The complexities of the RTPA cause numerous errors for businesses not equipped to collect taxes for states where they have no employees and no physical presence. And the RTPA allows each state to have its own definitions for taxable products, sales price, rules, and filing forms. That creates a minefield of complexity where businesses will inevitably make mistakes that will be pounced upon state tax auditors.
Do sales taxes need to be collected? Certainly they do. But it has to be done in a way that doesn't rampage small businesses, restrict competition, and reduce consumer choice.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) may have an answer that works. His draft legislation would let every business collect and file sales tax based on the rates and rules of where they are based — instead of where the customer lives. Goodlatte's plan creates true parity between online, catalog, and brick-and-mortar stores. States would route tax collections to where customers reside, so Goodlatte's plan would help pay for local services, too.
So, as you get set to "survive" Tax Day, imagine if a legislator proposed that every day would be April 15. It would be a nightmare and one that we would not stand for — neither should our nation's small businesses.