An angle on collecting sales tax from Amazon, other online sales | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, January 15, 2017

An angle on collecting sales tax from Amazon, other online sales

Posted By on Sun, Jan 15, 2017 at 4:44 PM

unknown.jpeg
Rolf Wilkin of Fayetteville, owner of a group of pizza restaurants and president of the Arkansas Restaurant Association, tells me there is a way short of federal legislation to recoup some of the lost sales tax unpaid in Arkansas customer transactions with web giant Amazon.

I mentioned earlier that the Little Rock City Board wants to talk wth Arkansas congressmen about a long-pending legislative idea to require collection of sales taxes on Internet sales, with resulting payments to cities and counties and others now missing out on the commerce generated by physical businesses in their jurisdictions.

In theory, customers are supposed to voluntarily pay sales tax owed on purchases in Arkansas from Amazon, but few do.

Louisiana this year willl begin getting sales tax collections form Amazon and other online retailers thanks to a new state law. The Times-Picayune explains:

Louisiana lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year that gave Amazon and other online retailers a tough choice — either collect sales tax or deal with the paperwork of reminding customers what they bought and how much they owe in taxes every single year.

Online retailers challenged a similar law in Colorado and, earlier this year, sought a ruling from the nation's highest court in the case. The U.S. Supreme Court last Monday (Dec. 12) chose not to hear the challenge, allowing the Colorado law to stand and paving the way for similar "Amazon tax" measures in other states.

Louisiana and Colorado are only the latest states to succeed in the push to collect more sales taxes from online retailers. Earlier this year, Amazon agreed to charge a flat 8 percent sellers use tax in Alabama.

The online retailer currently charges sales taxes in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
Wilson commented to me in an e-mail:

I spend a lot of time and money collecting and remitting sales tax for my 10 Arkansas pizzerias. I would love for Arkansas to follow the lead of Louisiana.

I have been writing legislators with this news. Charlie Collins and Uvalde Lindsey among others are interested in promoting sales tax equity between Arkansas businesses and Amazon.

I hope that you will spread the word of what we can do as a state.... right now.

Consider the word passed. But I should note the political problem here, as well as at the state level. While treating all commerce the same on taxation seems completely fair to me and many others, as well as putting honest-to-goodness Arkansas businesses on an even footing with the web giants that have dealt blows to so many people, it is not a universally popular idea. Republicans, particularly (though not universally) like the advantage no-tax merchants offer and view tax fairness, somewhat perversely, as a tax increase.

This would be a boon at every level of government. At the state level, some politicians have indicated they might like to see an Internet tax, but want it to be made "revenue neutral" by giving back the revenue in other tax reductions. I'd prefer to devote it to starved services, but ...

PS: Sen. Jake Files of Fort Smith apparently plans to introduce legislation along these lines this week.

Tags: , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • The LR chamber does the public's business. Is it accountable? Blue Hog on the case.

    Matt Campbell, lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jay Chessir, director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Mark Stodola related to the publicity stunt yesterday  built around withdrawing from the mayor's rash pronouncement that the city would seek an Amazon HQ2 project even though the city  didn't meet the company's criteria.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Legislative job meddling in UA job further exposed

    • This must be the Mary Bentley school of legislator action to intimidate And interfer ,…

    • on August 19, 2018
  • Re: Satan vs. the supremacists UPDATE

    • Oh, dissembling cub, subsidies do not a socialist government make. You cannot even lie convincingly…

    • on August 19, 2018
  • Re: An open line

    • gfr, i agree that trump and his minions, including the ark6, are a disgrace. however,…

    • on August 19, 2018

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation