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Congress Asked To Examine SSTA

by Mike Godfrey, for LawAndTax-News.com, Washington

29 September 2003


Legislation providing for US state authorities to collect sales taxes on purchases made over the internet was put before Congress on Thursday.

The Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement is the result of nearly three years of discussion between businesses and state and local governments, and 20 states have put new tax laws in place with a view to joining the project.

Under the terms of the proposed legislation, businesses which ship goods ordered via the internet into participating states would be required to collect sales tax on those purchases. However, they would be given software enabling them to easily calculate the amount, and would likely be compensated by the state authorities for their efforts.

Speaking to the US media last week, several pro-SSTA lawmakers were at pains to stress that it is not intended to increase taxes, but is designed to more efficiently enforce the rules already in place in many states.

"This is not a tax bill. This bill will not raise taxes," Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass) told the Associated Press. This was confirmed by Rep. David Steil (R-Penn), who observed that:

"Congress has the opportunity to provide fiscal relief to the states with no impact on the US Treasury."


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