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Senate Passes Marketplace Fairness Act By Overwhelming Majority

On May 6, 2013, Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act . It was announced that the bill passed with a vote of 69 to 27. The bill provides for an exception for businesses with sales of less than $1 million annually. States which are members to the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement are automatically granted the authority and the remaining states are required to grant the authority. The legislation will now make its way to the House of Representatives, where anything can happen.

The Act is an attempt to provide clarity and certainty in a grey area of the law. While many proponents of the bill seem to think it puts all Internet retailers on a equal playing field, it is really just an enforcement tactic of existing tax law. Those not in favor of the law point to the administrative burdens placed on small taxpayers. It is true that software exists to calculate the tax rates in the countries 45 states with sales tax and some 9,600 jurisdictions, it may becomes extremely burdensome and expensive to determine what is and is not taxable.

I look forward to informing everyone about more developments in this evolving area of the law. I also welcome any comments on the issue.

About the author: Mr. Donnini is a multi-state sales and use tax attorney and an associate in the law firm Moffa, Gainor, & Sutton, PA, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Mr. Donnini’s primary practice is multi-state sales and use tax as well as state corporate income tax controversy. Mr. Donnini also practices in the areas of federal tax controversy, federal estate planning, Florida probate, and all other state taxes including communication service tax, cigarette & tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, and Native American taxation. Mr. Donnini is also a co-author in the CCH Expert Treatise Library, an author for SalesTaxSupport.com, and he is currently pursuing his LL.M. in Taxation at NYU. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact him via email or phone listed on this page.