eBay is hoping to enlist the sellers who use its online platform to help the company prevent Congress from enacting Internet sales tax legislation.
In an email sent to sellers on Friday, eBay said the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) and its companion, the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA), would require small online retailers to comply with tax laws in more than 9,600 tax jurisdictions.
The legislation “could unfairly impose burdensome compliance requirements on small businesses and entrepreneurs like you,” the email said. “This could subject small businesses, like yours, to audits and enforcement by faraway state tax enforcement agencies.”
“These requirements would impact the competitiveness of small businesses by holding them to the same tax burden standard as large retail businesses that have facilities across the country and teams of lawyers and accountants,” eBay wrote.
The company directed sellers to a page on its website where it explains its position on the issue and urges sellers to write — or tweet — to their members of Congress voicing their opposition.
Last month, eBay briefed sellers who participate in its Main Street grassroots lobbying program on the RTPA, which it called far worse for small online retailers than the MFA, according to eCommerceBytes.com.
“Any seller, regardless of the size of their business, who uses an online marketplace platform will be forced to collect and remit tax to every jurisdiction to which they sell products,” eBay warned.
Retail groups including the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) support the RTPA. The bill would “eliminate the online sales tax collection loophole, which distorts competition, the free market and unfairly favors online sellers at the disadvantage and expense of local communities, merchants and small business owners and their employees,” the NRF has said.