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New Study Shows U.S. Consumers Support Convenience of Point-Of-Purchase Sales Tax Collection

May 14, 2012

New Study Shows U.S. Consumers Support Convenience of Point-Of-Purchase Sales Tax Collection

Study Reveals U.S Consumers Want Congress to Take Action on Online Sales Tax Issue

WASHINGTON, May 14 2012 — Today the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) released the results of a national survey finding that an overwhelming 86% of respondents feel it would be far easier to pay sales tax on online purchases at the point-of-purchase. The survey was conducted on the heels of the 2011 tax season to gauge consumer sentiment about online sales and use tax collection. ICSC strongly supports two bills currently under consideration in Congress – Marketplace Fairness Act and Marketplace Equity Act – which are designed to save consumers the burden of self-reporting use taxes and to level the playing field for all retailers.

“The results of this study demonstrate that consumers are aware of our outdated sales tax system and they support a tax policy that benefits both their retail habits and embraces 21st Century commerce,” said Michael Kercheval, president and CEO of ICSC. “The bills will require online retailers to collect sales tax when a purchase is made, the same way our community retailers do. Consumers stand to benefit greatly by not having to file a years’ worth of online purchases during tax season.”

The ICSC study resulted identified a number of key findings, including:

  • 86% of consumers feel it would be easier to pay sales tax on online purchases at the point-of-purchase rather than at the end-of-the-year on their tax forms, as is the current system.
  • 61% of respondents in states that collect sales tax understand that they are required to pay state sales or use tax on online purchases if not collected by the vendor when they file their state income tax.
  • 56% of consumers support the Congressional effort to require online retailers to collect sales tax at the point-of-purchase.

“Consumers across the nation understand that this is not a new tax,” said Betsy Laird, senior vice president of global public policy. “When they shop online they do not want the hassle of having to save all receipts, calculate the appropriate tax due and file it directly with the state. They would rather have the sales tax collected whenever they make a purchase,” added Laird.

ICSC has promoted sales tax fairness for over a decade, advocating that a “sale is a sale” regardless of whether the purchase takes place on Main Street, at shopping centers, via mail-order or over the Internet.  For more information about sales tax fairness and how the current sales tax system is unable to support the 21st Century retail marketplace please visit

About ICSC
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 55,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world. For more information, visit

About the Survey
This survey was conducted on behalf of ICSC by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) using a computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system randomly selected from a  national probability sample of 1,007 adults comprising 503 men and 504 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States.  Interviewing for this survey was completed during the period May 3-6, 2012.