Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

E-Fairness Bills Introduced

On Thursday, Apr. 27, both S. 976, "The Marketplace Fairness Act," and H.R. 2193, "The Remote Transactions Parity Act," were introduced in the Senate and House.  

S. 976 is cosponsored by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND); H.R. 2193 is cosponsored by Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD), Steve Womack (R-AR), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Lou Barletta (R-PA), John Conyers (D-MI), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), and David Cicilline (D-RI).  Both bills are the same as versions introduced in the previous Congress that NAR supported. 

Since the 1992 Supreme Court ruling in Quill, States have been waiting for Congress to enact e-fairness legislation allowing them to require that state sales tax be added to online purchases made by their residents.  In the absence of Congressional action, the states  have attempted to capture some of the lost sales tax through “nexus” laws, which broadly define the physical nexus needed for a retailer in a state for sales tax collection to be required.  In 2015 alone, it is estimated that states lost $26 billion in uncollected sales tax on online purchases.  This is not a new tax, as residents are supposed to report and remit sales tax on purchases when they file their state taxes each year, but they overwhelmingly do not.  

NAR, a member of the Marketplace Fairness Coalition, has supported E-Fairness legislation for several Congresses, and will support S. 976 and H.R. 2193 as they move through the legislative process.  

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