Collecting sales tax from online retailers divides lawmakers, businesses

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  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 8, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    DN Subscriber,

    you are correct, the small businesses should not be forced to determine the rate for every location. They should only be required to collect state income taxes and disregard the local sales and use taxes. There are only 50 states, and since a number of them (I don't know how many) do not have sales tax, that would be less than 50 tax rates they would need to track.

    It would also benefit small businesses to pick up local sales they are now losing to on-line businesses.

    I am sure the market would quickly produce a service to track that minefield of tax rates and sell that service for a small fee.

    I would rather hire someone at the local Target than buy from Targetdotcom. It does more for my local economy.

    With DC as disfunctional as it is, it is foolish to wait on congress.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 7, 2013 7:44 p.m.

    The key element that the politicians fail to consider is the incredible burden this places on small businesses.

    How does a business determine the correct tax rate to charge on a sale to any specific address in the U.S. and the applicable state and local taxes, and which particular products may or may not be taxable in that location?

    Then how does the amount collected get transmitted to each of those various state and local entities. (Write checks to dozens of entities for amounts ranging from pennies to a few dollars to an occasional significant amount? Electronic transfer from the business account to each of those entities, and on what schedule? Some central clearing house to provide all the accounting and payment transfers? And how much will it cost for software and fees? And how secure or open to fraud can these systems be?

    Frankly, this would be enough of a hassle to force a lot of small businesses to just quit. But, the big businesses pushing these schemes see that as a feature, not a flaw.

  • stevo123 slc, ut
    March 7, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    This is a tax increase anyway you look at it. Whats next, food?