eBay executive responds to Internet sales tax story

Looks like my story today on Internet sales taxes has been widely read. This just came to our e-mail inbox and will soon appear in our Letters to the Editor section:

To the editor,

South Dakota lawmakers pushing for an Internet sales tax fail to recognize how such a tax would devastate the smallest online retailers in the state and across the country.

Many large online retailers in South Dakota already collect and remit sales taxes because of their vast “brick and click” networks that allow consumers to purchase online and pick up or return in-store. In fact, 15 of the Top 20 Internet retailers collect taxes in nearly every state.

An Internet sales tax would require all online retailers to comply with thousands of state and local tax jurisdictions. That means treating the smallest retailers – who maybe have a part-time accountant and tax advisor – the same as multi-billion dollar mega-retail giants with thousands of employees and entire tax and accounting departments.

In a tough economy, we should empower and protect small businesses. Instead, an Internet sales tax would disproportionately place costly and complex administrative burdens on the smallest online retailers.

Tod Cohen

Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Government Relations

eBay Inc.

5 thoughts on “eBay executive responds to Internet sales tax story

  1. I can understand eBay’s comment as many sell used, or nearly new, items. They are the vehicle for the individual to put more money into their pockets.
    Business’ that sell new, or traded in, items need to pay a tax. They are set up for paying sales taxes. They compete with our local business’ for sales, and if we want our locals to succeed……..
    It is in our best interest to support our community.

  2. wouldn’t a used item already have had a sales tax charged on it. the next thing you know we will have to pay income taxes on a garage sale earnings.

  3. Individual’s selling personal items would not have a business license. Pretty hard to control their sales. Business’ pay sales tax. Internet sales are usually done through a business, and there is no reason they shouldn’t pay a tax to our state.

  4. The question regarded Internet taxes being paid to the state. My feeling is: Internet Sales from Business’ should pay the State Tax. Resales by individuals on eBay not. (How the state chooses to loop hole that situation is up to them to figure out.)

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