Follow-up: Senate Getting Ready to Hit “Send” on Online Sales Tax

Online Sales Tax

Follow-up: Senate Getting Ready to Hit “Send” on Online Sales Tax


Part of reporting financial, economic and practical news that helps your business, and illuminates the climate your business operates in, is to make sure we follow up on the “developing” trends and stories posted here.

Current Status of Online Sales Tax

We wrote recently of the proposed online sales tax in Congress, where it seems after years of refusing to allow states to carry out such taxation in the “early days” of online commerce, it appears that the confluence of online retail being robust, mostly thriving, and clearly here-to-stay, along with the chronic budget woes of states, have combined to make a green light for such taxes likelier than ever before.

Bipartisan Support and Perspectives

Indeed, not only likely, but according to Harry Reid, set to pass the Senate this very week.  That’s no guarantee it will then pass the House, but supporters and opponents aren’t breaking into traditional camps. For example, among online retail giants, both Amazon and Wal-Mart support the tax law, while eBay is against it.

But as a gauge of the level of bipartisan support, the polarized Senate has already voted 75 -22 to allow debate and voting on the bill to proceed.

Key Insights from Forbes

Forbes recently ran a couple of good background pieces on the coming legislation, both couched as lists. The first goes over “Five Things You Should Know” about the bill, which points out that firms doing less than $1 million a year in sales are exempted from collecting the taxes, and that nothing “new” will be taxable, only the exact same items already taxed offline.

In the second piece detailing “10 Remarkable Facts” about Online Sales Tax, and sales tax in general, with some surprises — i.e., that while California has the highest state sales tax, when combined with local taxes, ostensible “anti-tax” states like Arizona and Alabama both have higher overall rates — and some good background:  States stand to gain over $11 billion in  new revenue from such a tax.


If you have any questions about how this might change the online presence of your company — or if the “levelling of the playing field” will prompt you to put your business online if it hasn’t been (or to expand its presence there), be sure to contact AVPS today, for help on reaching even more customers, and giving them even more options to buy from you — and pay you!

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