NRF expresses support for Marketplace Fairness Act to impose sales tax collection requirements on online retailers

200px-National_Retail_Federation_LogoThe National Retail Federation expressed support for the Marketplace Fairness Act on Thursday, saying the bipartisan legislation indicates progress on the passage of sales tax fairness legislation.

“For far too long local retailers and small business owners have been saddled with a competitive disadvantage with online retailers – sales taxes,” David French, the senior vice president for government relations at the NRF, said. “While store owners collect and remit state and local sales taxes their digital competitors are off the hook – and benefiting because of it. This sales tax disparity hinders community-based retailers, hurts Main Street jobs, and has [led] to a $24 billion loss for state and local governments. As e-commerce and m-commerce continue to increase in market share, it’s time Congress allows all retailers to compete on the same playing field.”

The legislation grants states the authority to require online retailers and mobile retailers to collect sales tax at the point of purchase and would require states to simplify their sales tax codes and tax definitions before the bill is implemented. The bill would also provide retailers with free software to help ease the compliance burden.

“This bill grants states the ability to collect taxes that are already owed,” French said. “The Marketplace Fairness Act reinforces free and fair competition in the marketplace, protects states’ rights, and brings much-needed simplification to the nation’s complex sales tax system. NRF has long-supported a federal solution to address the sales tax disparity that is flexible enough for states to implement and easy enough for small businesses to comply with.”

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