There have been recent news stories about Amazon starting to collect sales tax in some states.
- Texas on July 1, 2012 as part of an agreement to expand in Texas (see Statesman.com of 7/29/12)
- Nevada in 2014 (see Las Vegas Sun of 4/23/12)
AB 155 also provides: "The Director of Finance shall, on or before August 15, 2012, certify in writing to the Governor, the Senate Committee on Rules, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the State Board of Equalization whether or not federal law has been enacted on or before July 31, 2012, authorizing the states to require a seller to collect taxes on sales of goods or services to in-state purchasers without regard to the location of the seller."
I assume the above is a formality and on the "to do" list for the Department of Finance. Given it is election year and Congress has many things on its plate, it seems unlikely they will enact any of the current versions of the Main Street Fairness legislation (for details on the proposals, click here.)
Also note that the California Board of Equalization is working on revising Reg 1684 to address AB 155 changes to R&T Section 6203.
So, what is the effect on Congress' interest in enacting legislation to, in effect, overturn the Quill decision and let states that have satisfied certain simplification requirements to collect sales tax from non-present vendors? One of the Main Street Fairness proposals (H.R. 3179) has such a high de minimis threshold ($1 million) that it will allow the majority of internet vendors who do not already have nexus in particular states to continue to be exempt from collecting sales tax. Thus, it seems that the bill is really after the larger vendors, such as Amazon.
What do you think? Do you think Congress will pass on a Mainstreet Fairness Act proposal if it sees that Amazon is collecting tax in more states? What about if states are also making better efforts to collect use tax?
What about simplification to make collection of all sales and use tax a no brainer? (such as having the customer's credit card or Paypal account charged by the state for the sales tax at time of purchase?)