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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A recent item in an email newsletter by one of my California congressmen on the proposed Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP) just caught my eye, and I figured that some of you might be interested in it due to its implications for online stores.

In a nutshell, the SSTP would force businesses that do mail order and internet sales to collect sales taxes from citizens of other states (of the US). SSTP would require Congress to enforce the system and would use an organization called the Multistate Tax Commission to collect and audit the sellers. Congress is currently being asked to force all sellers, even if they operate in a state that does not participate in the SSTP, to collect taxes from buyers in states that do participate.

There's a lot of problems with this. The big one, of course, is that every online store outfit - ie., those of us who sell shirts online - would be responsible to know the sales tax laws of all 50 states, as well as the nearly 10,000 jurisdictions that exist within those states (as there are a multiplicity of different sales tax levels within each state due to differing county/city laws).

If the darn thing gets approved, it's difficult to imagine how a small outfit would cope with that. The Cafepress/Spreadshirt type stores would be alright, I suppose, as those two companies have the money to run the proper accounting, as would the Bustedtees, Threadlesses and T-Shirt Hells of the world.

Interesting to see what happens. Does anyone know some more about this issue?
 

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The point of the streamlined sales tax is to eliminate knowing 50 sales tax laws by providing a common method for computation and payment. This really has a long, long, long way to go before it, if ever, becomes a reality. Now, what is happening is States like NY and CA are going after large mail order companies, getting sales records to their State and going after the customers for the 'Use Tax' on cigarettes. I am sure this will extend to other taxable items as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, it is the same thing as before. However, the new version seems to be gathering more momentum. The National Retail Federation and the International Conference of Shopping Centers are pushing this one hard. Makes sense, as they represent more the brick-and-mortar type of shop, which is losing revenue to online sales. Shrug. Hopefully this latest effort will fail too. It's an interesting issue to follow though. I think it only hinges on the government being able to figure out how to enforce. Once that happens...
 
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