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eBay Speaks Out Against Internet Sales Tax Bill

Official says Marketplace Equity Act needs greater protections for small sellers.

eBay reiterated its concerns about the Marketplace Equity Act—formerly known as the Marketplace Fairness Act—in response to a judiciary committee meeting on Tuesday that discussed the Internet sales tax bill.

eBay says the bill, which would require online merchants in up to 9,600 tax jurisdictions to collect and pay sales tax, does not provide enough protections for small businesses. Officials note that, while H.R. 3179 does provide some protections, these are “extremely inadequate.”

“Small business retailers using the Internet are entrepreneurs who are creating jobs, serving consumers and creating competition for established retail giants,” says Brian Bieron, eBay’s senior director of Federal Government Relations. “They should be protected from any new Internet sales tax regime so that they can continue to advance and grow.”
“In the past 30 years, big retailers have grown more dominant, while independent sellers have been pushed to the edges”

In a statement to the committee, Tod Cohen, eBay’s vice president and deputy general counsel of Government Relations, adds that small online sellers have already lost 11 percent of their share of the online market in the U.S. in two years.

“What would happen when they would be forced to collect and remit [Internet sales tax] in over 9,500 tax jurisdictions, driving up their costs of products in states where they do not have stores and distribution centers to serve customers?” he asks in the statement.

Cohen notes that, though supporters of the Internet sales tax bill say it will level the playing field between online and offline merchants, having the same tax collection requirements for large retailers and small businesses is not fair.

He adds that at the heart of the Internet sales tax issue is the “expanding dominance” of big retailers at the cost of small businesses, saying that in the past 30 years, big retailers “have grown more dominant,” while small, independent sellers have been pushed to the “edges.”

“Retail giants make up 18 of the top 25 retail websites today,” he continues. “eBay is not calling on the Congress to change laws to turn this trend around, but we do oppose changes in law that would accelerate the trend toward giant retailers online.”

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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