U.S. Senate "compromise" raises hopes for remote sales tax collection


The Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 1832) was introduced in the U.S. Senate on November 9, 2011, by a bipartisan group of 10 Senators. An announcement by U.S. Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) explained that, under the legislation, "States that voluntarily become Member States of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) would be able to require remote sellers to collect and remit sales and use taxes after 90 days." 

In addition, and in contrast to separate legislation introduced by Sen. Durbin in July (the Main Street Fairness Act / S. 1452), this legislation provides that "States that do not wish to become members of SSUTA would be allowed to collect the taxes only if they adopt certain minimum simplification requirements and provide sellers with additional notices on the collection requirements." 

The legislation represents a compromise between the Main Street Fairness Act and alternative legislation, the Marketplace Equity Act (H.R. 3179), introduced in the House in October that would bypass the SSUTA entirely and allow states meeting even fewer minimum simplifications to gain remote sales tax collection authority.

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