eBay in All-Out Effort to Derail 'Marketplace Fairness Act', Online Sales Tax

eBay in All-Out Effort to Derail 'Marketplace Fairness Act', Online Sales TaxNow that the Marketplace Fairness Act will come up for a possible vote in the U.S. Senate in coming days, eBay is urging its millions of users to oppose the measure that would allow state and local governments to collect online sales taxes — even if the purchaser lives in another state.
EBay Chief Executive John Donahoe has begun emailing millions of users of the giant online marketplace in the biggest push yet to derail the proposed legislation.
The legislation’s supporters include the biggest online retailer Amazon, along with Walmart, the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures.
EBay plans to send emails from Donahoe to at least 40 million eBay users, including most sellers on the marketplace, Reuters reports.
In the emails, Donahoe said the legislation is unfair to small online businesses and he is asking eBay users to send an email message to members of Congress asking for changes.
The Marketplace Fairness Act would overhaul the current system in which taxes only need to be collected from consumers if a retailer has a physical location within the state.
Small business advocates argue that the proposed e-commerce law’s exemption for merchants that generate less than $1 million in annual out-of-state revenue is simply too low. They also say the law would represent to an accounting nightmare, requiring entrepreneurs and small biz owners to collect and remit sales tax to every state where a customer resides.
“This legislation treats you and big multi-billion dollar online retailers – such as Amazon – exactly the same,” Donahoe wrote. “Those fighting for this change refuse to acknowledge that the burden on businesses like yours is far greater than for a big national retailer.”
State governments have been pushing for the authority to collect taxes on their residents’ online purchases, claiming it is costing state coffers billions annually.
A 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision gave states the ability to collect the taxes from catalog and online purchases, but only if residents voluntarily send the tax payments to state collectors.
The Marketplace Fairness Act allows businesses to collect the taxes on online purchases and send them to the state where the buyer resides.

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