Womack’s Plan On Internet Tax A Fairness Issue

Posted: December 14, 2012 at 2:22 a.m.

If government establishes a sales tax and a business doesn’t collect and remit it to the state, does that mean the tax doesn’t exist?

This story is only available from our archives.

Opinion, Pages 5 on 12/14/2012

Just great another tax on rural citizens that must use mail order to get the goods they need. We don't live near stores with lots of choices of products we live in SE Washington County and it is a drive just to get to Fayetteville. This mail order tax is a bad idea and I'm sorry the NWA Republican Times is pushing for it. Shame on you.

This will hurt a lot of mom and pop mail order businesses. Obviously Mr. Womack nor any of the Times Editors have every worked for a small mail order company and know nothing about the burden of figuring out taxes for every hamlet and crossroads. Terrible legislation, terrible timing.

Posted by: Sandyjobob

December 14, 2012 at 10:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Great label for this publican, Sandy

"NWA Republican Times"

Posted by: cdawg

December 14, 2012 at 11:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

oops. that should have been "publication" instead of 'publican.'

Posted by: cdawg

December 14, 2012 at 11:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Sandy - This is NOT a new tax. The sales tax law already exists. If you're not remitting the appropriate sales tax to the State of Arkansas when you make an online purchase then you are violating the law. For Arkansans, all the law does is makes the online retailer responsible for collecting the tax, taking the "burden" off the consumer of calculating and remitting the owed taxes.

Posted by: superdave10

December 14, 2012 at 12:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Super - This is a new tax and places the burden on many businesses and their ability to stay in business. So much simpler to just allow the consumer to declare sales tax on their income tax form. We already have a way to deal with this mail order tax why change?

Posted by: Sandyjobob

December 14, 2012 at 1:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

free market is not working if Womack get his way.
if it better for comsumers to CHOOSE to buy on line instead of driving to walmart big box store, then let the market forces be and let it happen. Walmart needs to adjust to the times and get rid of the big stores! they can no longer be bullies and force everyone to shop at their stores anymore. there is free competition at amazon and anyone can join in.
Womack is trying to force by penalizing the on line shopper with a tax so we have to shop ONLY at walmart and make sure they have the advantage.

fair is not always fair
..let the consumers choose! not Womack.

Posted by: ladyLiberty

December 14, 2012 at 2:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Mr, Woemack and Wal-Mart intentions are to shut Amazon down. If Amazon has to charge a sales tax of 10%, add on a shipping charge, add a handling fee, and then you have to wait three days to a week for your purchase. Wal-Mart is interested in being a monopoly by driving competition out of business. Fairness is not an issue with Wal-Mart or our Congressman. Good post lady and Sandy

Posted by: JailBird

December 14, 2012 at 3:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I have wonderful sewing/embroidery machine. The best thread for it is sold by Hancock Fabric in Fayetteville. That's great for people who happen to live there.

For me, it's a 70 mi r/t trip just to buy some thread, and over 3 gal. of gas (that totals $9 right there) My other choice is to order online from a place in St. Louis, pay no shipping and no sales tax.

Gee...choices, always choices.

And let's not forget if you buy a pair of shoes in Joplin @ Macys and have the audicity to bring them back into Arkansas, you're supposed to file & pay the additional taxes on that too.

Bah humbug applies to more than just Christmas.

Posted by: PedalPusher

December 14, 2012 at 4:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

This could be as simple an issue as adding a statement at the bottom of websites selling stuff.

"Arkansas residents add sales tax."

That wouldn't be any different than the notices seen for TV merchants with regards to those great "progressive" states like California.

However this happens, the cost will be pushed down to the consumer.... but so will the tax revenue benifits and entitlements. Right? Hmm, not so sure what to think.

Posted by: Tankersley101

December 15, 2012 at 12:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Arkansas residents sales tax is different in each city. Don't live in a city, then its different in each county. Sales taxes are supposed to be charged at the spot of sale or where you buy the goods. This is why many of us northern shoppers go to Jane and pay lower taxes. Order online, rules are the same, buy the good and the online shipper charges you the tax where the merchandise was purchased from, not where it is shipping to. Now all a big online seller has to do is find a state to sell out of, that charges no sales tax. That is why Amazon left California. In any case, it is not the buyer that is responsible for collecting sales tax.

Posted by: JailBird

December 15, 2012 at 6:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

>>Sales taxes are supposed to be charged at the spot of sale or where you buy the goods. <

That's no longer true in Arkansas. It was changed four or five years ago. If you purchase a load of lumber in Springdale, have it delivered to Rogers, then the Rogers sales tax rate applies and Rogers gets the taxes.

What Congressman Womack proposes is federal assistance in collecting state and local taxes. The taxes are due but a convenient and workable collection mechanism isn't.

The Feds help states collect other taxes like income taxes. When a violation of federal income tax code occurs in a return, individual or corporate, the Feds notify the appropriate state authorities. So, Womack's idea is nothing new.

As for differing rates of taxation a simple cd or other electronic stored file can be put together for all online merchants. It won't be a big problem to create a database of state and local sales taxes. Zip codes have been used for such purposes for years.

What will be problematic are the differing classification of products of which some are subject to sales taxes, some are not.

Tankersly, why you see the small lines about taxes due on some tv ads for mail in or direct order merchandise is because some states have reciprocal agreements to collect each others' taxes. So, a tv merchandiser could be located in one state and have reciprocal agreements with other states to collect sales taxes.

However, once I ordered (online) merchandise from Canada and once from England. I don't know how that would work regarding sales tax collections.

I do know that if any large online seller can beat the system by moving their location just across the U.S. border to Canada or Mexico they will.

Posted by: cdawg

December 15, 2012 at 6:05 p.m. ( | suggest removal )