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eBay, Amazon and Internet Sellers: Get Ready to Collect and Pay Sales Tax in all 50 States

July 16th, 2009 by Skip McGrath

While everyone is paying attention to Health Care, the Sotomayor hearings and Cap & Trade, congress is quietly getting ready to impose sales tax on all internet sellers

Great Magicians master the craft of misdirection. They create a diversion with their right hand while the left hand is doing the real work. It seems our congress has studied the craft of magic too.  Everyone pays attention to the big bills while hundreds of small –yet critically important bills are being crafted out of sight –and with no debate.

Lobbyists from firms such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target and the National Retail Federation are throwing millions of dollars at House and Senate members to draft a series of bills that will force every internet retailer –large and small, to collect and pay sales tax in all 50 states. The pressure is not only coming from the retailers, but from state governments too who need the revenue.

Such a bill would kill millions of eBay and Amazon sellers and any small business that sells online. There are over 6 million people who make all or part of their income from online activities and they represent a huge chunk of the economy.  And many of these companies employ people. All of these sellers will be affected. Such a bill would cost millions of job losses by small business.

If you sell on eBay, can you imagine how much work it would be to collect and pay sales tax in all the different states.  Just registering for a sales tax number in all of the states would take weeks of work and cost thousands of dollars in fees.

These bills are being crafted and debated now. eBay, Amazon and other big online companies are lobbying against them, but they are outnumbered.  But its not hopeless. Lobbyists may have the money, but we have the votes. And congress does listen when they get emails and phone calls.

Just go to: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml to email your congress person and senator. If you don’t make some noise then this is coming.  Be polite – but tell them NO TAX ON INTERNET SELLERS!

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