Update on Newest Internet Sales Tax Proposal

September 2, 2016

You may have read recently that Congress has unveiled yet another proposal to require Internet sales tax (IST) collection on remote sales.  We wanted to provide you with a quick update on this development.  Last week, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte released a bill known as the Online Sales Simplification Act (OSSA), which is a different model than the previously-introduced Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA) and the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA).  We are reviewing the specifics of bill to see how it affects eBay customers, but here are the basic structural components:

  •  A retailer selling remotely would collect sales tax based on the sales tax rate charged at the destination location.  However, each state would be limited to selecting a single sales destination tax rate for remote sales. 
  • The retailer’s origin (local) state tax base would apply to remote sales if, for example, the item is exempt from sales tax in your home state but not in the seller’s state. 
  • The retailer would send all collected sales tax revenue to the origin taxing authority, which would forward to a newly-established tax clearinghouse.  The clearinghouse would then distribute the appropriate taxes to the appropriate states. 
  • Only the retailer’s origin state may conduct an audit.

We will keep you posted as we learn more about the bill and the odds that Congress will consider it during the lame duck session after the November 8th elections.