Goodlatte’s Principles for Online Sales Tax Collection

Posted November 19, 2014 at 2:34pm

A key figure in the congressional debate over online sales tax collections is Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, the veteran Virginia Republican who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Goodlatte has said he plans to draft sales tax legislation based on seven basic principles, which he lists on his committee’s website.

“Tax Relief — Using the Internet should not create new or discriminatory taxes not faced in the offline world. Nor should any fresh precedent be created for other areas of interstate taxation by States.

“Tech Neutrality — Brick & Mortar, Exclusively Online, and Brick & Click businesses should all be on equal footing. The sales tax compliance burden on online Internet sellers should not be less, but neither should it be greater than that on similarly situated offline businesses.

“No Regulation Without Representation —Those who would bear state taxation, regulation and compliance burdens should have direct recourse to protest unfair, unwise or discriminatory rates and enforcement.

“Simplicity — Governments should not stifle businesses by shifting onerous compliance requirements onto them; laws should be so simple and compliance so inexpensive and reliable as to render a small business exemption unnecessary.

“Tax Competition — Governments should be encouraged to compete with one another to keep tax rates low and American businesses should not be disadvantaged vis-a-vis their foreign competitors.

“States’ Rights — States should be sovereign within their physical boundaries. In addition, the federal government should not mandate that States impose any sales tax compliance burdens.

“Privacy Rights – Sensitive customer data must be protected.”