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Nine More States Enact Marketplace Facilitator Laws in 2020

Nine More States Enact Marketplace Facilitator Laws in 2020

Nine more states enacted “marketplace facilitator” laws in the first 6 months of 2020 that require online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy to collect and remit sales tax on behalf of third-party sellers.

That’s according to Vertex, which tracks sales tax changes.

The company said several states also updated previously set economic nexus thresholds – that impacts sellers who sell on their own websites where they are responsible for collecting sales tax.

Vertex’s Bernadette Pinamont said, “It is clear that companies selling across state lines need to carefully keep track of where they do business and each state’s economic threshold. Before they cross any threshold, they need to be prepared to register, collect, and remit the appropriate amount of sales tax.”

“Even though online sales have increased during the pandemic, revenue from those sales is not enough to cover the lost sales tax revenue from brick and mortar stores,” she said.

“This coupled with the fact that sales tax is the second largest source of revenue for almost all states means that companies must keep their eye on compliance and Wayfair rules for remote sellers and marketplace facilitators, as well as the potential for increased audit activity.”

Vertex expects significant changes to state, county, city and district sales tax rates and rules in the second half of 2020, as all types of taxes will play a major role in the post-COVID-19 economy.

See more information and a link to the report on the Vertex 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/.

3 thoughts on “Nine More States Enact Marketplace Facilitator Laws in 2020”

  1. The Constitution MUST be amended for any of these tax laws to be Enactable.
    Right now NO ONE should be collecting sales tax on out of state transactions.
    And NO ONE can be punished for Not collecting.
    This is a Cart Before the Horse scenario.

  2. Most eBay sellers do not sell enough to meet the Wayfair threshold in any state. Some states did not factor population relative to South Dakota into their sales or transaction thresholds. The 200-transaction threshold, where it still exists could be troublesome for eBay sellers of less expensive items. Some states, having realized that large numbers of low dollar tax accounts would not be productive, have backed off.

    The effects of market facilitator laws on most eBay sellers has been a drop in revenue on most items. If eBay did not collect out-of-state sales tax, sellers would have higher per-item revenue and would not owe sales tax to out-of-state jurisdictions.

    Instead of raising fees to recover lost revenue attributed to sales tax, eBay chose to shift per-item revenue declines to sellers by including sales tax when calculating final value fees. If buyers in aggregate have a fixed amount to spend, total sales or price levels must drop to accommodate sales tax. By taking a percentage of sales tax, eBay stabilized its revenue at the expense of sellers.

    For sellers who travel out of state to sell and file out-of-state sales tax returns, Wayfair has caused problems as some taxing authorities take advantage of physical nexus to tax Internet sales not meeting the Wayfair criteria. Sales tax reporting from eBay has not kept up with the needs of sellers who must file in sales tax returns in more than one state.

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