Thursday, April 14, 2011


A bill called the Main Street Fairness Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Delahunt, was introduced in the House in July of last year. The bill would allow states who are members of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement to collect state taxes for online sales. The agreement is an attempt to simplify tax collection and administration in an effort to make the ability for online merchants to collect state taxes more realistic.

CNet is now reporting that the House bill may be getting some assistance in the Senate thanks to Dick Durbin, a senator from Illionis. Durbin plans to introduce a bill by the same name as the House bill soon after Tax Day. It’s not surprising a Senator from Illinois would be introducing such legislation. In March, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the state’s Main Street Fairness Bill which would require any online retailer with affiliates in the state to collect state sales tax for remote purchases. As a result of the new Illinois law, Amazon killed its affiliate program in the state.

If the Main Street Fairness Act makes it to the President’s desk and is signed into law, online retailers like Amazon wouldn’t be able to avoid the collection of state taxes by simply killing affiliate programs. The bill would make tax collection for those states who are part of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement the law of the land.

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