US Senate Votes to Move Forward on Online Sales Tax Bill

If you have not been following the affiliate nexus tax much, this SmallBizTrends article of mine may be a good place to start.

Earlier this afternoon I received an email from Rebecca Madigan, the Executive Director at Performance Marketing Association which read:

If you’re as crazy about the Affiliate Nexus Tax debate as we are, you might be interested in watching the US Senate attempt a procedural vote this evening, to bring the Marketplace Fairness Act directly to the Senate floor for a vote. This procedure, called a ‘cloture’, would bypass the typical process of having a committee first review and vote on a bill before going to the Senate floor.

Around 5:15 pm EST I tuned in to CSPAN-2,which was covering the floor discussion, and watched in great anticipation.

I am pleased to report that by overwhelming majority (74-20) the Senate has voted “to take up the legislation for debate and amendment” [source]. As Reuters summarized (shortly after the close of the voting):

Seventy-four senators voted to limit debate and move forward with a final vote on the proposed legislation in the Democratic-controlled Senate, likely on Wednesday.

…The legislation would extend the authority of U.S. states to online sales outside their physical borders, though it would not require them to do so. It would exempt merchants with online annual out-of-state sales of $1 million or less. [source]

All of this is very good news for affiliate marketers. Should the Marketplace Fairness Act, finally, pass it will eliminate the notion of (and need for) the affiliate nexus tax altogether by leveling the playing field not only between brick-n-mortar stores and online businesses (when catering to residents of the same state), but also between online businesses regardless of whether they drive sales through affiliates or not [more here].

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