E-Fairness Timeline

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1999: ABA’s campaign for e-fairness begins….

  • August. ABA launches a major initiative to encourage state and local governments to address the inequities of online versus brick-and-mortar sales tax collection. A key component of the program is a "Sales Tax Action Kit," which contains: sample letters to help booksellers contact their state governors, local and state taxing authorities, and local chambers of commerce; a sample press release; a sample letter to the editor for their local newspapers; and a counter display, with camera-ready art, for a postcard that stores can reproduce.
  • December. California booksellers demand that the California Board of Equalization (BOE) enforce state law and collect the sales tax due from e-commerce retailers, including Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Borders.com. The e-fairness Coalition, a group composed of Main Street and national retailers together with other groups (including ABA), holds a press conference in San Francisco to present its position that a level playing field calls for the equitable enforcement of sales taxes on all retailers, not the levying of new taxes on Internet sales.

2000

  • January. e-fairness bill introduced in California. Assemblywomen Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) and Dion Aroner (D-Berkeley), introduce legislation that would require any retailer with a presence in the state to collect sales tax on Internet sales of its e-com subsidiary.
  • March. The National Governors Association calls for e-fairness.
  • June. California Assembly and Senate approve e-fairness bill.
  • August. California independent booksellers, led by NCIBA and the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association, begin petition drive in support of the e-fairness bill.
  • September. California Governor Gray Davis vetoes e-fairness bill.
  • October. ABA writes the nation's governors urging them to fairly enforce the existing sales tax regulations in their states.

2001

  • February. ABA urges Congress to carefully weigh the needs of both e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar retailers. At the state level, ABA encourages booksellers to contact their state taxing authorities to urge equitable enforcement of existing laws.
  • March. Senate Commerce Committee hears call for e-fairness. Among the materials considered by the committee is a March 5 letter from the 61 members of the e-fairness Coalition.
  • April. California Assembly again takes up issue of e-fairness.
  • June. ABA writes congressional leadership and urges them to support e-fairness.
  • July. Representative Ernest Jim Istook Jr. (R-OK), sponsor of the "Internet Tax Moratorium and Equity Act," calls for e-fairness before the Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.
  • August. The governors of 42 states, Guam, and American Samoa send a letter to all members of the U.S. Congress urging that legislation extending the moratorium on taxing Internet access include a provision that allows states to simplify the existing sales tax system to permit the taxation of sales made online.
  • November. Senate tables e-fairness.

2002

  • September. California Board of Equalization (BOE) issues a Memorandum Opinion stating that Barnesandnoble.com is obligated to pay California back use taxes for a period of four-plus months -- from November 15, 1999, to March 31, 2000.
  • November. Representatives from 31 states and the District of Columbia approve a proposal to simplify and to modernize sales and use tax administration. The states are part of the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP), a national initiative seeking to improve sales and use tax collection, especially for online commerce.
  • December. ABA writes the U.S. governors in the 45 states that collect sales tax to fully enforce existing regulations by ensuring that retailers with a physical presence in their state collect sales tax on online sales.

2003

  • February. More than 560 independent booksellers nationwide join ABA President Ann Christophersen in signing letters urging state governors and other elected officials to immediately take steps to enforce state tax laws fairly and uniformly.
  • March. California's Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee approves a bill that would clarify existing California sales tax laws and force retailers with bricks-and-mortar stores or warehouses in California to charge sales tax for purchases made online by California residents.
  • April. California's State Board of Equalization votes 3-2 to conduct a full-scale audit of Barnesandnoble.com to determine if the online retailer has nexus in the state of California.
  • May. ABA urges the state governors and other elected officials in the 45 states that charge sales tax to immediately take steps to enforce state tax laws fairly and uniformly.
  • September. Representatives Ernest Istook (R-OK) and William Delahunt (D-MA) introduce legislation into the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow states to simplify sales tax, with equal tax treatment between local merchants and remote sellers.
  • October. Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY) introduces legislation (S. 1736) in the Senate that would allow states to simplify sales tax, with equal tax treatment between local merchants and remote sellers.

