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NTU Responds to Goodlatte Draft Internet Sales Tax Legislation

by Pete Sepp / /

As House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte unveiled draft legislation today designed to address state taxing powers over online and catalog sales, Pete Sepp, President of the nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU), offered the following statement:

"Taxpayer advocates appreciate the serious, careful consideration that Chairman Goodlatte and his staff have clearly put into the discussion draft of the Online Sales Simplification Act. It is now up to us to do the same in evaluating the proposal.

In 2013, Chairman Goodlatte outlined seven principles regarding taxation of goods over the Internet, including low tax burdens, simplified collection and compliance, a level playing field for online and traditional businesses, robust interstate tax competition, and limits on state enforcement tactics. NTU is analyzing the Chairman's current discussion draft to determine how well the legislation meets these sensible and crucial benchmarks.

One thing is certain: with the introduction of this bill, the predatory tax policies contained in the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) and the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA) should be even less tenable than ever before. Whatever future steps Congress decides to take, moving toward more solid protections for consumers and businesses and moving away from arbitrary, unworkable schemes that threaten economic freedom is the right direction."

From the Quill decision in 1992, to the Streamlined Sales Tax Project in 2000, to today's array of bills in Congress, NTU has advocated for less burdensome, equitable, and constitutionally sound policies toward state taxation of remote sales. This has included opposition to MFA and RTPA, along with support for alternatives embracing constitutional boundaries on extraterritorial taxation as well as the concept of "origin sourcing" collection based on the physical location of the business.