Support E-Fairness Now!

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BookPeople is joining other independent bookstores and businesses across the country to raise our voice in support of e-fairness and to ask you, our customers, to do the same. Congress is poised to vote on a long-standing ban on internet access taxes and attached to that bill is sales tax fairness, an issue that significantly affects independent brick and mortar businesses nationwide. They’ve heard from us, from our CEO Steve Bercu who has traveled to Washington multiple times to explain what this issue means for independent businesses. Now, Congress needs to hear from you.

What Is E-Fairness?

Right now, states can only collect sales tax from online businesses with physical locations within that state’s borders. This means that the brick and mortar retailers in your community are required to collect and remit state and local sales tax while many major online competitors are not. E-fairness means that every business collects and remits sales tax, whether that business is brick and mortar or digital.

From Advocates for Independent Business:

Independent brick-and-mortar retailers are at a significant competitive disadvantage by virtue of the fact that they are required to collect state and local sales taxes, while many of their large online competitors are not . . . . We support both the Marketplace Fairness Act, which passed the U.S. Senate in May 2013, as well as state ‘nexus laws,’ which clarify the sales tax obligations of large online retailers and have passed in more than a dozen states.”

What You Can Do To Help: 

Post one of these sample images (or take your own) to facebook and twitter with the hashtag #efairnessnow.

Then, contact your members of Congress: call them, write to them, tweet at them; let them know that you support a fair and level playing field for the independent businesses in your community.

Why Should You Care About A Business Tax Issue?

Because you’re a proud supporter of local business. Because you believe that strong independent businesses are vital to a strong local economy and a vibrant community. Because you want to see the money major online retailers would collect as sales tax invested in Austin and Texas. Because you believe that a truly free market is a fair market. Because you agree it’s time Congress stands up for local businesses nationwide.

Thank you for supporting e-fairness, local business here in Austin, and your independent bookstore!


2 thoughts on “Support E-Fairness Now!

  1. I live in the UK and this principle is already in place. We don’t have local sales taxes as such because of the smaller geographical area, but do have a national version in VAT. Any e-retailer is required to charge VAT and remit it to HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) no matter where they operate from. For example. is registered in Luxembourg for business tax purposes, but still has to collect and remit VAT in the UK. Interestingly, ebooks carry a 20% VAT rate, but for real books it is 0%. As always there are loopholes that e-retailers try to exploit. Companies operating from Hong Kong and China don’t make the charge, knowing that not every parcel arriving in the UK has its sales history checked. Random checks are made, particularly on possible high value items, and the buyer is then responsible for VAT and Import Duty.

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