2004

  • November. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), after commending Congress for extending the moratorium on Internet access taxes for the next four years, calls on Congress and President Bush to refocus their energies on the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Act.

2005

  • May. The California First District Court of Appeals affirms a California Board of Equalization (BOE) recommendation that Borders Online LLC has nexus in California and owes back use tax because Borders Books & Music, Inc., accepted returns of Borders Online purchases.
  • June. Staff of BOE completes an audit and delivers the opinion to its Board that Barnesandnoble.com has nexus in the state and that the chain retailer owes approximately $20 million in back taxes.
  • October. The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement becomes effective in 13 states.

2006

  • February. Barnes & Noble begins collecting sales tax on online purchases made through its Barnes&Noble.com website in 38 states.

Representatives from Amazon.com and eBay Inc. tell the U.S. House of Representative's Small Business Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Oversight that collecting sales tax on online purchases is within the industry's capabilities, as long as tax laws are simplified.

ABA sends letters to Steve Riggio, the CEO of Barnes & Noble, Inc., and Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, and encourages them to work alongside ABA and other retailers in the fight for e-fairness.

  • May. ABA holds Legislative Day in conjunction with BookExpo America in Washington, D.C. The day includes a talk from Neal Osten, federal affairs council for communications and interstate commerce at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), who provides attendees with an update on the status of Streamlined Sales and Use Tax legislation in Congress. Attending booksellers make scores of visits with elected officials to lobby for e-fairness in the afternoon of the Legislative Day.
     

2007

  • May. Sen. Enzi reintroduces the Sales Tax Fairness and Simplification Act, which would allow states to require remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax.
  • September. A group of more than 30 retailers and organizations, including the American Booksellers Association, Cody's Books, the Independent Music Retailers Association, the National Retail Federation, and a number of regional booksellers associations, sign a letter in support of House legislation that would simplify sales tax collection and provide equal treatment for local merchants and remote sellers.
  • November. New York Department of Taxation and Finance releases memo that notes that the state will now enforce existing state laws requiring out-of-state online retailers with nexus in the state to collect sales tax. Just days later, Governor Eliot Spitzer orders the memo retracted.

ABA writes Governor Spitzer on behalf of New York-based independent booksellers that decry the governor's decision to drop a plan to enforce existing sales tax laws.

ABA member booksellers in New York State call on Governor Spitzer to enforce the equitable collection of sales tax.

  • December. Seven independent trade groups, including ABA, join to call for the equitable collection of sales tax on online purchases. In a letter to each of the governors in the 45 states that collect sales tax, the organizations urge states to enforce existing tax laws by requiring out-of-state online businesses with nexus in their states to collect sales tax. ABA provides booksellers in the 45 states that charge sales tax with a template letter and urges them to write to their governors to urge that online retailers with in-state affiliates be required to collect sales tax in accordance with existing laws.

2008

  • January. Seven independent trade groups, including ABA, follow up with officials from the 14 states that responded to, or acknowledge, the groups' letter from December calling for the equitable enforcement of sales tax laws. The trade groups also send a second letter to the governors in the remaining 31 states with sales tax that had not yet responded to the groups' initial letter.

ABA provides members with an e-fairness FAQ that is posted on the BookWeb.org Sales Tax Initiative Page.

New York State's proposed executive budget includes the Internet Sales Tax provision, which clarifies what constitutes nexus for online retailers selling to New York State residents. The provision stipulates that online retailers, such as Amazon.com, that have certain selling activities in the state should be required to collect and remit sales tax for sales made in New York State. It is expected that the provision will raise $47 million for the state in 2008-09, and $73 million in 2009-10.

  • February. ABA calls on member bookstores in New York State to voice their support for the Internet Sales Tax provision in New York State's proposed executive budget by writing to both their state senator and assemblyperson.
  • March. ABA's email campaign to New York State booksellers continues and ABA creates several new letter templates to take into account the changing scope of the e-fairness campaign. In addition, ABA initiates a calling campaign to urge New York State member booksellers in key areas to write or email their legislators in support of the Internet Sales Tax position.

