If you don’t like Internet businesses, then the requirement to collect state sales tax is a guaranteed way to eliminate them.
Already, the small business is subjected to IRS audits and audits for the state in which it resides. With an Internet sales tax, an Internet marketing firm will be open to audits by 50 states annually.
Beyond that, most states have additional county taxes that are added on to the sales tax, making the possibility of a requirement to submit more than 9,000 reports and the need for every business to have this level of detail in their shopping carts.
This means a small business will need to understand, and have lawyers and certified public accountants, who will assist with filing the plethora of tax forms each year. At some point, you just have to say, “It ain’t worth it.”
The businesses just die under the weight of compliance. A few targeted audits, and a business is bankrupt. The owners are out of work, the customers no longer have the option to purchase products that are, often, not available except on the Internet.
The concern is over the impact of local businesses. Isn’t that the same concern we had with stores like Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowes?
Are small businesses still there? Yes. The ones that provide quality service. And haven’t we had catalogue sales where no taxes were collected for decades?
So, the decision is not whether to tax Internet businesses or not, the decision is whether to kill Internet businesses or not. Our politicians need money to pay for things they wanted to buy, and so many seem to prefer the latter.
What they don’t realize is the Internet marketers in their states will no longer be paying taxes when their companies fold.
JACK VAN ZANDT