Hassan, Shaheen are still fighting internet sales tax

Sununu directs DOJ to prioritize detecting internet sales tax scams

NASHUA – New York and Texas are just two of the 46 states for which New Hampshire businesses may have to collect sales taxes on internet purchases in the aftermath of a summer U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The bipartisan effort to prevent this continues, as Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has directed the state Department of Justice to prioritize detecting internet sales tax scams. Now, U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, both D-N.H., are introducing the Stop Taxing Our Potential (STOP) Act as a means to counter the effect of the high court’s ruling in the South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. case.

The senators believe New Hampshire businesses could be required to collect sales taxes for more than 10,000 taxing jurisdictions.

“Imposing this requirement will force Granite State small businesses to navigate a new, complex tax collection system – this is both a financial and logistical nightmare for our businesses that already face enough obstacles,” Shaheen said. “We need to make it easier for our entrepreneurs to succeed and grow, not more difficult. I’ll continue to oppose an internet sales tax collection requirement and work across the aisle to advance efforts that stop this burdensome regulation.”

Prior to the South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. decision, the law was that businesses selling online had to collect sales tax only in states where they had a physical presence. That meant major national retailers such as Walmart, Target, Apple, Best Buy, Macy’s and the like were usually collecting sales tax from online customers.

This was not the case for businesses who sell most of their products via the internet.

Because of the ruling, states from Florida to Alaska have the authority to impose taxes on the products someone from those states uses the internet to buy from a New Hampshire business.

“New Hampshire’s small businesses are at risk of mountains of new red tape because of a Supreme Court decision that could force them to collect sales taxes for other states,” Hassan said. “In the Granite State, our economy is structured around not having a sales or income tax, and I’ll keep doing everything I can to protect our competitive advantage and the small businesses that drive our economy.”

To become law, the measure would need to pass the Senate; see a similar version of the legislation pass the House; and receive the signature of President Donald Trump.