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Report: Congress Set to End Tax-Free Online Shopping
Fox News ^ | April 17, 2009 | Fox News

Posted on 04/18/2009 10:00:00 AM PDT by sheikdetailfeather

Friday, April 17, 2009

Print ShareThisThe free ride may soon be over.

For the past decade and a half, most Internet shoppers haven't been forced to pay sales tax while buying goods online.

But now, according to CNet News, an alliance of "brick-and-mortar" retailers and state governments has teamed up to end that — and they've crafted federal legislation that may be introduced in Congress as early as next week.

Previous attempts in past years to do so have flopped.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 111th; congress; ecommerce; online; shopping; taxes; taxincrease
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..."and they've crafted federal legislation that may be introduced in Congress as early as next week."
1 posted on 04/18/2009 10:00:01 AM PDT by sheikdetailfeather
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To: sheikdetailfeather

Bye bye Miss American tax free pie.


2 posted on 04/18/2009 10:01:09 AM PDT by shineon
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To: sheikdetailfeather

They seem to bring this up every session and it fails everytime.


3 posted on 04/18/2009 10:02:44 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: shineon

I left my chevy at the levee and traded it in for a Lexus


4 posted on 04/18/2009 10:02:45 AM PDT by shineon
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To: sheikdetailfeather

95% of us will see a tax cut so not to worry....


5 posted on 04/18/2009 10:03:01 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, Question everyone else)
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To: EGPWS

The only tax cut I’m going to see is when I trim the fringes of my pant legs.


6 posted on 04/18/2009 10:04:16 AM PDT by shineon
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To: sheikdetailfeather

This Congress and this administration seem hellbent on destroying the Republic.


7 posted on 04/18/2009 10:05:29 AM PDT by savedbygrace (You are only leading if someone follows. Otherwise, you just wandered off... [Smokin' Joe])
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To: sheikdetailfeather
This is going to put a lot of online sellers out of business.

Shoppers are NOT going to pay taxes PLUS SHIPPING & HANDLING charges!!

8 posted on 04/18/2009 10:05:37 AM PDT by LADY J
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To: sheikdetailfeather
Online monitoring and recording is the only conceivable way to enforce this.
9 posted on 04/18/2009 10:05:40 AM PDT by allmost
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To: sheikdetailfeather

Hope! Change!


10 posted on 04/18/2009 10:06:22 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, John 11:25, 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5, John 3:17-18, John 20:31, 1 John 5:13, John 6:69)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

In a word, “NO!”

If they think they’ve seen a big tax protest to this point, wait until they implement this.


11 posted on 04/18/2009 10:07:09 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Pres__ent Obama's own grandmother says he was born in Kenya. She was there.)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

It sure is good that only people making over $250,000 a year shop online.


12 posted on 04/18/2009 10:07:34 AM PDT by eclecticEel ("Envy is always referred to by its political alias, 'social justice.' " - T. Sowell)
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To: http://www.freerepublic.com/pe

The only power I trust is the one that comes from Jesus Christ.

What Caesar has not given he can’t take away.


13 posted on 04/18/2009 10:07:53 AM PDT by shineon
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To: savedbygrace

You said — This Congress and this administration seem hellbent on destroying the Republic.

Well, you’ve got to remember that one is talking only about sales taxes that *are collected* when one does a purchase “in person”. In this case, many people are escaping sales taxes that they are supposed to be paying *anyway* — regardless.

All that is happening here is making sure that the sales taxes do get collected that are supposed to be collected — and that *are collected* when one does the purchase “in person”...

This is really no big deal, other than closing up a loophole that allowed a lot of people to “get out of” their sales taxes that they were supposed to pay.


14 posted on 04/18/2009 10:08:38 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: napscoordinator
They seem to bring this up every session and it fails everytime.

With the current crop of DC cretins all bets are off. If we oppose it then we are racists and unpatriotic extremist rednecks dontchyaknow!

15 posted on 04/18/2009 10:09:41 AM PDT by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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How in the world is it even possible for a person to collect sales taxes based on every town in the country?


16 posted on 04/18/2009 10:11:33 AM PDT by Crimson Elephant
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To: LADY J

You said — This is going to put a lot of online sellers out of business.

Which the “brick and mortar” stores will be happy to hear about... LOL...

