Internet Sales Tax and What it Means for your Business

Internet Sales Tax and What it Means for your Business

May 7th, 2013

Considering The Tax ShelterSimple fact, people like shopping online. They like how they can quickly scan a store and see what they can buy, they like to search for products online, they like to comparison shop, they like not waiting in checkout lines and having the products delivered to their door.

Brick and Mortar Stores that do not have an online presence, complain about online stores because of sales tax reasons. As a brick and mortar store, you charge sales tax on ALL sales that are made, because the products are being sold in the state they are registered in. Online retailers, do not have to charge sales tax on products being sold in other states other than where they are located “physically”, and most of their sales and traffic probably come from different states. Hence, no taxes charged to the customer and no taxes collected and reported to the Government. But with the Senate recently approving the Marketplace Fairness Act, moving it one step closer to enactment, online shoppers will have to pay sales tax on the majority of online purchases.

The Marketplace Fairness Act would allow the states in the Continental US and DC (the states that currently charge sales tax) to require online retailers to collect tax on purchases.

But, and this is a BIG BUT! If you are a small online retailer, with no physical operation like a brick and mortar store or a warehouse, and less than 1 million dollars in sales a year, you DO NOT have to collect sales tax. This only applies to BIG retailers that make a lot of money every year online.

CNN reports that close to 30% of online shoppers surveyed by advisory firm AlixPartners recently said they would shop more at brick and mortar store if the tax became a reality. Nearly half, though, said that an Internet Sales Tax would have no effect on their online shopping habits.

As a small retailer, that offers products that big chain stores also sell online, you can target that 30% by touting NO INTERNET SALES TAX as a marketing angle to get more shoppers to your store!

So don’t be concerned about this new Act, use it to your advantage.

photo by: JD Hancock

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3 Comments

  1. If you live in one of the NEXUS states YOU MUST collect sales taxes. I had to get a sales tax ID in Arkansas, and believe me the tax authority monitors my account closely. If I don’t submit a monthly sales report they charge me estimated sales tax for the average online retail estimate. I think they base this estimate on walmart.com

    Comment by Robin Altman — May 28, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

  2. Hi Robin,

    You are correct. Any state that requires sales tax, you must collect sales tax on products sold in your state. However, this post is about the new tax plan where you must collect sales tax regardless of who you sell to.

    Thanks for your comment!

    Comment by Tisha Hedges — May 30, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

  3. Just running by to let you know you have a brand new
    fan! Reading one post on your site made me hooked
    instantly. Really, you are amazing!

    Comment by Micheline — September 24, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

3 Responses to Internet Sales Tax and What it Means for your Business

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