On March 10, the Senate introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015, which seeks to collect taxes on remote sales. The Act, a reintroduction of the 2013 Marketplace Fairness Act, which failed in the House of Representatives, permits states to require vendors with more than $1 million in annual gross receipts from remotes sales to collect sales tax on purchases made by the state. The Act allows states that are members of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement to require remote sellers to collect and remit sales and use taxes for purchases by in-state residents. States that are not members of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement are also authorized to require remote sellers to collect and remit tax as long as they implement tax administration simplification measures.
The 2013 Marketplace Fairness Act passed the Senate but stalled in the House. The 2015 Act, introduced by the same members who sponsored the legislation two years ago, is strikingly similar to the 2013 Act. The purpose of the Act is to end the special tax treatment afforded to online-only retailers and allow local retailers to compete on a level playing field. The Marketplace Fairness Act has been met with praise from retailer groups and criticism from larger online sellers. Proponents of the Act cite the need to allow local brick-and-mortar retailers to compete on a level playing field with out-of-state sellers. States would be allowed to end discrimination against local businesses that do not have a large online presence. However, opponents of the Act worry that it will unfairly burden small online sellers making just north of $1 million in gross receipts. The Act has not yet been assigned a bill number, but is likely to at least pass the Senate in the near future.
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