Case for Fairness

Fixing Our Sales Tax System through Federal Solutions

On March 10, 2015, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced S.698, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015 in the 114th Congress.  The legislation sponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) would end the special treatment afforded online-only sellers at the expense of brick-and-mortar retailers. The legislation tracks closely with legislation that the Senate passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in 2013.

On June 15, 2015, a bipartisan group of House Representatives introduced H.R. 2775, the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015 (RTPA).  This bill, sponsored by Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Steve Womack (R-AR), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Lou Barletta (R-PA), John Conyers (D-MI), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Bob Dold (R-IL), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Peter Welch (D-VT), ensures that there is parity at the time of sale, as well as provides balance between states’ rights and protections for remote and multi-channel sellers.

RTPA acknowledges the current sales tax collection system used by thousands of remote and multi-location sellers and does not require new accounting systems to be instituted.

It establishes audit protections for remote sellers and requires states to provide sales tax collection software and integration to remote sellers free of charge. The bill also allows for a transition period for smaller remote sellers.

RTPA is the product of an inclusive stakeholder process and has wide support by the business community and groups representing state and local governments.