ABA makes available Op-Ed and Letter to the Editor templates that booksellers can adapt and send to local media. ABA mails hard-copy template letters to legislatures to New York State member bookseller members.

New York State Assembly passes its budget, which includes the Internet Sales Tax provision. ABA staff join representatives of the Retail Council of New York in Albany, where they meet with key legislators from both the Assembly and Senate in support of the Internet Sales Tax provision's inclusion in the final state budget. At the meetings, the groups urge legislators to include in the final budget the provision that would enforce existing sales tax laws by requiring out-of-state retailers like Amazon.com to collect and remit sales tax on sales made to New York residents.

  • April. In what is a significant victory for independent retailers, on Wednesday, April 9, the New York State Legislature passes a final budget that includes the Internet Sales Tax provision.

    Gov. David Paterson signs the budget, including the Internet Sales Tax provision, into law.

On April 25, Amazon.com, LLC, and Amazon Services, LLC, files a complaint in the Supreme Court of the State of New York that challenges the Internet Sales Tax provision in the state's budget.

  • May. Amazon.com, LLC, and Amazon Services, LLC, announces that as of June 1 they will begin collecting sales tax on sales to New York State residents. This decision comes even as Amazon.com pursues its legal action against New York State over its Internet Sales Tax provision.

Seven independent trade groups join together to continue their efforts on behalf of e-fairness. In a letter to each of the governors in the 44 states other than New York that collect sales tax, the groups cite the Internet Sales Tax provision in the New York State budget -- which will require out-of-state merchants that have clear nexus in the state to collect and remit sales tax -- and asks state governors to follow New York's lead by clarifying their own existing sales tax laws.

ABA begins creating state-specific materials to help booksellers in each of the 21 states with the largest projected budget deficits, so that they can urge lawmakers to introduce an e-fairness bill.

The State of Texas Comptroller's Office launches investigation into whether the presence of an Amazon.com-run distribution facility in the Dallas suburb of Irving means the online retailing giant has a physical presence in the state. ABA writes Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, pointing out that Amazon lists the facility as part of its own company on its website, and demands that the state enforce existing sales tax laws fairly.

ABA e-mails member booksellers in Texas asking them to follow up on ABA’s letter to Combs, and provides a letter template that they can use to do so.

ABA writes a similar letter to Gale Garriott, Director, Arizona Department of Revenue. Amazon.com has a distribution facility in Phoenix. In addition, ABA begins looking into other states where Amazon has distribution or customer service facilities.

2009

  • January. In a significant victory for the state's independent retailers, a New York Supreme Court judge dismisses a lawsuit filed by Amazon.com challenging the state's Internet Sales Tax provision. ABA makes available a revised sales tax letter that booksellers could adapt to send to their state lawmakers and governor
  • February. Legislators in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Minnesota introduce legislation that would require out-of-state companies that have affiliates in their states to collect and remit sales tax. Virginia-based independent booksellers write a letter to their state leaders, including Governor Tim Kaine and state legislators, urging them to enforce existing sales tax laws by requiring Amazon.com to collect and remit sales tax for sales made in Virginia.
  • March. ABA asks Florida booksellers to urge their state lawmakers to craft Internet Sales Tax legislation modeled after the bill adopted by New York State in April 2008.

Tennessee joins California, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Minnesota in introducing Internet sales tax legislation. ABA emails booksellers in Tennessee to urge them to contact their state lawmakers in support of the Internet sales tax bills currently under consideration in both the State Senate and House of Representatives.

New York State’s Internet Sales Tax provision, which went into effect on June 1, 2008, recoups $46 million in sales tax revenue from the 30-plus vendors that registered to collect and remit sales tax.

  • April. Maryland introduces e-fairness legislation.
  • May. ABA joins with other independent trade association--American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, Music Dealers Buying Group, Music for Everyone Association of Independent Music Centers, National Bicycle Dealers Association, and the NORCAL Music Coalition--to send a letter urging Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to support Internet sales tax legislation. Despite these efforts, Gov. Pawlenty vetoes the bill.

