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CPAs Oppose Marketplace Fairness Act

CPAs across the country are coming out in opposition to the Marketplace Fairness Act. These are the CPAs who represent small businesses and who understand tax laws and audits. If CPAs are strongly opposed to MFA, that should be enough to cause every member of Congress to pause.

The American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants (AAA-CPAs) publicly opposes the Marketplace Fairness Act for a myriad of reasons. In a recent letter to Congress, they stated that the cost of compliance foisted on small businesses will be MORE than the tax revenue generated from the law. The AAA-CPAs state that the MFA will cripple small businesses and overburden the American economy. A few important quotes from their open letter

“Even though the members of the American Association of Attorney-CPAs (AAA-CPA) are some of the most likely professionals to thrive in a world with the increased state tax jurisdictional reach, our members strongly believe that the proposed Marketplace Fairness Act will overburden our national economy and the legislation’s goals could be better achieved by much less burdensome means.”

“Proponents of the proposed legislation would like you to believe that free or low cost software can so simplify the collection process for remote sellers that the time and effort to comply will be minimal. This misconception could not be farther from the truth.”

“If you add up all the costs for complying with the new legislation, then the administrative burden placed on smaller remote sellers will exceed the use tax revenues remitted to the various states.”

Full text of letter here.

But the AAA-CPAs aren’t the only ones who are ringing the warning bell. A number of CPA firms across the country have posted blogs or articles with their concerns. Peisner Johnson & Company posted a blog about the many problems with the Marketplace Fairness Act titled Marketplace Fairness Act Could Devastate Your Clients. They raise many important issues in the blog post.

No government mandate can simplify the determination of whether the items or services sold are taxable. States can — and will — continue to determine taxability in the same mind-bogglingly difficult manner they do now.”

“The full cost of complying with the Marketplace Fairness Act is much more than just the tax paid … human resources are necessary. Businesses can either hire additional people internally, or they can hire CPAs, attorneys, or tax consultants to manage the complex process. Increased complexity means increased costs that would directly affect a small business’s profitability, all in the name of ‘fairness.’”

“The challenge inherent in complying with tax rules in 9,600 taxing jurisdictions is not in doing the math. We’ve had computing power to do that for 50 years. The challenge is in deciding how an item gets categorized for tax purposes. Good luck getting software to solve that problem for you. Ultimately humans have to make all of those calls.” (Andrew Moylan) The complexity of taxability alone is devastating to small business — especially if they get it wrong and end up not taxing something that should have been taxed.”

Full blog post here.

It’s refreshing to find people and companies who would otherwise profit from the passage of this legislation oppose the bill and have the moral compass and integrity to do so.

The growing chorus of opposition is getting louder and we appreciate all of those who are willing to stand up and tell the truth about the MFA.

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