The lack of online shopping sales tax was a luxury for a brief time in history as the government is looking to have sales tax included when buying items over the Internet sooner rather than later. That is if their new bill passes and it looks like it will. The sales tax for online shopping as it stands today falls under a law that excludes sales tax for retailers that sell online unless they have an actual physical store in that state, according to The Hill on Wednesday, Dec. 5 2012.
“Fox and Friends” Thursday reports that the current law on the books requires retailers to collect sales tax from their customers only were they have a physical presence in a state, but there should still be sales tax paid. The responsible party for the online sales tax is the customer, not the retailer in this case, according to Minyanville. The current law also requires that the sales tax due on these purchases be sent in by the customer to the state government, but that is not a law that most people know about, never mind follow.
It was just a matter of time before the government got around to collecting sales tax off the booming internet sales. Shopping online has gotten so huge that it is put a big dent in revenue for the brick and mortar stores with the Black Friday sales for 2012. This is mostly the last Christmas for online shopping without paying sales tax, according to The Daily Caller.
The pros and cons of this proposed new law are vast, but if the sales tax for online purchases goes into effect for next year, it is expected to help bring customers back to the brick and mortar stores because it levels the playing field, so say the people backing this bill.
It sounds as if the convenience factor of the equation of shopping online wasn’t taken into consideration, but maybe it should be. Shopping online saves time, which is a big factor of why people opt for this time of shopping. Adding a sale’s tax to online purchases won’t change this luxury. The time saved alone shopping online will most like still bring people to their keyboard when looking for an item.
As of Wednesday, 60 senators were onboard for this online sales tax, but Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) is urging for the lobbying to go ahead full steam saying, “You need to have a margin of error on all of these things,” Enzi said. “And I think there is a slight margin.”
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) sees limited options for getting this bill enacted this year, as it’s not likely to be tacked on to a cliff deal. This can be a nightmare for the retailers who have nothing in place for the collection of sales tax online if the bill does get passed before the year’s up. It is not something many can do overnight.