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New Hampshire Senators Try to Protect Online Sellers in Their State

Online sellers in New Hampshire got some support from their Senators last week as legislators debate whether to pass a law requiring “remote sellers” to collect sales taxes for states and locales for purchases made by out-of-state buyers. New Hampshire is one of the few states that does not collect tax on in-state purchases, but the federal bill would require its businesses to collect other states’ sales tax.

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced an amendment to the Marketplace Fairness Act, stating, “The federal government shouldn’t force Internet businesses to become tax collectors for over 9,600 jurisdictions across the country. In New Hampshire, our lack of a sales tax is a source of economic strength. We must stop any effort that would impose new tax collection and audit requirements onto online retailers, and my legislation will protect Internet businesses in New Hampshire and across the nation.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) filed an amendment to exempt businesses from states that do not impose sales taxes from having to collect sales taxes for other jurisdictions on online sales. Shaheen’s amendment to the tax extenders bill mirrors one she filed last year on the online sales tax bill.

“An internet sales tax for small businesses that do not currently have a sales tax infrastructure would be unduly burdensome. Small businesses are the backbone of New Hampshire’s economy and we should be doing everything we can to sustain and promote them, not overloading them with red tape and more bureaucratic obstacles.”

eBay, which has been fighting such legislation for years, highlighted the amendmentson its eBay Main Street blog.

eBay CEO John Donahoe said of similar legislation attempted last year that it created an unfair tax burden for small online businesses, one that would also impact online shoppers.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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 ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.