In Hawaii, H.B. 1405, which would require out-of-state online retailers with affiliates in the state to collect and remit sales tax, passes both the House and Senate.

  • June. ABA urges Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to sign H.B. 1405.

The New England Independent Booksellers Association and ABA contact Rhode Island bookstores to urge them to contact their legislators to support Internet sales tax legislation that is a provision in the state’s budget. When Governor Donald Carcieri signs the state’s budget into law on June 30, Rhode Island becomes the second state to require online retailers with affiliates in the state to collect tax on sales made to in-state residents over the Internet.

In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes the state legislature's proposed budget, which had included an Internet sales tax provision. His decision followed announcements from Amazon.com, Overstock.com, and other online retailers that they would de-list their affiliates in the state if the budget was enacted.

  • July. Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle vetoes proposed Internet sales tax legislation.
  • September. E-fairness legislation is cut from Connecticut’s budget.
    ABA writes to the Arizona Department of Revenue to point out that Amazon’s distribution facilities in Phoenix and Goodyear constitute a physical presence in the state and should thus be required to collect and remit sales tax for purchases made by Arizona residents.
  • October. ABA writes to Alabama Revenue Commissioner Tim Russell to thank him for the state’s interest in pursuing e-fairness and to urge Alabama to model its e-fairness efforts on the recent laws passed by New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.
  • November. The New York Times lead editorial urges other states that collect sales tax to follow New York’s example and pass e-fairness legislation.

2010

  • January. ABA launches a new E-fairness Action Kit that provides booksellers with state-specific tools to help them in their e-fairness outreach efforts, including template letters to state leaders, op-ed pieces, FAQs, relevant articles, and suggestions for advocating on behalf of e-fairness.

Colorado, New Mexico, Vermont, and Virginia introduce bills that would level the playing field for the collection of sales tax on online sales.

 

  • February. Oklahoma’s proposed budget includes a recommendation that the Oklahoma Tax Commission be allowed to pursue sales tax from remote retailers.

The Virginia State Senate passes e-fairness legislation.

Senators in Maryland and Illinois introduce bills aimed at bringing about sales tax equity.

In California, a provision is added to the proposed legislative budget that would clarify state law to ensure that non-California merchants with online affiliates in the state acting as sales agents on their behalf collect sales tax on purchases shipped to California. A diverse coalition of retailers, including ABA, the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association, the Christian Booksellers Association, the California Retailers Association, Barnes & Noble, and Wal-Mart, join together to urge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to support the provision.

ABA, the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, and the Midwest Booksellers Association call on booksellers in Illinois to support e-fairness legislation, SB 3353, currently under consideration in the Illinois State Senate.

ABA and the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association called on Maryland booksellers to support e-fairness legislation currently under consideration in the Maryland State Senate. If S.B. 824 is signed into law, out-of-state online retailers who earn more than $10,000 per year through online affiliates in Maryland would be considered to have a physical presence in the state.

The Virginia State Senate passes e-fairness legislation, S.B. 660, by a vote of 28-12. The bill moves to the House of Delegates for consideration and a vote. ABA and the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance sent an email to Virginia booksellers asking them to contact their delegates to urge them to pass this legislation.

  • March Colorado H.B. 10-1193 is signed into law. The sales tax legislation requires out-of-state retailers to either collect and remit sales tax for purchases made by Colorado residents or to inform their Colorado customers that they owe use tax on any purchase they have made.

Amazon fires all of its Colorado-based affiliates to protest the Colorado law.

ABA policy staff travels to Washington, DC, to meet with key legislators and other associations to discuss sales tax equity and related policy issues.

  • April. Amazon files a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington challenging the North Carolina Department of Revenue’s request for data on residents who made purchases from the company in an effort to enforce use tax laws.

    ABA makes available new resources in the e-fairness Action Kit, including fact sheets for states with e-fairness laws.

