For the past few weeks, some members of Congress have been working to insert harmful Internet sales tax legislation into a must-pass spending bill. If passed, this proposal – the Remote Transaction Parity Act - would mean that items sold to buyers from small, out-of-state companies, artisans, and average consumers over the Internet would be taxed. Small businesses that use online marketplaces to sell goods across the country would be harshly impacted in a variety of ways. The RTPA includes no small business exemption, meaning the smallest of businesses would be required to manage sales tax collection and remittance for more than 9,600 taxing jurisdictions across the country. These same small businesses would also be exposed to costly and resource constraining compliance and audit requirements from out-of-state tax collectors.
Fortunately eBay Main Street Members stepped up once again. Our community of engaged ecommerce participants sent over 85,000 letters to their members of Congress, letting their legislators know that the RTPA is bad for American small businesses and asking their legislators to help keep the RTPA out of the current spending bill. And it worked! On Friday the spending bill was passed without the inclusion of an Internet sales tax. We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to all members of our community who made their voices heard and helped protect Internet-enabled small businesses.
Unfortunately the battle is not yet over. The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case brought forth by South Dakota as they (like other states) attempt to implement their own Internet sales tax regime. The eBay Government Relations team will be monitoring this case closely and will continue to do all we can to protect small businesses from harmful and unfair sales tax legislation.