Poll Shows Greater Awareness Of Sales Tax Requirement on Web Sales

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By Marc Heller

Oct. 8 --A poll commissioned by shopping center owners shows that consumers are much more aware than a year ago that they must pay sales taxes on goods they buy through the Internet.

The poll, organized by the International Council of Shopping Centers, showed that 64 percent of consumers are aware they owe sales tax on goods they buy online, an increase of 23 percentage points since October 2012.

In addition, the group said, the poll indicated support for federal legislation that would lead the way to more retailers collecting sales tax at the time of purchases.

“Americans increasingly recognize that this is not a new tax,” said Michael Kercheval, president and CEO of ICSC, in an Oct. 8 news release. “The results of this poll demonstrate that consumers want a sales tax system that supports their retail habits and gives brick-and-mortar merchants a chance to compete on a level playing field.”

The ICSC is a trade organization with more than 60,000 members in 90 countries, according to its website.

The poll, conducted by Opinion Research Organization, showed that 78 percent of consumers believe paying sales tax would be easier if done at the time of purchase, and 64 percent of consumers support legislation requiring online-only retailers to collect sales tax at the time of sale, an increase of five percentage points from October 2012.

The shopping center group said the poll was based on a survey among two national probability samples, which, when combined, consisted of 1,001 adults, 501 men and 500 women 18 years of age and older, living in the continental U.S.

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