As we have seen, many groups have a vested interest in how and even if sales taxes are collected over the Internet. A system must be put into place that allows for easy compliance by all retailers. Without a manageable system, retailers will continue to lobby their legislatures to have tax moratoriums extended.
The Streamlined Sales Tax System appears to be a well planned system that has a chance for success. With the recent acceptance by two-thirds of the state governments of the United States, it appears that there is a significant base of cooperation to have the plan implemented. Acceptance was a first step, but there is a lot of work ahead.
The adopting states must now work cooperatively to establish the technical infrastructure to manage the system. Each state will also need to have the ability to communicate with each and every other state that has adopted the plan. Once this is in place, or at least as this is being implemented, the true challenge exists.
As we learned, states have no authority to collect taxes for product purchased by retailers based in other states. The states will need to begin extensive lobbying efforts with the Federal government to authorize the collection and payment of sales tax on interstate commerce. The states will also need to work closely with major retailers of all types to gain the cooperation necessary to have their plans successfully implemented.
I believe this plan has a real chance of being implemented, though it all will take some time. While not as ominous as it may sound, Anush Yegyazarian asked the question “Is Tax-Free Shopping Doomed”. The answer is simply, is yes.