Nationwide Internet Sales Tax Bill to be Introduced

Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) plans to introduce a bill next month that would require national collection of sales tax for Internet purchases, his office confirmed.

Durbin’s Main Street Fairness Act would require sellers to collect sales tax from out-of-state buyers regardless of whether the seller has a physical presence in the state. Currently, retailers are only required to collect sales tax in states where they also have brick-and-mortar stores.

“It’s not a new tax; it just insures that the required sales tax is being collected,” Durbin spokesman Max Gleischman told JCK.

Requiring online retailers to collect sales tax from out-of-state buyers would save states nearly $37 billion over a three-year period, Durbin told business leaders in February.

According to reports, the bill will be co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wy.)

Illinois and Arkansas have recently passed laws requiring Internet companies collect sales tax.  New York, Hawaii, North Carolina, and Rhode Island have similar laws on the books. Laws requiring collection of Internet sales tax are also being considered in California, Arizona, Vermont, Massachusetts, and several other states.

“Sales tax fairness” has been a legislative priority for Jewelers of America. The association provides jewelers with a way to contact elected representatives about the issue here.

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