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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Need to Fix Sales Tax Collection Problem

A headline in today's Chicago Sun Times is a good reminder of the need to address the issue of sales and use tax not getting collected on a lot of online shopping done by consumers. The story title - "Tax-free shopping doomed?" by Kyong M. Song (11/13/11).

There has never been tax-free shopping on the Internet. It has only seemed tax-free because most consumers do not know about the use tax or don't pay it. And, states have had difficulties enforcing it (and done little to really educate consumers about the use tax).

There are currently three bills in Congress calling for some way to get more remote vendors to collect the tax, which would be the easiest way for the states to collect it and for consumers (no need to track what use tax you owe if the vendor collected it from you).

For a quick summary of the three proposals, see "Federal Proposals" - here.

I am doubtful if anything will be passed this year unless Congress feels that it a necessary option to help states gain some revenues.

What do you think?

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