Today, ERA through the TruST Coalition sent the following letter to Senate leadership expressing strong opposition to attaching the controversial and flawed Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) to the broadly supported, and critically important renewal of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA).
We believe that connecting the two measures does a severe disservice to both bills, threatening to stall ITFA and derail a productive House debate over the future of remote taxation.
July 16, 2014
Honorable Harry Reid Honorable Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Senate Minority Leader
U.S. Senate U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Dear Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell:
As members of the True Simplification of Taxation (TruST) Coalition representing thousands of American businesses, we write to express strong opposition to attaching the controversial and flawed Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) to the broadly supported, and critically important renewal of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA). Connecting the two measures does a severe disservice to both bills, threatening to stall ITFA and derail a productive House debate over the future of remote taxation.
Earlier this week the House of Representatives approved a clean, noncontroversial ITFA renewal that would continue to protect Americans from unfair and discriminatory Internet taxes. We urge the Senate to take up this measure, and allow the robust and productive House debate over the MFA to take place under normal order.
The MFA imposes unfair and unnecessary burdens on catalog and Internet retailers and their customers. This new tax regime makes remote retailers responsible for complying with disparate collection requirements in more than 10,000 tax jurisdictions, and subjects them to potential audits from 46 states. It fails to provide 10 of the 12 minimum simplifications set forth by the True Simplification of Taxation Coalition (http://truesimplification.org/our-principles/) as baseline prerequisites for a fair remote taxation regime. These simplifications are vital to ensuring that compliance with thousands of new tax regimes does not put thousands of American companies out of business.
The House Judiciary Committee is currently engaged in thoughtful discussion of how to address these concerns, discussing several potential alternatives to the MFA that would provide states the ability to collect sales tax remotely, without unfairly burdening Internet and catalog sellers. We are optimistic that these discussions will yield an outcome that gives state legislatures the remote collection they want, while providing Internet and catalog sellers the fairness they need.
The Senate owes it to the House of Representatives, the business community and, most importantly, the American people to allow the legislative process to take its due course. The MFA is not being stalled or delayed. It is being actively debated and improved in the best spirit of the bicameral legislative process. To that end, we implore you to pass a clean ITFA renewal without any MFA language, allowing the legislative process to play out and yield the best possible result for American taxpayers.
American Catalog Mailers Association
Direct Marketing Association
Electronic Retailing Association
Cc: Senate Leadership
Members of the Senate Finance Committee