August 27, 2001, 12:00 AM

National Retail Federation launches web site focusing on sales tax issue

The new NRF-sponsored site provides educational content for lawmakers and consumers on “best practices” to streamline tax systems to enable web and catalog sales tax collection.

Internet Retailer

 

The National Retail Federation has launched a new web site, www.salestaxfairness.com, to educate both consumers and legislators on the issue of fair and equitable sales tax collection. With the rapid growth of e-commerce, states are pushing Congress to require Internet retailers to collect sales tax, as is required of brick and mortar retailers. But with more than 7,000 state and local jurisdictions that impose sales taxes across the country, Internet retailers need a simpler system if they are to be required to collect sales tax, says the Washington, DC-based trade organization.

On Aug. 20, 44 of the nation’s governors called on Congress to address concerns over the ability of states, local governments and schools to collect sales and use taxes on remote transactions. The new web site was created with the lawmakers in mind. It will provide information to help educate them about best practices for simplifying and modernizing sales tax systems, says Scott Cahill, NRF vice president for government and industry affairs.

“Discriminatory sales tax policies unfairly burden storefront retailers,” Cahill says. “Until a level playing field is created, state and local sales tax revenues will continue to erode, depriving these governments of funds for roads, teachers and vital services.”

NRJ supports legislation that would both extend the existing moratorium on taxing Internet access and begin the process of tax simplification that would ultimately require Internet and mail-order retailers to collect sales tax. The Internet Tax Moratorium and Equity Act extends the moratorium through 2005, while encouraging state and local governments to work on a streamlined sales tax system. It also provides congressional authorization for states to require out of state sellers to collect taxes on in-state purchases.

 

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