  • May. ABA continues to release fact sheets for states that collect sales tax but do not yet have e-fairness laws.
  • June. ABA adds a new template op-ed to the E-fairness Action Kit. ABA announces that it will launch a new phase in its sales tax fairness campaign, including targeting gubernatorial and state legislative candidates to make e-fairness a part of their agenda.
  • July. Rep. William Delahunt (D-MA) introduces the Main Street Fairness Act (HR 5660) in the US House of Representatives. The bill would authorize the 24 states that are part of the Streamlines Sales and Use Tax Agreement to require remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax on orders in their states. ABA urges booksellers to contact their federal representatives to ask them to support this bill.
  • September. The State of Texas issues an assessment charging that Amazon owes the state some $269 million in uncollected sales tax, including interest and penalties, for the period from December 2005 to December 2009.
  • November. The New York State appellate court dismisses Amazon’s and Overstock’s claims challenging the constitutionality of New York State’s e-fairness law.

2011

  • February. Amazon announces that it will close its distribution facility in Texas and will cancel plans to build additional facilities in the state, rather than comply with an assessment from the state of Texas to pay $269 million in uncollected sales tax.
  • March. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signs e-fairness legislation into law. H.B. 3659 requires remote retailers with broad networks of online affiliates in Illinois to collect and remit sales tax for purchases made by Illinois residents.

South Dakota enacts S.B. 146, sales tax legislation that requires out-of-state retailers that have more than $100,000 in total gross yearly sales in South Dakota to notify their customers of their personal use tax obligation.

  • May. Connecticut Governor Dannell Malloy signs the state budget, including a provision that requires remote retailers with broad networks of online affiliates in the state to collect and remit sales tax, into law.
  • June. The Performance Marketing Association, a trade association of online affiliates and large online retailers, including Amazon, file a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois challenging the constitutionality of Illinois e-fairness law.

California Governor Jerry Brown signs a sales tax provision, A.B. 28X into law that requires out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax on sales made to California customers. AB 28X is a broader law than affiliate nexus laws passed in other states and therefore requires Amazon to collect and remit sales tax to the state because of its subsidiaries in the state.

  • July. Texas Gov. Rick Perry signs legislation that makes clear that companies that have warehouses in the state, such as Amazon, must collect and remit sales tax.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduces the Main Street Fairness Act, federal e-fairness legislation that would authorize states under the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement to require remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax in those states.

  • September. California legislators vote to approve an amended e-fairness bill that is the result of a last-minute deal lawmakers made with Amazon. The amended law provides Amazon with a one-year sales tax exemption while increasing the minimum small business exemption to $1 million from $500,000 in annual sales. In return, Amazon agrees to drop its efforts to overturn e-fairness legislation via a referendum vote.

ABA continues to urge members to contact their senators and governor in support of the federal Main Street Fairness Act and provides a template letter to aid them in this advocacy effort.

  • October. Tennessee negotiates an agreement with Amazon postponing the date by which the online retailer must collect state sales tax until September 15, 2012.

A coalition of small businesses including independent booksellers join Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) at a press conference to announce the introduction of federal e-fairness legislation. The Marketplace Equity Act provides states with the authority to require remote retailers, including online-only businesses, to collect and remit sales tax. 

  • November. ABA leads an advocacy day in Washington, D.C., in support of a federal solution to the critical issue of sales tax equity. ABA, indie booksellers, and retail members and association staff from the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, the National Bicycle Dealers Association, the National Association of College Stores, and the National Retail Hobby Stores Association attend 31 meeting with key legislators and senior staff in the Senate and House of Representatives.

On the floor of the U.S. Senate, a bipartisan group of legislators including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Tim Johnson (D-SD), introduce the Marketplace Fairness Act, legislation that would provide states with authorization to require remote sellers to collect and remit state sales tax. ABA CEO ABA writes Sen. Durbin in support of the Marketplace Fairness Act. Amazon also announces its support of the bill.

  • December. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue issues a regulatory bulletin stipulating that, under current sales tax law, remote retailers that have warehouse facilities or online affiliates in Pennsylvania have nexus in the state and are thus required to collect and remit sales tax for purchases made by residents in the state.
     

