Online Sales Tax Bill Risks Undermining U.S. E-Commerce

The Bill Must Be Fully Examined to Explore Potential Risks Including Providing Foreign Online Retailers with Unfair Advantage

Washington, DC – TechAmerica, the leading U.S. technology association, today registered its continued opposition to efforts in the Senate to push through far reaching and complex online sales tax legislation.  This legislation runs the risk of saddling our nation’s small businesses with new regulation without the benefit of careful examination of the impact on e-commerce and small business.

TechAmerica’s Senior Vice President for Federal Government Affairs, Kevin Richards, issued the following statement.

“Our Founding Fathers designed the United States Senate to be a deliberative body, to carefully weigh and consider the merits of legislation and its consequences.  Today, we find ourselves on the verge of the Senate approving landmark legislation that turns small businesses into Uncle Sam’s new tax collectors and transforms the business model of an entire industry on its head overnight.

This legislation would require small online businesses to keep track of more than 9,000 taxing jurisdictions. Internet companies in states with no sales taxes — Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon and Delaware — would have to build a tax collection apparatus from scratch, a heavy burden for a small business.

Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch have pledged to examine the implications of this legislation through Committee hearings, which we support.  These broad tax issues impact millions of online retailers and consumers meriting at least one Senatorial hearing before enabling states to impose NEW tax requirements on online retailers.

A change of this magnitude can’t be pushed through the deliberative body of Congress without careful consideration of the facts that this complex issue merits, including the open questions about various tax jurisdictions. Without this examination, any legislation instating a new tax regime is unacceptable.”