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It’s Retailer vs. Retailer in Internet Sales Tax Push

Ellen Allen opened a retail store, Ellen Allen Annapolis, in Annapolis, Md. Previously her line had only been available online.
Ellen Allen opened a retail store, Ellen Allen Annapolis, in Annapolis, Md. Previously her line had only been available online. Photograph by Paul W. Gillespie/The Capital via AP Photo

Ann Whitley Wood built her EBay consignment store, Willow-Wear, from a hobby into an $800,000 business during the past dozen years. The former Dallas appellate attorney, who has worked full-time on the venture since 2005, worries proposed federal legislation would saddle her and other Internet sellers with the complex and time-consuming task of collecting state sales taxes.

The Marketplace Fairness Act, and similar legislation that attracted bipartisan support, died in 2012’s extraordinarily unproductive Congress, but Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday announced plans to reintroduce it. Boston CPA Sylvia Dion, who has written extensively about Internet sales tax, believes some version of the legislation has a fair chance of passage given the bipartisan support the issue attracts and its growing number of supporters—if Congress is more effective this year.