2012

  • February. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office announces that it has reached an agreement on e-fairness legislation with Amazon.com, several members of the General Assembly, and key retailers. The governor’s announcement follows the House of Delegates Finance Committee’s approval of amendments to SB 597 that would authorize the state to require an out-of-state seller with distribution facilities or other related entities in the state, to begin collecting sales taxes on the sale of goods to in-state purchasers.
  • April. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signs legislation requiring remote retailers with nexus in Utah via distribution centers or subsidiaries to collect and remit sales tax for purchases made by state residents.

    Citing Quill v. North Dakota, a U.S. District Court strikes down as unconstitutional a e-fairness law in Colorado.

ABA submits written testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance in support of the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 1832), legislation that would give states the right to require remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax in the state, if they choose to do so.

In Illinois, Cook County Circuit Judge Robert Lopez Cepero rules that a law requiring remote retailers with a broad network of online affiliates acting as sales agents in the state to collect and remit sales is unconstitutional.

  • May. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announces that the state has come to an agreement with Amazon that will have the retailer begin collecting and remitting state sales tax as of July 2013 in exchange for opening two new warehouses in New Jersey.
  • September. California begins collecting sales tax from remote retailers.
  • December. Gov. Deval Patrick announces that Amazon.com will collect and remit sales tax in Massachusetts.

2013

  • January. Georgia’s affiliate nexus law takes effect, requiring online retailer with affiliates in the state to collect and remit sales tax to the state.

ABA reports that the majority of the US population now resides in states with e-fairness laws.

  • March. The New York State Court of Appeals rules in favor of the state’s e-fairness law, dismissing arguments made by Amazon and Overstock that the law was unconstitutional.
  • April. The Obama Administration endorses the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013. Shortly thereafter, the Senate votes to move the bill to the Senate floor for debate.
  • May. The U.S. Senate passes the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 by a vote of 69 to 27.
  • Minnesota Gov. Dayton signs a tax reform bill that includes an amendment to require remote retailers with online affiliates in the state transacting $10,000 or more in gross sales annually to collect and remit sales tax.
  • June. In response to the Minnesota tax reform bill, Amazon sends an email to its online affiliates in Minnesota saying it will close all seller accounts in the state to avoid the tax.
  • July. Amazon now collects sales tax in 10 states.
  • August. After unsuccessfully challenging New York State’s e-fairness law at the state level, Amazon and Overstock file papers with the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • September. Amazon begins collecting sales tax in Georgia, months after the state’s affiliate nexus law went into effect. 
  • October. Amazon announces that it will open distribution centers and begin collecting sales tax in Wisconsin and Florida.

The Supreme Court of the State of Illinois rules that the state’s affiliate nexus law violates the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998.

  • November. Amazon starts collecting sales tax on orders made by residents of Massachusetts.
  • December. The U.S. Supreme Court announces that it will not hear a legal challenge to New York State’s affiliate nexus law, which was brought by Amazon and Overstock.

2014

  • January. Amazon begins collecting and remitting sales tax in North Carolina.
  • March. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary holds a committee hearing on the issue of sales tax fairness. ABA and the Marketplace Fairness Coalition submit testimony to the committee that is entered into the record.
  • May. ABA releases a video entitled “Sales Tax Fairness: The Time Is Now” which features booksellers’ testimony on the urgent need for passage of sales tax fairness legislation.
  • July. The U.S. Supreme Court announces that it will hear a challenge brought by the Direct Marketing Association regarding the constitutionality of a 2010 Colorado law requiring out-of-state retailers to either collect and remit sales tax for purchases made by Colorado residents or to inform their Colorado customers that they owe use tax on the purchases they have made.
  • September. Barnes & Noble joins the American Booksellers Association in supporting sales tax fairness by urging Congress not to delay in passing e-fairness legislation.

ABA launches #efairnessnow social media campaign, targeting bookstore customers to contact members of Congress in support of e-fairness.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says that passing e-fairness legislation will be a top priority for the Senate following the mid-term elections.

