Readers Respond: Internet taxes

Internet retailers don’t have to collect taxes in states where they don’t have a physical presence. The NRF says that’s not fair. Here’s what some of our readers said:

“We are both a store-front retailer, and an e-tailer. Several years ago, Kansas (where we are located) passed a streamlined sales tax that was supposed to simplify the sales tax so that Internet sellers could easily collect sales taxes. I can tell you that the simplified tax based on shipped-to-location is absolutely impossible to work with. We have very few Internet purchases made where the buyer lives in Kansas, so we don’t want to spend thousands of dollars to buy a program to figure the sales tax due on those Kansas sales. The four to five Kansas sales we do have adds about 45 minutes to an hour of time to look up the rate on the computer every month. I do not have a good solution to the sales tax mess, but I understand how it hurts my store when another retailer can offer the exact same goods I’m offering without the Kansas sales tax, because they don’t have a Kansas location.

“I understand that, because I sell the same goods in their state without collecting their state sales tax. I hope we can come up with a solution that keeps both of my operations in business.”
— Gary Fry

“No one wants to pay more taxes. But, in this case it's not more -- it's the fair and right way to level the playing field. I have a brick-and-mortar store, and the Internet is stealing my customers with the lure of ‘no tax and free shipping.’

“What is this? If there is no tax for one, then no tax for all.

“I can compete with anyone, but no tax is not an option. Make it right. Make it fair for all retailers.”
— David Wood
Smitty's Lawn & Garden Equipment
Olathe, Kan.

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