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Monday, June 25, 2012
are on the verge of being granted the authority to collect sales
tax from remote retailers, judging from a presentation from
government and business stakeholders at the Federation of Tax
Administrators annual meeting last week. Also, a poll on Bloomberg BNA's StateTax LinkedIn group shows unanimous agreement that Congress is
likely to enact such legislation by the end of 2013.
But there has been a lack of action
in Congress to support the notion that remote collection authority
will be granted to the states in the near future.
In one session, panelist Joan
Wagnon, executive vice president of FedTax and the former Secretary
of Revenue for Kansas detailed what the states need to do to
prepare for the resulting influx of remote retailers. The list
includes contracting with certified service providers and adopting
uniform standards for sharing data about rates and
Panelist Rich Prem, vice president
of indirect taxes and tax reporting at Amazon.com, encouraged
administrators to adopt solutions that will "scale" to handle
upwards of 20,000 new sales tax registrants and to implement
education initiatives aimed at remote retailers.
But none of the bills has advanced
since being introduced. Those bills are:
All three measures have provisions for
a "small-seller exception" that would exempt a remote vendor from
collecting tax if sales fell below a certain threshold.
On a more optimistic note, something
seems to be different this time. Amazon seems to be anticipating
remote collection authority-it brokered a deal with California last
year, which hinges upon it. Plus, never has there been so many
federal measures regarding sales tax collection pending at the same
time. Also, while the bills have not moved, the Senate Finance
Committee held an April 25 hearing that addressed the need to
reform the state tax treatment of electronic commerce.
By Steven Roll
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