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Congress Not Yet Done Changing—And Possibly Killing—State E-Commerce Taxes Law

Written by Evan Schuman
June 10th, 2013

As the Marketplace Fairness Act—aka state taxes for e-tailers law—settles in for a House fight as it approaches becoming the law of the land (having easily passed the Senate and with a White House promising a fast Presidential signature), retailers are understandably uneasy.

For e-tailers, there are the “how complicated will it be? Will I lose shoppers? Will it force me to lower prices more to maintain competitiveness?” questions. For physical store executives, there are the “Will this be filled with loopholes? Will it make a difference? Critically, will the taxes appear too late in the purchase process to deliver the much-talked-about fairness?” questions.

And repeated rumblings from House leaders about major—and unspecified—changes they may force into the bill are absolutely not helping retailers’ comfort levels. To try and help a little, StorefrontBacktalk and FierceRetail have assembled some of the key players in this battle to help answer some of these questions with a webinar slated for Tuesday, July 9, 2 pm ET/ 11 am PT.

To help figure out what changes the House may make—and whether it will fly in the Senate and with the White House—we have House Republican Scott Rigell from Virginia. Given that it’s fellow Virginia Republican House member Bob Goodlatte,

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chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who has been resisting the bill and arguing for changes the most, Rigell is in an ideal position to predict what will likely happen next.

One of the chief lobbyists for getting the bill passed was the National Retail Federation (NRF). The NRF’s chief lobbyist, Rachelle Bernstein, who also serves as the NRF’s tax counsel, will also be joining us. There are few people in Washington who have a better record of predicting where Congress will move, and understanding how to alter that.

To address the pragmatic impact of these changes on e-tailers of all sizes is Jeremiah T. Lynch, principal of the Ryan accounting firm. Headquartered in Dallas, this huge accounting firm identifies itself as the largest indirect tax practice in North America and the seventh largest corporate tax practice in the United States. Lynch has focused on this bill for various corporate clients and will detail what it will—and won’t—require, assuming we have all read the House tea leaves correctly.

I’ll be moderating the discussion, on the off chance that a congressman, a lobbyist and an accountant might possibly try to duck some of the more sensitive issues. (Is this really a tax increase? Will it sour shoppers on E-Commerce and kill the proverbial Golden HTML Goose?)

Please join us for what will be an emotional and intense discussion on a change that will likely impact your chain more than you might now realize. I encourage you to sign up today.


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