“Sales tax fairness” is a phrase by retail trade associations and numerous store-based retailers. It is intended to motivate Congress to require online retailers to collect sales tax in a manner consistent with store-based retailers. The latter feel that online retailers often have an unfair competitive advantage when they do not charge sales tax. Nonetheless, to data, Congress has NOT passed any legislation mandating sales tax fairness.
We have written about this issue many times (for example, see 1, 2, 3, 4).
Recently, the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association has revisited sales tax fairness again:
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement today from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French on introduction of the Marketplace Fairness Act by Senators Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
“We welcome this effort to level the sales tax playing field between Main Street merchants and online retailers. For far too long, brick-and-mortar retailers have faced a competitive disadvantage solely because of Congress’ inability to resolve the online sales tax disparity. Retailers should be allowed to compete for customers and sales on price, service and selection and not forced to compete on whether or not they collect state and local sales tax.”
“The introduction of this legislation is a welcome sign that lawmakers may finally act on this retail industry priority, and builds upon ongoing activity in the House and Senate. It also comes on the heels of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s admission last week that the Court got it wrong on sales tax collection two decades ago and should revisit its decision.”
“It is Congress’ responsibility to lay out a legislative framework on online sales tax collection and we hope that the introduction of this bill will spur congressional action to remedy this problem this year.”
“A similar version of the Marketplace Fairness Act passed the U.S. Senate on May 6, 2013 with a broad, bipartisan vote of 69 to 27.”