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Tech Sunday, March 24th 2013 at 11:04 am

The Senate Sort of Approved Internet Sales Tax

People still love taxes, right? That’s what the Senate seems to think, because they just voted 75-to-24 in favor of a non-binding resolution that says they would support a bill introducing an Internet sales tax. Even though the resolution is non-binding, its overwhelming support could help support the bill as it School House Rocks its way to becoming a law. The Senate finally decides to get something done, and it’s Internet sales tax? Great job, Senate.

Currently, when you buy something online from a retailer that is out of state, in most cases you don’t have to pay that state’s sales tax. Some larger retailers that operate in multiple states collect taxes, but smaller stores have an advantage online, in that customers can save some money ordering on the Internet to avoid paying sales tax.

This lack of taxation is estimated to cost the government $20 billion in losses. The government would probably like that $20 billion, and clearly the bigger businesses want to see that advantage eliminated and they have lobbied hard for an Internet sales tax.

The recent vote is non-binding, and even though it went clearly in the favor of the tax, the 24 Senators who voted it down seem to be very much against it. There’s even a petition courtesy of the National Taxpayers Union that members of the public can use to tell their senators they’re against the Marketplace Fairness Act, the bill that actually proposes the tax.

While the case can be made that this is just enforcing existing tax laws rather than introducing a new one, opponents of the bill say that managing state tax laws across the Internet would hurt businesses and be too unwieldy to manage even if that law is passed.

Government is serious business, so I’d like to end this article on a joke. Anyone know any good tax jokes?

Thanks, Ron Swanson.

(CNET via The Verge, image via 401(K) 2013)

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