Internet sales tax bill revived in committee

A bill aimed at collecting sales tax on purchases from Amazon and other online merchants advanced out of the Arkansas House Revenue and Tax Committee Thursday after having failed to pass three times before in the same committee. Each time the previous vote had to be expunged before the bill could be presented again. Senate Bill 140 would require online sellers that gross more than $100,000 or process at least 200 separate transactions to collect sales tax or to report annually to the state Department of Finance and Administration information about online sales in Arkansas, including the name and address of each Arkansas purchaser and the amount of money spent. The bill already passed in the Senate. Sen. Jake Files (R-Fort Smith), lead sponsor of SB 140, said it was a tough bill, but it "has the opportunity to probably have the most impact of anything we do down here for all of our local businesses and for cities and counties as well, as well as the state."

Sales tax collection bill passes House

A bill that would require shoppers to pay Arkansas sales tax on online purchases passed in the House 54-26 Tuesday. House Bill 1388 would require out-of-state online retailers who do not already collect sales and use tax in the state to warn Arkansas customers that a sales or use tax was due. Online retailers would also have to send the customer an annual statement detailing the online purchases and taxes owed and would have to send an annual report of sales for each customer to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Arkansans would be expected to remit the sales tax with their income tax returns. "We don't have the goose that laid the golden egg," said Rep. Dan Douglas (R-Bentonville), lead sponsor of the bill. "If you want to fund pre-K, you have to vote for this bill.

Online sales tax bill passes in the Senate

Arkansas is one step closer to casting a wider net when it comes to collecting sales tax. A bill aimed at raising state revenue through the collection of sales and use tax on online purchases passed 23-9 in the Senate Monday. “Nobody wants to pay more taxes, by any stretch,” said Sen. Jake Files (R-Fort Smith), lead sponsor of Senate Bill 140, which would require out-of-state sellers who do a certain amount of online business in Arkansas to collect sales and use tax. “But in a fairness situation to our local businesses that are investing in our community -- they’re putting people to work, they’re paying property tax -- this is the right thing to do because it puts them on an equal playing field with the companies that deal out of state,” Files said. Files' bill would go against court precedent.