May 3, 2017
New York, NY – Jewelers of America (JA) welcomes the growing momentum toward passage of sales tax fairness on Capitol Hill. Last Thursday, the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RTPA) was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, while the Senate re-introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA).

The timing of the reintroduction of the bills – which would level the playing field between brick-and-mortar and online retailers – comes less than a month after Amazon.com began collecting sales tax in the 45 states where taxes are due, another major milestone. It also coincides with several key court battles that could serve as a legal vehicle for the Supreme Court to reconsider its Quill decision of 1992, which established the current inequitable system for sales tax collection.

“Along with Amazon’s decision and the ongoing court battles, the introduction of these bills sends a strong message to opponents of sales tax fairness that they are waging a losing battle,” says David J. Bonaparte, President and CEO, Jewelers of America.

Both the RTPA and the MFA would give states the option to require the collection of sales and use taxes already owed under state law by out-of-state businesses, rather than rely on consumers to remit those taxes to the states. Currently, brick-and-mortar businesses collect sales and use taxes from customers who make purchases in their stores, but many online and remote retailers do not. If passed by both chambers of Congress and enacted into law, the measure would give states the option to require the collection of these taxes by out-of-state sellers if the state simplifies their sales and use tax systems.

While similar to the MFA, the RTPA would also establish audit protections for remote sellers and requires states to provide sales tax collection software and integration to remote sellers free of charge.  Additionally, the bill would allow for a transition period for smaller remote sellers.

Jewelers of America is a longtime proponent of sales tax fairness, supporting efforts to enact legislation on the federal and state levels.

“Competition between traditional retailers and the internet must be fair. JA will continue pushing for sales tax fairness until Congress gets this done,” says Bonaparte.

Those interested in this issue and others affecting jewelry businesses can use Jewelers of America's Legislative Action Center, at http://www.jewelers.org/ja/advocacy/legislative-agenda/actioncenter, to easily contact their representatives via email and urge them to support sales tax fairness today.

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About Jewelers of America: 
Jewelers of America (JA) is the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace. Jewelers of America's primary purpose is to improve consumer confidence in the jewelry industry through its leadership in public, government and industry affairs; by advocating professionalism, including high ethical, social and environmental standards; and by facilitating members' access to education. Visit www.jewelers.org for more information.
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