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Taxing Internet sales will hurt business

Date published: 11/14/2012

Taxing Internet sales will hurt business

As a constituent and small-business owner in Virginia, I write to express my concerns with current Internet sales-tax legislation that has been introduced in Congress. Here are my concerns with the Marketplace Fairness Act:

The most disconcerting piece of the legislation is the small-business exemption. The exemption is far too low. I urge reconsideration of this number to ensure that profits are not eaten up by an arbitrary number that benefits larger businesses but penalizes smaller ones.

The new tax burdens this legislation places on small businesses are daunting. The thought of small businesses collecting and remitting sales tax for 50 states in more than 9,500 tax jurisdictions is not only overwhelming, but unsettling.

There has been talk of states offering businesses free software to comply with the legislation, but I find it hard to believe that hurting states would offer such a service for free. If the software did not come from the states, then business would have to bear the cost. Cost is not my only worry, as filing taxes is never just done with the push of button.

Fairness, leveling the playing field, and equality have been brought up during the Internet sales-tax discussion, yet I fail to understand how legislation that requires one portion of retailers to collect in 50 states and another to continue to collect in just one state can be called fair.

Please look at this legislation through the eyes of thousands of other retailers here in Virginia who use the Internet to grow, compete, and revolutionize their business models.

Chris Yakabouski