===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== =====

And then you said — Shoppers are NOT going to pay taxes PLUS SHIPPING & HANDLING charges!!

Ummm..., normally one would think so. BUT, considering that on auction websites, many people bid higher than full retail on some products, one may want to question the sanity of a lot of buyers... :-)

But, aside from that, what will happen, I suspect, is that the wholesalers will give online stores a bit more of a break, in order to be a few dollars less than the brick-and-mortar version of the product.

AND THEN..., you also have the convenience of not having to *drive* to the store, wait in line to pay and drive back home again. You can purchase online without so much as two-synapses in your brain having to activate... LOL..


17 posted on 04/18/2009 10:12:11 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: sheikdetailfeather
But now, according to CNet News, an alliance of "brick-and-mortar" retailers and state governments has teamed up to end that — and they've crafted federal legislation that may be introduced in Congress . . . .

That and a few hundred bags of money will get a copy of the tobacco tax increases.

I'd say that brick-and-mortar businesses are threatened at least as much as cigarette manufacturers were threatened by roll-your-own smokers.

No problem. A few hundred bags of money carried to Congress and look! .. a 2000+ percent tax increase on loose tobacco*. End of threat to the Big Cigarette.

The states want the sales taxes, the brick-and-mortar want the business.. look for really big federal restrictions/taxes on Internet sales.

*Yes the original tax on loose tobacco was low, something about a dollar a pound I believe. It was raised to $24 a pound if I am not mistaken.

18 posted on 04/18/2009 10:14:28 AM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: DoughtyOne

You said — If they think they’ve seen a big tax protest to this point, wait until they implement this.

How are you going to see a “tax protest” for a sales tax that your state has had for years, so far? I don’t understand that. It’s the very same sales tax that you were supposed to be paying all these years, regardless if it was online or “brick-and-mortar”...

So, “where’s the protest” for what you’ve been paying on your state’s sales tax all along?


19 posted on 04/18/2009 10:15:10 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: sheikdetailfeather

That’ll help stimulate the economy, fer sure.


20 posted on 04/18/2009 10:15:23 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
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To: sheikdetailfeather
Driving online stores to set up shop in foreign countries who will not act as unpaid tax collectors for Uncle Sam.
21 posted on 04/18/2009 10:16:43 AM PDT by listenhillary (Rahm Emmanuel slip - A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.)
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To: LADY J

This is going to put a lot of online sellers out of business.


Well they can go back to the brick/mortar locations, stand in line, use gas to drive around, fight the traffic/parking, etc. I really don’t think people are that dedicated to being inconvienced.


22 posted on 04/18/2009 10:16:52 AM PDT by deport
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To: allmost

You said — Online monitoring and recording is the only conceivable way to enforce this.

I don’t get that. From what I’ve seen *in practice* thus far, is that the sales taxes are *enforced* one of two ways. One way is the shipping address. One pays the appropriate sales taxes for the shipping address given.

For other kinds of purchases, one is charged sales tax for the zip code of the credit card given.

It’s that simple. Nothing more is needed — and in fact — this is exactly what has been done thus far. I should know, as I’ve run into this exact situation on both instances I just mentioned...


23 posted on 04/18/2009 10:18:19 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: shineon

You said — Bye bye Miss American tax free pie.

It was never *really* tax free — it was more like “no one can catch me”... LOL...

You were still supposed to pay the appropriate sales taxes for your own area, regardless, and even if you didn’t do it...


24 posted on 04/18/2009 10:19:27 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: sheikdetailfeather

This will also cause the loss of 10’s of thousands of jobs for the shippers. FedEx, UPS and USPS.


25 posted on 04/18/2009 10:20:23 AM PDT by dancusa (The word "racist" is a magic shield word that's supposed to stop any dissent.)
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To: allmost

Not really, since the retailers will have your zip code for mailing they will just charge the applicable rate for your zip code. Alternatively, they may charge the same rate (
the average of all sales taxes nationwide)for everyone. Some states would gain under that idea (those with low rates) while high rate states would lose.


26 posted on 04/18/2009 10:21:23 AM PDT by zaphod3000 (Free markets, free minds, free lives)
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To: LADY J; All

I would.

Online shopping is convenient enough NOT to have to wait in Wal-Mart for 20 minutes just to check out or fight the crowds in the mall etc.

