Extended Tax Amnesty Program Boosts Remote Seller Numbers

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By Ryan Prete

Applications for the Multistate Tax Commission’s tax amnesty program for third-party marketplace sellers continue to pour in following a decision to extend the initiative’s registration deadline.

As of Oct. 18, the MTC received 382 submitted applications from sellers across the country on marketplace platforms such as Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc., and Etsy Inc.—up nearly a hundred registrants from the prior week when the MTC’s Nexus Committee voted to extend the application deadline to Nov. 1 from Oct. 17.

MTC National Nexus Program Director Richard Cram’s chief concern about the deadline extension was the lack of necessary human resources.

“We’ve doubled our manpower and will be adding one more person to assist with application processing, but it’s been a struggle so far,” Cram told Bloomberg Tax. “It will continue to be a challenge but should smooth out as people get the hang of the process. I consider it a good problem to have.”

‘Program Worthwhile’

When the application process concludes, Cram “fully expects” over 500 marketplace sellers will have registered.

The Nexus Committee estimates there are between 40,000 to 50,000 remote sellers who take in enough income to consider their individual businesses a full-time endeavor. By hitting the 400 or 500 application mark, the amnesty program would represent about 1 percent of the seller community, a number that Cram considers a successful milestone.

“We are only scratching the surface here, but we are very pleased in possibly attracting one percent of the total seller community,” Cram said. “The seller response has us all very excited and has made the whole program worthwhile.”

Cram hopes to deliver a progress report on the amnesty program—which could include the sales volume of registered sellers—at the MTC’s Fall Committee Meetings, which run from Nov. 15-17 in New Orleans.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Prete in Washington at rprete@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer McLoughlin at jmcloughlin@bna.com

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