Watch out, world, an Internet Retail Tax might be headed in your direction. The United States Government votes this evening on the “Marketplace Fairness Act.” This act, if passed, will grant states the right to collect taxes from any kind of online retailer. That's right, any kind of online retailer.
Sell something online? You might soon be taxed, and this includes those who use cheap website hosting companies. How closely divided is the Senate on this matter? Previous votes show a 74/20 split in favor of the tax. This doesn't look so good for online retailers.
On The Other Hand
Even those clients of cheap website hosting companies aren't thrilled at the idea of facing a tax. There is another side to this coin. Brick and mortar retailers have long been paying taxes. These retailers can't often keep up with their online rivals, and those taxes add up.
To make things fair, the government seeks to tax both types of retailers. Senior vice president for government affairs, Bill Hughes, had this to say on the matter:
“For too long Main Street retailers have faced tax rules that put them at a disadvantage to out of state, online-only retailers. We welcome this week’s debate and the increasingly inevitable prospect that the playing field will soon be level for all retailers.”
Will Your Business Count?
Basically, if you sell something online, you may be susceptible to a new upcoming tax. Of course, this will directly impact most business bottom lines. The Internet has long been a tax-free place for businesses to reside, but this may not be the case shortly. Soon, even online retailers will have to pay some kind of tax.
This new tax may provide more retailers with even more of a reason to seek out cheap website hosting companies. It is going to be tough for some online retailers to sell items online and pay for an expensive hosting company.
In fact, many online businesses don't generate enough income to set up a brick and mortar shop based on tax purposes alone. It will be interesting to see whether or not the number of Internet retailers takes a sharp decline when (and if) this law is passed.
What Can You Do?
Not much. The Act will be voted on tonight, and it certainly looks like it will pass. When taxes will go into effect has yet to be determined, though it's likely to be sooner rather than later. So, I want to know what you think.
Talk Back: how do you feel about an online retailer tax? Should online retailers be taxed just like regular retailers? Is the fact that online retailers aren't taxed fair? Are you hoping that this Act passes or doesn't pass? Please let me know what your thoughts are!