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Unformatted text preview: Sales-Tax Measures 'to Cost Us Big' Proposed Rules Get Amazon's Backing By ANGUS LOTEN DECEMBER 1, 2011 Amazon.com wants to bring order to the way online retailers collect state and local taxes. And that has Web entrepreneur Stacy Strawn feeling anxious. Under a 1992 Supreme Court ruling, online retailers including her aren't required to collect sales tax for purchases made in states where they do not have a physical presence. But Ms. Strawn, and others like her who operate with just a dozen or so employees, would have to begin collecting and remitting taxes for the more than 40 states that currently charge sales and use taxes, along with thousands of cities and counties across the country, as set forth by a Senate proposal unveiled last month. That proposal, which has the support of Amazon, includes an exception for small-business retailers with less than $500,000 in annual "remote" sales—a sum so low that it wouldn't even cover Ms. Strawn's employees' wages. "These are the most small-business-unfriendly measures I've seen in years," said Ms. Strawn, whose Waynesboro, Va., store, Silver Gallery, sells sterling-silver bowls, cups and jewelry. "This is going to cost us big." Ms. Strawn isn't entirely sure what the cost to her business would be. A 2006 PriceWaterhouseCoopers study found local and state tax compliance costs small retailers 13.47% of all sales tax collected, compared to 2.17% for large retailers....
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- Spring '10
- Marketing, online retailers, Stacy Strawn, Ms. Strawn