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Ayotte Vows to Fight Legislation That Would Impose Online Sales Tax

Commerce Committee member continues effort to protect NH's Internet businesses from sales taxes

Feb 14, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today vowed to continue the fight against federal legislation that would force online retailers to collect sales taxes for other jurisdictions in which they do not have a physical presence. She called on Senate colleagues to oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act, which is being introduced today by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY). The legislation aims to change current law, under which a state cannot compel out-of-state Internet vendors to collect and remit to it the sales tax its residents are required to pay on purchases from traditional brick and mortar vendors.

Ayotte is currently working across party lines with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to reintroduce a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that no federal legislation should give states the authority to impose any new burdensome or unfair tax collecting requirements on Internet businesses and entrepreneurs.

"Although we stopped this bill last year, its proponents are back at it. We need to remain vigilant in the fight to protect New Hampshire's online retailers, and I continue to work across party lines to ensure that our Internet vendors don't become sales tax collectors for other states," said Senator Ayotte.

Senator Ayotte has worked diligently to protect New Hampshire Internet businesses from sales taxes. In addition to the resolution she introduced last year, she also posed tough questions to proponents of online sales tax legislation during a Senate hearing last year - declaring that such a change would trample on New Hampshire's right to not have a sales tax.

Under current Supreme Court precedent, absent a sufficient nexus, a state cannot compel out-of-state Internet vendors to collect and remit to it the sales tax its residents are required to pay on purchases from traditional brick and mortar vendors. For example, when a customer in Illinois (which has a sales tax) buys a product from an online vendor in non-sales tax New Hampshire that has no physical presence in Illinois, Illinois cannot currently force the New Hampshire vendor to collect and remit the Illinois tax on that sale. However, cash-strapped states looking to plug budget holes continue to push for a new law that would force online retailers to collect sales taxes for jurisdictions nationwide.

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