Sears raises its voice for Marketplace Fairness Act

Retailers with brick-and-mortar locations continue to bristle over the concept that their sales are being taxed while certain Internet transactions are not.

Into the conversation comes legislation called the Marketplace Fairness Act, the stated purpose of which is to level the playing field for retailers. The act found strong support from Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings, which issued a statement applauding the bill and its sponsors. 

The bipartisan legislation, Sears said, will level the sales tax collection playing field for local businesses by granting the states authority to enforce existing laws and require out-of-state, online-only retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on sales made to its residents.

"We commend Sens. Durbin, Enzi, Alexander and Heitkamp; and Reps. Womack, Speier, Noem, Welch and Conyers for their continued leadership on this important issue," the statement reads. "Sears Holdings has been and continues to be a strong supporter of restoring balance and fairness to the system by enabling states, if they so choose, to enforce the collection of taxes that are already owed by every customer making a purchase, whether the purchase is online or in a retail store." 

The statement continued: "Most retailers calculate and collect the tax at the point of sale, as required by law. However, online-only merchants currently do not have to collect the tax broadly, leaving the customer with the responsibility of saving receipts and filing and paying use taxes for those purchases on their state income tax returns. The Marketplace Fairness Act will correct a system that has given a significant and unfair competitive advantage to a handful of online-only retailers, while hurting those that create jobs and invest in local communities."

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