As usual, our lawmakers are foaming at the mouth with buzz words for this “taxing” issue. Of course, many times encouraged by very generous donations made by the retail giants who all seem to be suddenly concerned with “fairness” in the marketplace. “Why it’s a tax loophole!” they all exclaim, speaking of the Supreme Court ruling that requires a business to have “nexus” (ie: physical presence) in a state to collect sales tax. “This allows online retailers an unfair advantage as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are required to charge sales tax!” they further cry. Could it be that we have been blindly sailing through the internet age (for several decades now) with no way whatsoever to collect sales tax for online purchases?
Turns out, this “loophole” that MFA supporters constantly whine about has no basis in fact. In states that collect sales tax, consumers have always been required to report online purchases on their tax returns. State governments are joining the MFA bandwagon in alarming numbers complaining that no one listens and, therefore, they are severely shorted on sales tax revenue.
So what’s the problem? States are able to collect income taxes successfully – why not sales tax? Here’s a great idea perhaps our state officials should embrace: Enforce the law! Yes, all they’d have to do is simply enforce an existing law on the books – but they’d apparently rather see small businesses collect the tax and foot the bill for compliance. At a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars nationwide, least we forget.