EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2952 - December 07, 2012     2 of 5

Online Sellers: Weigh in on the Sales Tax Debate

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A piece of proposed national legislation has the potential to give online sellers an added responsibility, and it seems more a matter of "when" than "if."

As EcommerceBytes reported in October, legislators have been promoting various bills to force online sellers to collect state sales tax from all buyers who should be liable for such taxes. In other words, all online sellers would have to collect sales tax on purchases made by buyers who reside in any state that imposes a sales tax.

And, as we reported this week, top Senate Democrat Dick Durbin (Ill.) is also looking for opportunities to file the Marketplace Fairness Act as an amendment onto other pieces of legislation, as he did with the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act in July and with the Defense Authorization Act this week (it didn't stick).

As we've previously noted, eBay and Amazon have taken different positions on the issue of sales tax collection. eBay is against any national legislation, while Amazon is in favor of it.

Now it's time for small online sellers to weigh in.

Do you believe that online sellers who do not collect sales tax on out-of-state purchases enjoy a competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar retailers? Or do you feel it's unfair to require online sellers to collect out-of-state sales tax?

Please take this short survey to let us know what you think about national legislation - there are six questions and plenty of room to leave your comments. Kenneth Corbin will analyze the results and report back on what you have to say!

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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