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Some history behind remote sales tax legislation

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm •  Published: January 23, 2013

In 1999, two state organizations, the National Governor's Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures, created the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement to simplify their taxes and make them easier to collect. Among other things, the agreement calls for taxes to be collected by state taxing authorities, so sellers don't have to submit taxes and tax returns to a variety of jurisdictions. It also provides for software to be used to ease the tax collection process for sellers. Forty-four states took part in writing the agreement, but only 24 have passed legislation to conform with it.

Proposed legislation that Congress is expected to consider on the issue incorporates some of the provisions in the streamline agreement. It requires states that have not passed legislation to conform to the agreement to take steps to simplify their tax collection. Among them: Provide software to sellers to help them compute the taxes they're required to collect.

And it exempts small sellers — those with remote sales under $500,000 — from having to collect the tax. However, that threshold may be raised as the legislation is debated in Congress.