To Tax Or Not To Tax E-Commerce: A United States Perspective


Burke T. Ward
Janice C. Sipior


Within the United States, state and local governments have been struggling, and continue to struggle with the significant challenges e-commerce presents to systems of taxation. This paper first discusses sales and use taxes within the United States. Second, trends contributing to the increasing complexity of e-commerce taxation are identified. Third, the viewpoints of opponents and proponents of taxation are presented. Fourth, the constitutional considerations of requiring remote, i.e., out of state vendors, to collect and remit state and local sales and use taxes are discussed. Finally, the recommended solution of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP), resulting in the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement (SSTA) and pending federal Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Act (SSUTA), is analyzed.

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August, 2004

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