Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Harry Reid and The Internet Tax Freedom Act

From Ebay...
With the end of the 113th Congress swiftly approaching, Congress has only a few short weeks left in the legislative calendar.  With the clock running out, proponents of the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) are actively trying to push the legislation through Congress and to the President’s desk by the end of the year. Although the Senate passed the MFA in May 2013, leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have announced their intention to find an alternative to the Senate-passed Internet sales tax bill and have refrained from moving the Senate-passed bill. Due to the fact that there appears to be little support to move the Senate passed MFA in the House, Senate leaders announced in July that they would try and pass the MFA by attaching it to the must-pass Internet Tax Freedom Act and bypass regular legislative procedure in the House.

The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) is an important piece of legislation that would make permanent the law that prevents state and local governments from imposing new taxes on Internet access and prohibits any multiple or discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. The current law is set to expire on November 1st, which means if Congress fails to pass an extension, consumers and businesses across the country could see their Internet access bills go up in November. On July 15th, the House passed a permanent extension of the law by voice vote and sent the bill to the Senate for consideration.

However, instead of agreeing to take up the House-passed ITFA, Senate leadership announced plans to combine ITFA with the Senate-passed MFA.

Although it is unclear if and when the Senate may move the newly combined ITFA/MFA bill, a group of bipartisan Senators has called on Senate leadership not to attach the Senate-passed Marketplace Fairness Act to the Internet Tax Freedom Act. Like eBay Inc., these Senators have expressed concerns with how the Marketplace Fairness Act would impact small tech-enabled small businesses that rely on Internet and mobile platforms to compete in the retail marketplace.

eBay Inc. continues to believe that small tech-enabled businesses should be protected from a new burdensome sales tax regime and opposes the Senate-passed Marketplace Fairness Act, because it lacks strong small business protections. If you share our concerns with the Marketplace Fairness Act, we would encourage you to visit our Action Center and tell your Members of Congress that you oppose Internet sales tax legislation that hurts small businesses.

For more information on the Internet sales tax issue and eBay Inc.’s position, please visit their issues page.