U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, today joined Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in introducing a measure to prevent new sales tax collection requirements from being placed on small Internet vendors - including those in New Hampshire, which does not have a state sales tax. The Ayotte-Wyden resolution, similar to House Resolution 95, would express 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, and would particularly burden small online retailers.
"Keeping New Hampshire free of any sales taxes requires eternal vigilance, and this effort is aimed at protecting our state's online retailers from the prospect of another heavy-handed Washington mandate," said Senator Ayotte. "Congress should not impose onerous tax collection and remittance requirements on small Internet vendors, especially in a state like New Hampshire, which has no state sales tax. Moreover, placing new requirements on these vendors would mark a significant departure from the traditional hands-off approach that Congress has taken with respect to the Internet marketplace."
Under current law, 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 New Hampshire (which does not), Illinois cannot currently force the New Hampshire vendor to collect and remit the Illinois tax on that sale. In July, however, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation that would give states that authority. The Main Street Fairness Act (S. 1452) would establish federal guidelines requiring online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes for out-of-state sales.