Unless you have a huge amount, the taxes aren’t that big a deal. What, a dollar?

Oh that’s gonna kill it for me.

You would spend five times the tax just DRIVING to the store.

That said, I do hope the bill fails. Even though many sites already charge tax anyway. Amazon does for many states.


27 posted on 04/18/2009 10:22:24 AM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

Well, there is a basic paradox here. The Feds don’t collect sales taxes. Only the states do.

So, how can the feds pass a law making people pay taxes to the states?

Silly question, of course. These days, the feds can do anything they want, especially when it comes to taxes. They will invoke the “commerce clause,” no doubt.

But maybe not entirely silly. They’ve tried this before, and failed. The question is whether things have now changed under Messiah Obama and his gang to the point where they succeed.


28 posted on 04/18/2009 10:24:00 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: rwfromkansas

Also, at least for technology things, sites like NewEgg or Buy.com have deals so far lower than Best Buy or even Wal-Mart you still will save a bundle even with taxes and shipping.


29 posted on 04/18/2009 10:24:59 AM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: sheikdetailfeather

Liberty is such a pain to these people.


30 posted on 04/18/2009 10:25:18 AM PDT by gitmo (History books will read that Lincoln freed the slaves and Obama enslaved the free.)
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To: Star Traveler
How do they settle tax disputes? They need evidence. Ebay and other popular online entities keep records but smaller more local sites such as Craigslist do not. This will mandate that they do. What about personal email based transactions? Post items for sale on major sites and “email for details” will increase exponentially IMO. This requires significant oversight to enforce.
31 posted on 04/18/2009 10:25:21 AM PDT by allmost
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To: dancusa

You said — This will also cause the loss of 10’s of thousands of jobs for the shippers. FedEx, UPS and USPS.

Well, those jobs have already been lost because of the drastic slow-down and Great Depression we’re in. They’ve already gone through a big contraction.

BUT, as to whether more of it will happen — I think not. That’s because there’s a convenience factor there.

Let’s take Amazon and books, for example. Now, even if they collected sales taxes there, I’ve found that they are a lot better priced than the local book stores. So, one can just about always save money there.

But, in other instances on some other products, Amazon will be actually higher-priced than the local stores, even without sales tax and shipping considered. So, it can vary.

However, there is one factor that I like — even — if the prices were higher. I don’t have to go out and drive down to the store, look around and then buy it there and drive back home. Just sitting at the computer and I never have to leave for that particular purchase, and in about two days, it’s there at my doorstep.

That’s something that a lot of people would *continue* to pay for, taxes or no taxes....


32 posted on 04/18/2009 10:25:49 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: EGPWS

I was thinking about that the other day. They can say with a straight face, we are giving a tax cut. Which is true. The problem is, everything else will be taxed more. Look at what they’ve done to cigarettes. Not that I smoke mind, but, if they do that with one product, why not a bunch more? Obama is already saying he’s going to add taxes to utilities. The excuse is protecting the environment. I’ve heard the the cost of electricity, for example, could go up as much as 50% more.


33 posted on 04/18/2009 10:28:57 AM PDT by MsLady (If you died tonight, where would you go? Salvation, don't leave earth without it!)
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To: Star Traveler

The internet has been pretty much tax free so far. When I buy out of state they seldom add taxes. So there really is a big deal here. And the on-line places like QVC and HSN are going to have a lot of customers angry over this.


34 posted on 04/18/2009 10:32:10 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Pres__ent Obama's own grandmother says he was born in Kenya. She was there.)
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To: Star Traveler
Well, you’ve got to remember that one is talking only about sales taxes that *are collected* when one does a purchase “in person”. In this case, many people are escaping sales taxes that they are supposed to be paying *anyway* — regardless.

No they're not supposed to be paying it.

35 posted on 04/18/2009 10:32:34 AM PDT by gitmo (History books will read that Lincoln freed the slaves and Obama enslaved the free.)
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To: gitmo

You said — No they’re not supposed to be paying it.

LOL..., well then, you’ve got a dispute with the local taxing authorities, in your respective states, as they say that the consumer is responsible for it themselves, to pay it...

Hey..., all I’m doing is telling you what your own authorities say. I don’t make the laws...


