Many consumers prefer to shop online during the holiday season, to avoid crowds and long lines and for easy lower-price comparison shopping. Consumers have been concerned that many of their favorite online markets will be forced to implement a state sales tax on purchases made online.
However, consumers can rest easy for at least one more holiday season: House Speaker John Boehner stated last week that the Act forcing retailers to implement state sales tax on online purchases won't be heard in the U.S. House of Representatives until next year. The Marketplace Fairness Act passed the U.S. Senate vote last year. It is currently stalled in the House.
Recent court rulings dictate retailers can only be forced to collect taxes in states where they have a brick-and-mortar presence.
Many retailers, such as Nordstrom's, support the Marketplace Fairness Act- and believe that the Act's passage in the U.S. House of Representatives will eliminate an unfair advantage given to online competitors such as Ebay and Overstock.
Surprisingly, Amazon also strongly supports the MFA- due to the physical presence of an Amazon fulfillment store, or associated Amazon retailers' physical store presence, in almost every state. States without a current fulfillment center will likely have one in the near future. The inevitability of being taxed in every state has prompted Amazon to support the Bill and focus on next-day delivery (via state fulfillment centers) - with hopes that quicker delivery will edge out other online retailers.
Opponents of the bill, such as Ebay, say keeping up with each state's tax requirements and laws are too confusing. Other opponents of the Bill claim it runs afoul to allow states to collect taxes on businesses that don't reside within their borders.
Either way, the issue will have to wait until next year, according to the House Speaker's office.
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