Internet Sales Tax One Step Closer

Passes Senate, but bill still has a fight looming in the House
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2013 6:57 PM CDT
An Amazon.com package is prepared for shipment by a United Parcel Service driver in Palo Alto, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(Newser) – Start brushing up on your Quicken, Etsy moms. The Senate has just passed a bill that would allow states to collect taxes for online purchases, USA Today reports. States with sales taxes have previously been unable to require online retailers to collect sales tax unless they had a physical presence in the state. But now that the online marketplace is worth $226 billion a year, and technology has made it easier to handle all the different tax rates and rules, the states—along with retailers like Walmart and Best Buy—say it's time for online businesses to take on the same responsibilities as their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

The bill, which is supported by Obama, has a way to go yet, however: it must now pass the House, where Republicans are are less enthusiastic about what they see as a tax increase, Reuters reports. "Call me a conservative, but I believe the right approach to tax fairness is to reduce rates—not force higher rates onto others," said Republican Rep. Tom Graves. (Read more Walmart stories.)

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