36 posted on 04/18/2009 10:34:22 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: listenhillary

I’m sure people in Mexico would love to have those jobs. There are so many poor there. Send all the junk you order online to Mexico, have it shipped from Mexico, save taxes. More Americans will lose there jobs. This is our government at work, destroying America one piece at a time.


37 posted on 04/18/2009 10:36:56 AM PDT by MsLady (If you died tonight, where would you go? Salvation, don't leave earth without it!)
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To: allmost

I use Amazon and I see that they’ve kept my records for years on years... LOL.. It doesn’t appear that it will change anything with them. And that has never stopped me from buying anything from Amazon.

Another one I buy from “online” is the Apple iTunes store. Heck, they’ve got my records from when the iTunes store *started* LOL... It doesn’t make any difference with them.

I’ve got another website that I’ve got some books and tapes from (a ministry site and they’ve got my records from more than five years ago; I can still access them...).

Then, there are all the software sites that I do business with, and I can contact them for something like the serial number again, give them my name and they can look it up in their records and find me and give me the serial number again. Those are (many times) just a one-man operation, and nothing much more than that.

So, far, it doesn’t seem to be a problem, with records, for all the people that I’ve done business with. I don’t really know what the problem will be, if all these people that I’ve done business with all these years have had no problems at all, and they’ve never been *required* to do so...

BUT, if I were to go into my local newspaper office and pay for an advertisement, even “in person” — I would not be paying a sales tax for this. Likewise, if one advertised on Craigslist, they would not pay sales tax on any charges by Craigslist (but only a certain few have charges, not all ads...).

And furthermore, if I were to go to a garage sale or buy something from my neighbor, I wouldn’t be paying sales tax for buying something like that. And on Craigslist, if I bought that “yard sale item” there, I wouldn’t be paying sales tax.

So, it really doesn’t seem to be a big problem, at least not as far as I can see... from my own personal experience in the past.


38 posted on 04/18/2009 10:37:41 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: sheikdetailfeather

I live in New York and already pay sales tax on most Internet purchases (a few sellers have sued NY to avoid it)
Leave it to the douchebags in Albany not to let a chance to tax something get by them. We are now, by far, the most overtaxed state in the union but the voters keep voting these politicians for life in. It’s getting so bad in NYC that even the illegal aliens are having trouble finding off the books jobs.


39 posted on 04/18/2009 10:40:13 AM PDT by Larry381 ("in the final instance civilization is always saved by a platoon of soldiers" Oswald Spengler)
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To: savedbygrace
This Congress and this administration seem hellbent on destroying the Republic.

The Republic is already dead, unless we manage to take it back and revive it.

40 posted on 04/18/2009 10:45:31 AM PDT by sionnsar ((Iran Azadi | 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | "Also sprach Telethustra" - NonValueAdded)
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To: DoughtyOne

You said — The internet has been pretty much tax free so far. When I buy out of state they seldom add taxes. So there really is a big deal here. And the on-line places like QVC and HSN are going to have a lot of customers angry over this.

Sure..., I know that people have been “getting away with it” for years. Don’t I really know that, since I’ve had the same experience. The difference is, that I know the states have always required that sales tax to be paid — but — they haven’t had a way to “make it so”. They’ve had to depend upon “voluntary sales tax payment” — and we all know how well “voluntary” works... LOL...

If we had to “voluntarily” pay sales tax at the cash registers, how many do you think would *really* volunteer to do that?! No, hardly anyone would do it (but a few would...). It’s only because the state taxing authorities on sales taxes have made it be “part of the system” that they are able to collect the sales tax.

And it’s the same thing here, it’s been “voluntary” for many years (and no one pays it...) but now it’s not going to be “voluntary” any more and they will do it just like when you buy something “in person”...

This has been a long time in the coming and no one should be surprised.


41 posted on 04/18/2009 10:52:09 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: Star Traveler

I don’t think we should think of this in terms of it’s a natural inevitability. We should fight this tooth and nail.

The internet was originally established as a tax free zone. There’s no way in hell we should surrender that distinction. And since taxes have not been collected, it hasn’t really be a taxed zone yet, in practice.

We need to scream bloody murder about this.


42 posted on 04/18/2009 10:56:09 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Pres__ent Obama's own grandmother says he was born in Kenya. She was there.)
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To: Star Traveler

“And the on-line places like QVC and HSN are going to have a lot of customers angry over this.”

