Online Sales

Is this the end of tax-free internet shopping?

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A bill currnetly working its way through the U.S. senate may require online retailers to pay state and local sales tax on all purchases, not just where the company has physical locations.  Sales taxes would be sent to the states where the shopper lives as the bill currently stands.

Many proponents of the bill have argued that not requiring sales tax is unfair to retailers and a large source of lost revenue for states. To avoid burdening small businesses, those with less than $1 million a year in online sales would be exempt from this new regulation.

According to the Commerce Department, they estimate Internet sales in the U.S. increased 16% in 2012 for a total of $226 billion. The bill looks as if it will pass the Senate but it's success is in question in the house.

Online retail continues to have an ever increasing impact on the eyewear industry. We will be paying close attention to this issue as it affects both independent optical and local businesses.

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