July 29, 2011

Small Businesses Applaud Senator Durbin and Representative Conyers for Introducing Main Street Fairness Act

SEATTLE, July 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- FedTax(R) joins its TaxCloud(R) merchants in applauding Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative John Conyers (D-MI) for introducing the Main Street Fairness Act in both chambers of Congress. The Main Street Fairness Act will allow states that have simplified their sales tax laws to require all retailers to collect existing sales taxes.

Not only does this bill help small businesses by offering states an incentive to simplify their sales tax regulations, it also helps small local retailers that have been struggling to compete with online retailers that have not had to collect sales tax.

The Main Street Fairness Act endorses the sales tax simplification measures in the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA), which was developed by forty-four states and the business community in order to reduce the costs and complexities of collecting sales tax for multiple states. The bill would allow states that voluntarily adopt SSUTA's guidelines to require online retailers to collect sales tax.

Although retailers are currently required to collect sales tax only for states where they have a physical presence, SSUTA's simplification measures and modern technology have combined to ease the burden of collecting sales tax for more than one state. But the laws currently governing interstate sales tax collection do not reflect the changes wrought by SSUTA and technology. Instead, they reflect the realities of sales tax collection in 1967, when the Supreme Court first ruled on this issue in National Bellas Hess v. Illinois Department of Revenue. At the time, the internet did not even exist.

Clearly, the world is a very different place now, forty-four years later. "Modern technology now makes it easy for businesses to comply with the Main Street Fairness Act," said R. David L. Campbell, CEO of FedTax. "In fact, our TaxCloud service handles every aspect of sales tax management for free, making collecting sales tax easy and affordable for any business -- from sole proprietors to the Fortune 500. We're happy to see the Main Street Fairness Act introduced, and we hope that politicians from both sides of the aisle will support it -- it's truly a bipartisan issue, a matter of fiscal responsibility and tax equality."

TaxCloud calculates the sales tax due in real time, files tax returns, generates state-by-state monthly reports, handles audits and tax exemptions, and more. It is also certified to comply with SSUTA, which means that TaxCloud offers businesses the advantages of tax amnesty and indemnification from states that participate in SSUTA.

In addition to the good business reasons for adopting the Main Street Fairness Act, there are concerns about the effect of the current situation on local communities. While it's understandable that, in the absence of congressional action, online-only retailers would not collect sales tax, the situation is hurting communities that rely on sales tax revenue to fund schools, police, libraries, and more. A February 2011 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that budget shortfalls in at least forty-six states have forced significant spending cuts to health care, services for the elderly and disabled, and education. According to the report, "cuts to state services not only harm vulnerable residents but also worsen the recession -- and dampen the recovery -- by reducing overall economic activity." In a March 2011 report, the National Conference of State Legislatures estimated that enacting the Main Street Fairness Act would "ensure the survival of America's main streets and provide states $23 billion without any offsets or funds from the U.S. Treasury."

Enacting the Main Street Fairness Act will enable states to collect existing sales tax on online purchases, which will reduce the severity of necessary spending cuts while minimizing state and local governments' need to raise taxes.

About FedTax

FedTax makes it easy for businesses to calculate, collect, and remit sales tax with its free TaxCloud sales tax management service. It was founded by e-commerce veterans who have extensive experience in large-scale internet services and have been directly involved in building some of the most recognizable brands on the internet, including Google, American Express, Microsoft, and Expedia.

FedTax has been designated a Certified Service Provider by the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board. The company's free TaxCloud service is relied upon by over 750 businesses to calculate and remit sales tax across the country. TaxCloud can be easily integrated into most accounting, order management, and e-commerce shopping cart systems.

FedTax is headquartered in Seattle and has offices in Connecticut and Kansas.