wonder that is why it is getting enough attention from many advocacy groups and government.