Finance Professionals Group Seeks Internet Tax Moratorium Extension

In a letter to Senate sponsors, the Association for Financial Professionals asks for an extension until 2005. StaffMay 16, 2001

Bethesda, Md.-based Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) recently asked Congress to extend the current moratorium on new Internet sales taxes for an additional four years and encouraged reform of the nation’s complex and inconsistent sales tax structure.

AFP said that while it supports the use of a sales tax to support local jurisdictions, the current method of collection places an unfair burden on businesses that sell in multiple states.

The group also said that similar sales transactions should be treated the same way, regardless of the medium throught which the the sales take place. “We strongly support passage of laws or regulations that encourage innovation and efficiency,” it said in a letter to bill sponsors. “However, we also support the principle of tax equity, and believe that it would be inequitable to exempt electronic commerce from taxes levied on sales via other channels.”

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In addition to the extension, the AFP also proposed

  • simplification by state and local governments to of their complex sales tax structures
  • the ability for states that have simplified, uniform sales tax structures to impose sales taxes on purchases by their residents, regardless of the location of the seller or whether the purchase was made at a store, by telephone, by mail or by the Internet
  • Ensure that compliance with the simplified sales tax structure does not increase the burden placed on merchants.

The letters were sent to Sens. Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA). They were signed by AFP government relations committee chairman Patrick M. Montgomery, who is VP of finance of ULLICO, and R. Ross Guyer, senior deputy state auditor with the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office and chairman of AFP’s Payments and Technology Task Force.