Benninghoff, Finance Committee Approve Measure Urging Federal Government to Adopt Marketplace Fairness Act
12/11/2013
HARRISBURG – The state House Finance Committee, chaired by Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin), today approved a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to advance a measure that would level the playing field for online and bricks-and-mortar businesses by streamlining the sales tax collection process.

“This is a simple issue of fairness,” Benninghoff said. “We want to make sure tax policy is applied evenly to both mom-and-pop stores located in Pennsylvania and the online retailers that residents use to make purchases.”

Retail stores located in Pennsylvania are responsible for collecting the state Sales and Use Tax (SUT) on purchases made by customers.

Pennsylvania residents who purchase products from out-of-state online retailers that do not charge the SUT are responsible for remitting the taxes owed to the Commonwealth. However, placing the responsibility on the customers places an extra burden on them and self-reporting is less effective than point-of-sale collections.

“Asking residents to remember every purchase they made from an online retailer and then submit the taxes owed at the end of the year can be cumbersome,” Benninghoff said. “It makes more sense from a policy perspective to require online retailers to collect the sales tax at the point of purchase.”

Because states have varying sales tax rates and apply them to different products – for example, Pennsylvania excludes clothing and food while other states do not – state lawmakers have looked to Congress for a national answer to the issue of sales tax collection across state lines. The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 has been approved by the U.S. Senate and is under consideration in the U.S. House. The act would address the lack of sales tax collection when purchases are made online from out-of-state retailers.

House Resolution 571 now heads to the full Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration.

Representative Kerry Benninghoff
171st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Dan Massing
717.772.9845
dmassing@pahousegop.com  
KerryBenninghoff.com / Facebook.com/RepBenninghoff
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