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Internet sales taxes could change things

Our View -   May 09, 2013

Sales taxes on the Internet may soon become a regular thing if a bill which passed in the U. S. Senate this week goes the rest of the way to become law. And it would be fairer to most local retailers because, at present, they have to compete against competitors on the Internet who do not have to charge customers the taxes.

Internet buyers have an advantage to begin with since they can buy from their homes and often get free shipping in addition to no sales tax. And those who sell on the Internet can have an enormous base of customers depending upon how aggressive they are in advertising their products.

There’s a big problem ahead if this bill goes further in Congress. How will we make sure that the law would be followed by all retailers on the Internet? Getting them to comply with its requirements could be difficult indeed due to the spread of the requirements through 50 states.

It will be difficult for businesses to comply with the law to begin with due to the obvious complexity of determining how much sales tax goes to each of the localities in which the purchasers are located. And that obviously questions the fairness of the overall system of sales on the Internet.

So it is questionable if the bill which passed the Senate will work in the end if it becomes law. That remains to be seen.

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