A number of e-retailers such as eBay, Overstock recently launched a campaign, asking the consumers to strive against a potential internet sales tax. However, despite these efforts, U.S. Senate has passed the ‘Marketplace Fairness Act’ which effectively places an internet sales tax on online retailers.
The response of the Senate towards the bill was a tad bit surprising. It showed extra-ordinary bipartisan support, sailing the Act through the Senate with 69 – 27 votes in its favor. Proponents of the bill argue that e-retailers have an unfair advantage over real brick-and-mortar retailers because online retailers don’t pay sales taxes.
So, to make the marketplace more competitive and fair, the Act proposes an internet sales tax, which would affect only the e-retailers. However, major e-retail giants such as eBay have fiercely campaigned against the Act, arguing that an additional tax like this will adversely affect internet-based startups.
For now, the bill needs to be passed by the House of Representatives. All indicators seem to point out that the House will easily pass the bill, although it may apply a few modifications to it. For instance, the minimum revenue bar may be increased from $1 million to $10 million. The bar is the threshold, exceeding which, e-retailers will be required to pay this new tax.
Many house members have already cited their opinion that according to them, the bill is far from being the definitive document on the subject. And that they are very open to suggestions which, if they seem plausible, may be made a part of the final legislation.