Main Street Fairness Act Introduced in Congress

Both houses of Congress introduced legislation on July 29, 2011 that would give member states of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax (SST) Agreement to collect sales tax from remote sellers that do not qualify for the small-seller exception although this is not defined in the bill. The legislation is referred to as the Main Street Fairness Act. Similar legislation was introduced previously but did not pass. Several provisions that appeared in previous versions of the bill have been eliminated. These include the requirement that the minimum SST simplifications include a single sales and use tax rate per taxing jurisdiction (the SST Agreement currently includes this requirement), a path to SST membership for federally recognized Indian tribes that comply with the Agreement, and a mandate that the minimum simplification requirements in the Agreement apply to sales and use tax on communications services. The new versions of the bill expand on previous versions’ requirement for reasonable vendor compensation by finding that the SST Agreement’s currently mandated compensation satisfies the minimum requirement. There are limitations on the impact of collection of tax under this bill and the creation of nexus for other taxes. The new bills would provide for judicial review of SST Governing Board actions by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (S. 1452 and H.R. 2701, introduced in both houses of Congress on July 29, 2011)

Posted on August 19, 2011