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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InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
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MattsworknameYou know andrew, those are actualy rock solid ideas, I woudl like those features a bunch ,especially with games that a cut scene heavly. looking at you kojima!07/03/2015 - 1:18am
Andrew EisenActually, "things I'd like to see become standard in video games" ain't a bad idea for one of my future YouTube videos.07/03/2015 - 1:05am
Andrew EisenYou know what I'd really like to see become standard? The ability to pause cutscenes. Rewind and skip (with "Are you sure?") would be nice too. Oh, and maybe display the duration of the cutscene when it's paused.07/03/2015 - 1:03am
Mattsworknameonly reason to do region locking now is to be dicks your consumer base. Granted, we see that ALOT these days07/03/2015 - 12:48am
MattsworknameI understand the concerns about the region locking thing, I just thing that if you buy a game legitimately, no matter where it's from or what langauge it's in, you should be allowed to play it. the argument about piracy was proven false years ago, the07/03/2015 - 12:47am
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.theverge.com/culture/2015/7/2/8888243/reddit-subreddits-private-after-ama-victoria-taylor-fired bad optics by Reddit.07/03/2015 - 12:33am
Goth_SkunkI'm in full agreement on the subtitles issue. I also believe that every game should come with a single-player component, and be playable without an internet connection. Except MMOs.07/02/2015 - 10:51pm
TechnogeekRegion locking bans seem like something that'll be very difficult to pass into law. I'm fully on board with the subtitle requirement, though.07/02/2015 - 10:00pm
MattsworknameFor example, all games with any for form of spoken dialoge should be i subtitled, and region locking in any form should be illegal07/02/2015 - 9:03pm
MattsworknameDoes anyone feel that there should be a set standard for all games in terms of certain basic features. Ie subtitles, region lock, etc07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
MattsworknameSo, now that the Article stuff is over, I want to bring up another subject07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
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