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Senate passes online sales tax bill

Published May 6, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC (BRAIN) — The U.S. Senate on Monday passed legislation to allow states to collect sales tax from online and mail-order retailers, even if those retailers don't have a physical presence in the state.

The legislation facilitates the collection of taxes that are already on the books but that are rarely collected. Retailers who do less than $1 million a year in remote sales are not required to collect the taxes from their customers. 

Opponents, including eBay, say the legislation would create a burden on small businesses. Lawmakers from states that do not have sales taxes also oppose the measure. Nevertheless, the legislation passed 69-27 (see how lawmakers voted on the Senate website).

The legislation is likely to encounter more opposition in the House, which is expected to take up its version of the bill in the next few weeks. 


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