Catesby Jones has declared war on the Internet sales tax. As president of the 28-year-old clothing company Peace Frogs, his business relies on Internet purchases to stay profitable. Compliance with the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act could put him out of business — or at least create a regulatory compliance nightmare.
“This is pure and simple a special interests bill,” Jones told the Daily Press in Hampton Roads, VA. “Let’s say I have to hire one or two people to handle the paperwork. That’s a huge percentage of my sales. This is going to be a huge barrier to entry for new businesses. They’re not going to be able to afford to deal with it. This is solely to benefit the large corporations.”
That’s why Jones is speaking out and raising awareness about the legislation, which is expected to pass the U.S. Senate next week. Jones will join our Google+ Hangout at 11 a.m. ET today to explain his concerns about the Internet sales tax and the ramifications for businesses.
Of course, small businesses like Peace Frogs won’t be the only ones impacted. Consumers could soon be paying a whole lot more for products purchased online. The bill, which is anything but fair, would force retailers to act as tax collectors for states in which they have no voice. The tax hike on consumers could total billions of dollars annually.
The burden on small businesses would also be huge. Many don’t have the administrative resources to comply with more than 9,600 tax jurisdictions in the United States. Brick-and-mortar businesses, by comparison, are required to comply with only local sales tax.
Then there’s the threat of 46 out-of-state audits. Just as Jones warns, businesses will have to hire costly lawyers and accountants to deal with burdensome paperwork and complex tax rules.
Frightening? We think so. Tune in at 11 a.m. ET today for our panel:
- Curtis Dubay, Senior Tax Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation (@CurtisDubay)
- Catesby Jones, President, Peace Frogs (@lovepeacefrogs)
- Andrew Moylan, Outreach Director and Senior Fellow, R Street Institute (@amoylan)
- Katherine Rosario, Communications Deputy, Heritage Action for America (@KathMaryRosario)
The Heritage Foundation hosts weekly Google+ Hangouts on a variety of public policy issues. Connect with Heritage on Google+ and subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive updates.