The relief from stressful competition may come with the implementation of the “e-fairness” legislation passed during the 2012 session of the Georgia General Assembly.
Internet retailers with nexus, meaning an in-state presence as defined by state law, will now be required to collect Georgia’s state and local sales taxes.
The legislation says it creates a level playing field for tax collections that is long over due as Internet sales have taken larger share of purchases.
“This is not a new tax, it’s just the same old sales tax we’ve been collecting all along,” President of the Georgia Retail Association Rick McAllister said. “Most retailers who have Internet sales already collect sales tax on their sites, but there are some who don’t. Starting today those online retailers with nexus should be collecting the sales tax from their customers and sending it to the sate of Georgia just like any store would.”
The e-fairness legislation passed almost unanimously in House Bill 386, a tax package that created a net reduction in the overall tax burden on Georgia residents.
Georgia Retail Association worked with the Governor’s office, the senate and the House leadership, member companies and other state associations to educate key elected officials and the general public about this important issue.
Larry House, Owner of House Office Products in Calhoun, thinks E-fairness is a move in the right direction.
“It effects all small retailers,” House said.
Beginning October 1, 2012, out-of-state sellers must collect sales tax from Georgia customers if:
A related company located in Georgia sells similar products using a similar business name as the out-of-state seller, or the related company uses trademarks, service marks, or trade names in Georgia similar to those used by the seller; or
On behalf of the seller, a person or entity located in Georgia delivers, installs, or assembles the seller’s product, performs maintenance services, or provides a customer pick-up service in Georgia, or performs other similar activities in Georgia on behalf of the seller.
Beginning December 31, 2012, out-of-state sellers must collect sales tax from Georgia customers if:
The seller made more than $50,000 of sales to Georgia customers in the preceding 12 months that were referred to the seller by Georgia residents, whether by a link on an internet website, an in-person presentation, telemarketing or otherwise; and
The seller pays a commission or other consideration to Georgia residents based on completed sales referred to them by the resident.
House said, something needs to be done to level the playing field for small retailers.
The Internet has made it hard to compete with large retailers who can manufacture its products at a cheaper rate and sell it at a lower cost.
The Georgia Department of Revenue manages a hotline for taxpayers to report any tax related activities that they believe are illegal or incorrect.
The hotline can be used to report suspected illegal activity for all tax types, including sales tax.
For more information go online at https://etax.dor.ga.gov/inctax/fraudreport.html or call the hotline at 404-417-4266.
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia.
Retail supports one out of four jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 18 percent of Georgia’s gross domestic product.