I pay CA sales tax on all hsn/qvc orders. Don’t they charge in every other state?


43 posted on 04/18/2009 10:57:10 AM PDT by acoulterfan
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To: Cicero

There would be nothing unconstitutional about a national sales tax on internet/catalog sales. The fair tax people have been talking about one for years.

(Ducking and covering)


44 posted on 04/18/2009 10:58:45 AM PDT by zaphod3000 (Free markets, free minds, free lives)
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To: Star Traveler

Sales tax we are supposed to pay!

My state contracts out-of-state workers (because it is cheaper) which sends state revenue out of state to be spent by those workers. Yet, I as a taxpayer am not allowed the same opportunity to buy cheaper by going out of state. I am sick of this double standard given to government and business but excludes the citizen/taxpayer what could be better deals for them.

It is nothing but power over the people.


45 posted on 04/18/2009 10:59:54 AM PDT by Snoopers-868th
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To: sheikdetailfeather

In many states, taxes were always owed. I’m surprised they haven’t demanded address lists from every online retailer like they did when they went after online tobacco sales. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did do that eventually.


46 posted on 04/18/2009 11:01:56 AM PDT by mysterio
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To: acoulterfan

You asked — I pay CA sales tax on all hsn/qvc orders. Don’t they charge in every other state?

There have always been “loopholes in the loopholes”... LOL...

The first “loophole” but rather was something that was temporarily allowed, was to not collect state sales taxes for online purchases.

BUT, the first big loophole in this loophole (of not collecting the state sales taxes) was that if the selling entity had a “physical presence” in the state, then it had to pay sales tax in that state for all the purchases going to that state.

But, others, in other states did not have to pay “California sales tax” basically because they didn’t reside in that state.

So, that’s what happens with a lot of online retailers. They have to be *somewhere* physically, and that state will charge sales tax for purchase “inside” that state...


47 posted on 04/18/2009 11:02:53 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: Star Traveler
To: savedbygrace

You said — This Congress and this administration seem hellbent on destroying the Republic.

Well, you’ve got to remember that one is talking only about sales taxes that *are collected* when one does a purchase “in person”. In this case, many people are escaping sales taxes that they are supposed to be paying *anyway* — regardless. All that is happening here is making sure that the sales taxes do get collected that are supposed to be collected — and that *are collected* when one does the purchase “in person”...

This is really no big deal, other than closing up a loophole that allowed a lot of people to “get out of” their sales taxes that they were supposed to pay.

Well you sound very close to the many leftists who are advocating more and higher income taxes. The last time I checked, there was nothing to keep you and others from paying MORE income tax or paying all the sales tax you wanted.

How about we keep it that way.

Every time you make an on-line purchase, you go ahead and dutifully pay the sales tax to whatever state you live in and let the rest of us who shop on-line enjoy this little tax-free benefit.

My on-line purchases amount to Thousands of $ per year and the hundreds I save on sales tax, pays for my Internet service.

Furthermore, anyone who suggests that such tax would NOT affect on-line purchases has 0 business and 0 common sense.

PS I would bet with that attitude, you were probably not at one of the hundreds of Tea Party protest?

48 posted on 04/18/2009 11:04:49 AM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet ((One of ONLY 37 Conservatives in the People's Republic of Vermont. Socialists and Progressives All))
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To: Snoopers-868th

Well, I could complain that you state charges me sales tax and I don’t live in your state. That’s sort of discriminatory, I think — against me... LOL...

If I buy a computer in your state and never live there, and use the computer for years, why should I be charged your state’s sale tax... :-)

As you can see, your state also benefits by charging *out of state* people sales tax in which they can not vote on and have absolutely nothing to do with...

We should start a movement so that your state cannot charge out-of-state people sales tax... LOL...


49 posted on 04/18/2009 11:05:40 AM PDT by Star Traveler
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To: mysterio

Well, that is simple to answer. No law. With tobacco there was a 1948 ATF law requiring tobacco sellers to report to the appropriate agency anyone (other than a distributor)names, addresses and amounts spent. They have agreements to collect sales tax.


50 posted on 04/18/2009 11:05:57 AM PDT by Snoopers-868th
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