WASHINGTON, July 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The True Simplification of Taxation Coalition, or TruST, commends Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI-5th) for his introduction of legislation that would prevent states from imposing sales tax collection requirements on individuals with no physical presence in the taxing state and no vote in the representation that would implement the tax.
"No taxation without representation is a foundational principle of the United States, going back all the way to the country's formation," said Hamilton Davison, president & executive director of American Catalog Mailers Association, one of the four industry organizations comprising TruST. "Mr. Sensenbrenner clearly recognizes the importance of this common sense quid pro quo and for that he deserves a great deal of credit. Without meaningful action from Congress, catalog and online merchants across the country could be subjected to the whims of nearly 10,000 tax jurisdictions and 46 state auditors."
The recent proliferation of state laws and regulations burdening online retailers and catalog merchants with onerous tax and reporting obligations is already causing legal and regulatory problems for merchants around the country. For example:
- South Dakota has brazenly sued three online retailers in an attempt to overturn longstanding Supreme Court precedent barring states from requiring sales tax collection by out-of-state sellers with no physical presence in that state.
- Alabama regulators have begun handing out hefty sales tax levies on businesses with no physical presence in their state.
- Colorado has been seeking to get the courts' blessing for a requirement that out-of-state online retailers report to the state's taxing authority on any of their Colorado-based customers' purchases.
"With states like South Dakota and Alabama already harassing online retailers, it is more urgent than ever for Congress to pass legislation that would simplify the collection of sales and use taxes," said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, another TruST organization. "These blatantly unconstitutional policies must be stopped before they cause any more damage. We commend Rep. Sensenbrenner for recognizing the economic harm these state policies are having on businesses across the country."
In addition to prohibiting states from forcing any business or person to collect sales or use taxes from individuals with no physical presence in the taxing state, the Sensenbrenner bill would prohibit states, such as Colorado, from trying to get around the prohibition with requirements that online sellers report sales back to states in which they do not have a physical presence. As Rep. Sensenbrenner has said, states should not be permitted to shift tax and regulatory burdens onto people and businesses in other states, where elected officials are not accountable to them. The No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2016 would ensure that states cannot impose their policies on out-of-state individuals who are unable to use their vote to influence the outcome of such policies.
The TruST Coalition has been a strong advocate for Congressional action that addresses the chaos created by a patchwork of state laws and simplifies the online sales tax issue for sellers nationwide. That includes support for an approach — drafted by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6th) — based on where sellers reside, rather than on where buyers reside.
About the TruST Coalition
Led by American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA), and NetChoice, the True Simplification of Taxation (TruST) Coalition represents American businesses in the fight to keep interstate commerce and competition free from unfair tax burdens imposed by states where our businesses have no operations or representation.
About the American Catalog Mailers Association
ACMA is a Washington-based not-for-profit organization specifically created to advocate for the unique collective interests of catalog mailers in regulatory, public and administrative matters where the shared impact transcends individual company interests. ACMA participates in rulemaking and other proceedings of significance where a single collective voice increases influence and effectiveness. Membership is open to any party with significant interests in the catalog industry. More information can be found at www.catalogmailers.org.
NetChoice is a trade association representing leading eCommerce businesses working to protect free enterprise and free expression on the Internet.