Should we tax Internet sales? The Internet sales tax is always being argued. If you buy something from a website that is located in a different state you are not forced to pay tax by the Federal Government. Is this fair? Let us take a look at both sides of the Internet tax debate.
Pro Internet Tax
When you buy something locally then the money you spend stays locally. If everyone in a small town purchased items online from an out of state website then the money they spent would disappear from the community forever. An online sales tax would encourage more people to spend money locally. By spending more money locally it would benefit communities across the Nation.
People that do not have access to the Internet or people that do not use debit or credit cards are taxed because they are forced to buy locally. These people have to pay taxes on their purchases while their neighbors who order the same goods online do not have to pay a sales tax. This is not fair. The taxes people should pay on consumer goods should be equal.
Against The Internet Tax
The argument presented above is dumb. Most of us shop at our local Wal-Mart and pay taxes. A lot of the money we spend at Wal-Mart also disappears from our local economy so they can pay shareholder dividends and invest in new stores across the globe.
If local merchants want to get more business then they need to be more competitively priced with Internet merchants. You can get books much cheaper including any shipping costs from Amzon.com then you can buy going to your local independent book store. Even if all Amazon book sales were taxed the cost would still be much cheaper. Putting a sales tax on all Internet sales WILL NOT keep the money consumers spend locally.
The other argument raised above says that consumers are on an unequal platform because some people do not have a debit or credit card to make purchases online. If someone chooses not to use a debit or credit card then they can pay cash locally. Local sales will never cease entirely. Since the rise of Internet websites hawking all kinds of products we still have seen tremendous growth in local business across the Country.
Green Dot and other pre-paid debit cards can be used by consumers that do not have the ability to open up a traditional banking account.
Consumers will buy where they feel comfortable doing it. If they get a fair price and great service from a local company they will buy there. If a consumer feels more comfortable buying online because of the ease of shopping then they will buy online.
In this age of eco-friendly awareness and trying to cut oil consumption let's take a real brief look at the way internet sales can help an individual save money beyond the sales tax issue. If you have to drive to 5 stores to buy what you need then you are wasting gas when you could of purchased the same stuff online and not had to use the gas in your personal automobile.
There is still the gas for the delivery companies such as Fed-Ex, UPS, and the United States Postal Service but these trucks are coming to your town anyways.
If you want to cut oil consumption then cut down on your local purchases if they are not as convenient for you as purchasing your items online
Consumers should always have freedom as to where they purchase items from. Whether a consumer wants to buy locally or online will always be there choice and an Internet tax, even if passed by law, will have no sway on the percentage of people who purchase goods online.
Internet Tax Debate
What is your personal view on the Internet Tax? Do feel that we should tax Internet sales? I personally do not think it will change much as I will still purchase some items such as Books online and will continue to purchase other goods locally. An internet tax would not stop me from buying online.