A national online sales tax might be a reality if reports out of Washington are accurate. The US Senate is expected to vote on the proposal later this week and there seems to be enough support for the proposal to make it law.
If a vote were to be taken this week, it would actually be the second time in about a month that the United States Senate has shown that they believe this kind of policy is wanted and needed across the country.
If the bill does advance through the entire Senate it would basically be forming a framework for a policy that has long been something that was left up to individual states.
A national online sales tax bill appears to be mostly about fairness when looking state to state. There are some states that have already enacted sales tax provisions for Internet shopping. Major retail sites like Amazon.com have long been fighting against there being a national movement towards this policy.
Without a nationalized approach to this issue, there are some states who do not charge a tax on web purchases. Online retailers have adapted to this by generally not tacking on the tax until the state where the items purchased are being shipped has been confirmed.
For year-end tax purposes, people are supposed to estimate how much they think they spent on the web. That kind of honors system would be done away with should this bill become law.
It should be pointed out that the bill would still have a tough road to hoe even if it does fly out of the Senate without much opposition.
In order to become statute the “The Marketplace Fairness Act” would also have to be approved by the House of Representatives. Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) hasn’t said the bill would be dead on arrival but he did say he would take a good long look at the proposal.
What do you think about a national online sales tax?