WASHINGTON, Sept 17 The general principles of a
bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would clear the
way for states to collect sales tax on online purchases will be
released on Wednesday, according to sources who have worked on
On Tuesday staff of the House Judiciary Committee planned to
brief House members' staff on the principles that Committee
Chairman Bob Goodlatte will include in the bill, said the
sources, who did not want to pre-empt an announcement by
Under a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, a state can tax an
Internet purchase only if the sale was made by a company with a
physical presence within that state. The Senate passed a bill in
May that would allow states to collect sales taxes on online
purchases from out-of-state retailers.
The legislation has bipartisan support in the
Republican-controlled House, although some members worry it will
create burdens on small businesses to collect taxes.
A key point of debate in the bill is how small is small.
Ebay Inc, an online retailer and auction site where
many individuals sell used goods, would like the House bill to
exempt businesses with under $10 million in out-of-state sales
or businesses with fewer than 50 people.
The Senate bill exempts sellers with less than $1 million in