  • October. Amazon begins collecting and remitting sales tax in Maryland and Minnesota.
  • November. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) vows to block any attempt to pass e-fairness legislation in the lame-duck session of Congress; in response, the Marketplace Fairness Coalition sends Rep. Boehner a letter signed by more than 320 organizations that urges him to address e-fairness in this legislative session.
  • December. The U.S. House of Representatives tables the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.

2015.

  • January. Amazon fires its Vermont affiliates because of its affiliate nexus law. ABA and Advocates for Independent Business launch an e-mail campaign asking Vermont retailers to contact Gov. Peter Shumlin in support of the law.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs e-fairness legislation that requires remote retailers with a broad network of online affiliates to being collecting and remitting sales tax to the state.

  • February. Amazon begins collecting and remitting sales tax in Illinois. It now collects tax from 74 percent of U.S. consumers and from 24 states.
  • March. The U.S. Supreme Court sends a challenge to the Colorado sales and use tax law back to Colorado. In Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion, he writes that it is time to reconsider the 1992 Quill v. North Dakota Supreme Court decision, which argues that states have no right to require remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax unless those sellers have a physical presence in the state.

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators reintroduces the Marketplace Fairness Act.

  • April. ABA and Barnes & Noble write to Ohio Gov. John Kasich to call for a state sales tax fairness solution.
  • June. Amazon begins collecting sales tax on purchases made by Ohio residents.

The Remote Transactions Parity Act, a bill that gives states the authority to require remote sellers transacting $10 million or more in gross annual receipts to collect and remit sales tax to the states, is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • July. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoes an affiliate nexus bill.
  • October. Amazon and other online retailers with nexus in Michigan begin collecting remitting sales tax to the state.

2016.

  • February. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit upholds the constitutionality of Colorado's internet sales and use tax law. Amazon begins collecting and remitting sales tax in the state.
  • March. Louisiana adopts affiliate nexus legislation.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signs S.B. 106, requiring remote retailers that have annual gross revenue in the state in excess of $100,000 or that conduct more than 200 transactions in the state to collect and remit sales tax to the state.

  • April. Amazon fired its online affiliates in Louisiana.

South Dakota’s Department of Revenue sues Wayfair Inc., Systemax Inc., Overstock.com Inc., and Newegg Inc, asking the court to confirm that it can require the defendants to collect and remit sales tax for items delivered into South Dakota based on the economic nexus thresholds established by S.B. 106.

The American Catalog Mailers and netChoice file a declaratory action challenging the constitutionality of the South Dakota law, arguing that it violates the physical presence rule established by South Dakota v. Wayfair.

  • October. Amazon begins collecting and remitting sales tax in Washington, D.C.
  • November. The Ohio Supreme Court rules that the state can impose its Commercial Activity Tax on out-of-state businesses that lack a physical presence in the state if the business transacts at least $500,000 in sales in the state annually.

2017

  • January. Amazon begins collecting and remitting sales tax on Utah, Iowa, Louisiana, and Nebraska purchases.
  • March. Amazon begins collecting and remitting sales tax on purchases in Arkansas.
  • April. Amazon begins collecting and remitting sales tax in Hawaii, Idaho, and Maine. Amazon now collects and remits sales tax in all 45 states that collect sales tax.
  • September. The Supreme Court of the State of South Dakota rules that the state cannot force remote retailers to collect and remit sales tax if they do not have nexus in South Dakota.
  • November. ABA files an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Overstock, and Newegg, a petition urging the court to revise the 1992 Quill v. North Dakota decision that defines which retailers are liable to collect and remit sales tax to a state.

2018

  • January. The U.S. Supreme Court announces that it will review South Dakota v. Wayfair, Overstock, and Newegg.
  • April. The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Overstock, and Newegg.
  • June. In a major victory for sales tax fairness, the Supreme Court rules in the favor of South Dakota in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Overstock, and Newegg. The ruling is an important step in leveling the playing field for bricks-and-mortar stores competing against online retailers.

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