Senate Passes Online Sales Tax Bill, The Marketplace Fairness Act
The Marketplace Fairness Act also targets businesses that sell products out-of-state through catalogs and mail-order services often used by promotional products companies. Approximately half of the $23 billion in lost sales tax is attributed to catalog, mail order, and radio and television advertisements.
Several online retailers, lead by online auction site eBay, have voiced strong opposition to the legislation. Opponents to the bill say that small businesses are not equipped to handle the collection and remittance of sales taxes to multiple states as well as national retailers, and that these businesses will suffer in the process. eBay is asking congress to increase the minimum sales level to $10 million, and to exempt companies with fewer than 50 employees.
Although the bill passed through the Senate without much difficult, pundits expect it will have more trouble when it reaches the U.S. House of Representatives. Several House members have express opposition to the bill, while others have proposed an alternative version of the bill that has yet to receive a hearing. President Obama has already stated that he supports the idea of an online sales tax bill, indicating that he is likely to sign it should it pass the House.