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GAO Report Finds E-Fairness Would Return Billions To States

December 19, 2017

Washington D.C. – Yesterday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the rapid growth of e-commerce and online sales tax collection. The report recognizes states are losing revenue without a standard approach to online sales tax collection. The Marketplace Fairness Coalition issued the following statement in response:

"The Marketplace Fairness Coalition is encouraged to see the GAO's research finds billions would be returned to states with a federal E-Fairness solution. This report further demonstrates the need for Congress to implement common-sense legislation to provide a level playing field with respect to tax collection obligations.

"Without a federal solution in place, states continue to adopt independent regulatory requirements for remote sellers, creating a patchwork of compliance regulation and increasing costs for businesses, both small and large. The GAO report stresses that provisions in federal E-Fairness legislation would include collection assistance and simplification rules for states related to collection and remittance, easing the burden on remote sellers.

"In addition, with the vast majority of sellers using an electronic marketplace, but only collecting between 14-33 percent of the taxes owed, there is no administrative burden placed on those sellers because marketplaces will do the tax calculation and remittance.

"The benefits of federal solutions, such as the Marketplace Fairness Act and the Remote Transactions Parity Act, are clear. These bills create tax code simplifications, ease the burden on businesses, and create a streamlined compliance process for businesses across the United States."