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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Bradley.Senkovich's Avatar
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    May 26th, 2009
    Lake Mary, FL
    Streamlined Sales Tax Project Submitted July 1st
    I've read up on some of the documentation about the SSTP. It's saying that its supposed to be streamlined and simplified but sales taxes are still permitted to be changed if they are in a different zipcode.

    Ebay has a petition going. Still not sure if it is for the best. Does anyone have any further information regarding the SSTP that was introduced July 1st?
    [B]Bradley Senkovich[/B] - Business Development Manager US/UK
    [SIZE="1"][URL=""][B][/B][/URL] [B]--[/B] [URL=""][B][/B][/URL] --[URL=""][B][/B][/URL] --E: Bradley.Senkovich(at) -- [url][/url]
    'Without tact you can learn nothing...' --Benjamin Disraeli[/SIZE]

  2. #2
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    You are slightly mixing two different aspects - the project and the Federal Act necessary to enforce what is currently only guidelines.

    Briefly -The SSTP refers to the Simplified Sales Tax Project which has been around a while. Essentially, there are currently 23 full member states with more states working on changes to also become members. The SSTP seeks to simplify sales tax collection across state lines through several different requirements. These requirements include steps that make it easier for out of state merchants to comply, approved software and also provides some audit protection and cost recovery/reduction. It sets up guidelines for what is taxed, how charged, how tax is paid, procedures/terms for states to change tax rates... It takes many years for a state to adopt all the changes necessary to become a full member.

    On July 1 of this year, Rep Delahunt once again introduced Main Street Fairness Act. He has introduced this bill several times over recent years. If this act were to pass, states which are full members of the SSTP would be able to require remote sellers (out of states merchants) to collect sales tax. Right now, states which are full members of SSTP can only ask for voluntary compliance from remote sellers. Believe it or not, over 1200 merchants volunteer to collect sales tax thru SSTP. That number is expected to grow as more merchants are educated as to the benefits of SSTP.

    The Main Street Fairness Act, if approved, will initially complicate our industry. As with all other events related to sales tax legislation there will be a lot of misinformation spread. Merchants should seek the advice of their own legal counsel and not rely on any other individual's or group's opinion (including mine or Affiliate Advocacy) to decide whether or not they support the SSTP and/or the Main Street Fairness project.

    If the act passes, non SSTP members will likely take quick action to enact modern nexus laws so that they too can collect, the last hurdle will be removed.

    It is not yet evident if there is enough pressure on Congress to act on this issue. Although there are several sponsors/co-sponsors of the Main Street Fairness Act, many expect that once again Congress will not take action this year. Many states have presented resoultions to Congress/President asking for action but it will most likely take several more states.

    Several large merchants including some who are currently involved in lawsuits with states regarding modern nexus legislation, publicly support or reject the SSTP but one should examine all factors that go into that public support or rejection. As we all should know, public support (or rejection) is not always as sincere as one might believe and there are other motives/desired results.

    It is also critical for merchants to have their own counsel to ensure they are in compliance with all current regulations.
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  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Bradley.Senkovich's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 26th, 2009
    Lake Mary, FL
    everything you say is gold Melanie.

    I wonder why Ebay is advocating against this law then. This sounds like the Amazon/Colorado collection. Not enough education and too much action.

    SSTP could be very beneficial for everyone who makes educated decisions.

    I'll let the tax attorney make heads or tails of it.
    [B]Bradley Senkovich[/B] - Business Development Manager US/UK
    [SIZE="1"][URL=""][B][/B][/URL] [B]--[/B] [URL=""][B][/B][/URL] --[URL=""][B][/B][/URL] --E: Bradley.Senkovich(at) -- [url][/url]
    'Without tact you can learn nothing...' --Benjamin Disraeli[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    eBay is opposing this bill because unlike Amazon and most "etailers," eBay has adopted an "absolutely no sales tax" viewpoint. This probably makes its sellers feel good, even though its support or opposition isn't really meaningful on the SSTP issue, especially since this annual bill is dead-on-arrival.

    What offended me, this morning, was their deliberate misrepresentation of the SSTP bill, and their intentional exclusion of any reference to the multi-state "streamlining" effort. They wrote (falsely) that:
    > HR 5660, a bill before Congress known as the “Main Street Fairness Act," would require online businesses and entrepreneurs to collect and remit sales taxes from each customer. This law would affect 45 states and as many as 15,000 local jurisdictions. <
    In fact, the bill, if enacted, would initially require collection of sales tax from fewer than one-third of all U.S. customers. The "45 states" mentioned includes all states that have any type of sales tax, but most have not joined the SSTP.

    As I reported 14 months ago:
    Quote Originally Posted by markwelch View Post
    SSTP member states represent 30% of the U.S. population.

    The six largest states (California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania) are not members.
    The four largest U.S. states (California, Texas, New York, Florida) together have more residents than all SSTP states combined.

    • SSTP Full Members: Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.
    • SSTP Associate Members: Ohio, Tennessee, Utah.
    • Non-Member States with Sales Taxes: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin.
    • Non-Member States without any sales tax: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon
    There have probably been a few changes in this lineup in the past 14 months. And of course, if Congress did enact "enabling legislation" (with this bill or another), most non-member states would begin the complex process of amending state laws and adopting regulations to allow them to join the SSTP.

    The reference to "15,000 local jurisdictions" is misleading, because the whole purpose of the SSTP was to provide a unified method of accurately determining, computing, collecting, and remitting sales taxes for all jurisdictions within the participating states.

    None of this really matters, because the "Main Street Fairness Act" is dead-on-arrival in an election year (like eBay, Republicans brand this as a "new tax" and thus no Republican will vote for it, and there's not much support among Democrats, either). Enactment of SSTP enabling legislation wouldn't benefit Congress or federal tax-collection efforts, and some might view the SSTP as an alarming step toward a federal sales tax or GST. I doubt that many legislators will expend any "political capital" to support this bill.

    The SSTP is a great concept, and it really is very unfair to "Main Street" that local businesses are forced to collect and remit sales taxes, while most etailers don't collect sales tax.
    Last edited by markwelch; August 12th, 2010 at 12:17 PM.

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