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Rhode Island Rep Pushes for Online Sales Tax Bill

Rhode Island Representative Brian P. Kennedy wants online sellers across the nation to collect the state’s sales tax when selling to a customer in Rhode Island, regardless of whether the seller has nexus in the state.

The representative introduced House Bill No. 7375, the Remote Sales Tax Collection Act, in January. It went before the House Committee on Finance on May 4th, at which time, the committee recommended the measure be held for further study.

Interestingly the bill states, “due to the ready availability of sales and use tax collection software, it is no longer an undue burden for companies without a physical presence in Rhode Island to accurately compute, collect and remit their sales and use tax obligations.”

Kennedy said Rhode Island loses more than $30 million a year because it can’t tax out-of-state retailers, according to an Associated Press report on WCVB.com.

The news wire said Kennedy’s bill would impose penalties on out-of-state companies that don’t comply, but added, “Republican Rep. Daniel Reilly, of Portsmouth, said it would be bad policy to threaten companies and create a whole new regulatory scheme just to prod federal action.”

The bill includes an “Imposition of tax on marketplace providers” and can be found online on the Rhode Island General Assembly website.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.