Tech & Online

Apr 11, 2013 9:42 AM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

Baucus: Marketplace Fairness Act fraught with problems

MISSOULA - Senator Max Baucus says Montana business would have to keep track of "thousands" of different tax codes to do online business out-of-state if Congress approves an Internet sales tax.

The U.S. Senate has proposed the Marketplace Fairness Act, the latest attempt to enact a nationwide sales tax on Internet sales.

Past court rulings have prevented states from charging their own sales taxes to online-only companies if they didn't have a physical presence in that state.

But the states are now moving aggressively to capture those taxes. And online retailers, and those with both online and brick and mortar stores are split over the idea.

Baucus says the online sales boom is changing the marketplace, but says in sales tax-free states like Montana, it could cost companies a lot of money to comply.

"You're telling states you've got to have a sales tax when they don't want it. I don't think we want to do that Madam President. I don't think we want to," Baucus stated. "It's a phenomenon. But the answer is not on non-=sales tax states to try to collect those taxes."

Baucus is using his leadership on the Senate's tax-writing committee to try and get the sponsors to withdraw the idea while still acknowledging the interest of adapting to the growing online marketplace.

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