SALE AND TAXATION OF GOODS OVER THE INTERNET

The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax and Agreement (SSUTA)

The goal of the SSUTA is to convince Congress to enact legislation that levels the playing field between local brick-and-mortar stores and remote sellers, such as Internet retailers who have no obligation to collect or pay taxes.  The idea is to improve sales tax administration through tax law simplification, more efficient administrative procedures, and emerging technologies.  Sales tax simplification results from: uniform tax definitions; uniform and simpler exemption administration; rate simplification; state-level administration of all sales taxes, uniform sourcing (where the sale is taxable); and state funding of the administrative cost.
 
The U.S. Supreme Court in 1992 said in Quill vs. North Dakota that Congress has the power under the Commerce Clause to create a level playing field for local merchants.  The thinking is that the more states have made tax collection simple and easy for retailers, Congress can adopt legislation that applies to the products and services sold by remote sellers.  As of now 23 states have adopted SSUTA legislation, and several others are introducing similar litigation.