CEA Changes Course on Internet Sales Tax Collection

December 14, 2011 -

In the late 1990's and early 2000's a politician proposing an internet sales tax would have been ridden out on a rail. It used to be that lawmakers were scared of the subject. Now even retail associations - some of which represent huge internet companies - say they support the idea. One of those trade groups, the Consumer Electronics Association, has changed sides this week.

CEA has opposed efforts in the U.S. Congress to require Internet sellers to collect sales taxes for years, but the group has "changed its mind" on the topic. Gary Shapiro, CEA's president and CEO, said Tuesday that the group’s opposition to Internet sales taxes was because the internet was "still in its infancy." They now support a unified national collection policy that "applies regardless of whether a product is purchased online or in person will help ensure all retailers -- big, small or online -- operate fairly and competitively in the marketplace," Shapiro said.

CEA is the first tech trade group to support online sales tax collection. Online retailer Amazon supports tax collection as well. Shapiro also points out that Internet sales tax collection would help state budgets and retain local jobs.

Not everyone thinks having a sales tax for the Internet on a national level is a good idea; trade group NetChoice, whose members including Facebook, Yahoo and eBay, continues to oppose Internet sales tax legislation. Steve DelBianco, NetChoice's executive director, says that online sales tax legislation would clear "the field of small businesses who use the Internet as a last-ditch survival strategy against the overwhelming competition from big-box stores."

But Shapiro thinks that no matter what anyone wants, an Internet sales tax law is "inevitable" within the next few years. CEA does at least say that a sales tax collection system would have to provide exemptions for small businesses, but what they see as a small business might not fit lawmakers' definition...

"It has to happen," he says.

Source: Network World


Comments

Re: CEA Changes Course on Internet Sales Tax Collection

Taking bets on whether it was a true change of heart or if something shadier took place (threat, bribe, membership by someone having a huge interest in the matter, etc.)

Re: CEA Changes Course on Internet Sales Tax Collection

Makes little difference to me either way.  I live in the home state of both Amazon and Valve, so I am already paying sales tax on over 90% of my online spending. 

 
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Wonderkarpyeah, San Andreases rerating was ridiculous. Why not rerate Skyrim with all its crazy sex mods out there?05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
Andrew EisenManhunt 2 and Hatred though? Eh, there's an argument to be made for the higher rating.05/28/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenRerating San Andreas was a mistake though. That seemed to be the result of kowtowing to public pressure.05/28/2015 - 3:42pm
Andrew EisenThere wasn't one. It's just a dumb rating.05/28/2015 - 3:42pm
WonderkarpI dont see Moral Panic with a racing game though05/28/2015 - 3:40pm
Matthew Wilson@AE when they tend to misrate games its normally because of moral panic surrounding it.05/28/2015 - 3:38pm
E. Zachary KnightReally awesome short film here. Predator: Dark Ages. Very well done. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRD8jAk274I05/28/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenBut hey, misrating less than five out of thousands of game ain't too bad a track record. No one's perfect.05/28/2015 - 3:32pm
Andrew EisenIt's a racing game. Despite what the ESRB says, there's no gore and it's hard to consider it violent. Yeah, there's supposed to be a driver in the vehicle and they do explode when they crash and there is a slight bloodstain when they do but come on.05/28/2015 - 3:30pm
Wonderkarpnever played it....atleast I dont think. May have rented it once from Blockbuster05/28/2015 - 3:27pm
Andrew EisenAnd I STILL say the ESRB misrated Forsaken 64. There is absolutely no reason that should be rated M.05/28/2015 - 3:23pm
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Andrew EisenOh you meant "would have gotten an M rating 15 years ago" not "an M15 rating years ago." Oops!05/28/2015 - 3:19pm
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WonderkarpI know M is 17, but M can get sold in Walmart or Target, but they wont carry AO05/28/2015 - 3:14pm
Andrew EisenM is 17 but whatever. I'm wondering why Hatred still hasn't shown up in the ESRB's database.05/28/2015 - 3:13pm
Wonderkarpsomething like that, yeah. If like what Matthew said. "How did it get a AO rating to start with?" in comparison to games like Postal. If Postal gets an M and Hatred gets an AO, what other games could get AO that would have gotten an M 15 years ago?05/28/2015 - 3:11pm
Matthew Wilson@Wonderkarp the slippery slope is a fallacy. 2 Australian is bound by law, the esrb is not.05/28/2015 - 3:10pm
Andrew EisenKarp - I'm not following. Are you concerned that even more games are going to be rated AO or something?05/28/2015 - 3:08pm
WonderkarpI'm more worried that its a slippary slope to more Australian style ratings strictness.05/28/2015 - 3:06pm
 

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