Legislation For The Taxation Of Online Retailers

767 words - 4 pages

Americans have developed a culture of shopping. It has become a pastime enjoyed by many. But with the growth of the internet, shopping has changed from going to the mall to a mouse click away. Traditional retail owners are looking to Congress and lawmakers to even the playing field with the online stores. Online stores have enjoyed a tax free advantage over flesh and blood shops. Because the internet did not start out being taxed, it was the perfect opportunity for cheap shopping. People everywhere have always been attracted to a good deal. However, it would not be long before businessmen would be attracted to this kind of money, as well as politicians finding a way to tax the money. With a potential new taxable income, politicians are doing everything possible to pass the necessary laws to make online retailers charge sales tax. Regardless of the location of the retailer headquarters, the online stores would have to suffer loss of some of their sales, especially ones based on the lower price sticker. With the legislation that has been passed, the best outcome would be to resolve the matter with a sales tax for all online stores based on its state.
Online shopping started out just like every other thing on the internet, with little or no restriction or fee. It stayed that way until the late 1990s. Lawmakers set in motion ways to make money, through taxation, off of the internet. This was abruptly stopped when the Internet Tax Freedom Act was passed in 1998. The one form of tax this did not stop was sales tax made by purchasing goods online.
There are two opinions that oppose each other in this matter, as well as some grey area. One side, made up mostly of government workers, says that sales taxes are owed to the government, and should be collected by all retailers. The opposing view, strongly supported by companies like Amazon, is that internet retailers should not have to collect sales tax for the government. Although there are the two extremes, there are many smaller choices to make within the larger decisions. If sales taxes are not collected by the online retailers, should the states collect them with income taxes once a year? If the retailers do collect sales tax, is it a...

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