Helping businesses comply with increasingly complex state tax laws can be a lucrative endeavor for certified public accountants. So, in the case of the proposed Internet sales tax system, one would think they’d be shouting with joy over guiding online businesses through state tax requirements – and, of course, increasing their bottom line. Yet the exact opposite is happening.
The American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants (AAA-CPA) has recently come out against Internet sales tax under the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA). Seems like taking this position – at the risk of profitability – would require some sort of truth serum, but not so. These accountants conclude that MFA compliance “will often cost more for remote sellers to administer than the tax revenues provided to the states.”
They’ve made clear that adopting the MFA and its untested new tax system will unleash “mayhem on our national economy.” They also believe the legislation’s goals could be better achieved by less burdensome means that don’t jeopardize the thriving and evolving online commercial marketplace.
At TruST, we couldn’t agree more. Mandated costs, compliance burdens and increased audits from aggressive state tax authorities (from states where these businesses have no voting rights) could turn ecommerce on its head. And who better to convey these blunt realities than those helping businesses struggling to comply with tax policies every day? These folks have risked a lot by coming out on this issue. Their honesty is something we need more of and we commend their efforts to inject more reality into the political discourse.