Speak Out: It’s time to clarify Internet taxes in Alabama
by our readers
Jun 11, 2013 | 2397 views |  0 comments | 98 98 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 and justifies states collecting sales and use taxes by assuming title to items bought over the Internet is “where the product or service sold is received by the purchaser … that the purchaser furnishes to the seller.”

The act uses “purchaser” only twice, see above, to identify the person who pays the tax, and the act tries to shift the issue to the seller by using “seller” 32 times and “remote sale” 13 times. The act defines nine things including “Remote Seller” and “Remote Sale” but not “purchaser.” Notwithstanding that obfuscation, the burden of Internet taxes is on the “purchaser.”

If the U.S. Supreme Court holds the act is constitutional, then every purchase from an Internet seller should also be subject to the laws and courts of the state that collects Internet taxes from a purchaser. That should mean purchasers should be able to file lawsuits in Alabama’s small-claims courts against Internet sellers. If judgment is for the purchaser, then Alabama would use its power to execute judgment.

Joe Boyett
Montgomery
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