The 2012 U.S. of eBay Fly-In began today, April 24th, as sellers from around the country prepare to meet with representatives in Congress to share their success stories and discuss issues affecting small business. Many top sellers arrived in Washington today for orientation.
The hot topic was Internet sales tax and the many nuances of the issue and misconceptions that big box retailers are using to attempt to influence policymakers, including:
- This issue is primarily about fairness in how policy affects small businesses vs. large enterprises. It's not about online vs. offline commerce. In fact, 93% of purchases still happen in stores. And 60% of small businesses have an online presence.
- Requiring small businesses to collect and remit sales taxes in over 9,000 taxing juridiction is unfair. While technology theoretically makes it possible, small businesses still must navigate 45 filing procedures and potentially face audits by out-of-state tax officials.
- The small business exemption proposed in current bills is far too low. A robust exemption for small businesses is needed to treat them the differently than mega-billion dollar retailers.
The evening concluded with a dinner reception at the Newseum. Devin Wenig, President of eBay Marketplaces, addressed the sellers and touched on the state of eBay and future trends impacting commerce, including mobile payments, global markets, and the importance of social commerce and connecting with customers.