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David Campbell’s Letter to Representative Boehner

Tax Cloud’s CEO David Campbell has history of misleading elected officials. So, we weren’t surprised when he did it again this week in a letter to Speaker Boehner. In his letter, David Campbell claims that the MFA must be passed now to … wait for it … protect small online sellers.

Say what?

Rick Smith from MarketplaceFairnessCoalition.org just released a brilliant and devastating rebuttal to the letter.  Please read the rebuttal and spread the word. We’ve already reached out to Boehner’s office and other members of Congress with Smith’s rebuttal/fact-check but the more people who call and set the record straight, the better.

 

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Senator Enzi doesn’t understand his own Marketplace Fairness Act

Senator Enzi from Wyoming is the lead sponsor of the Marketplace Fairness Act in the Senate.

Yesterday on the Senate floor he said many things about the MFA that were false, but the most head-scratching statement he made was when he said government-mandated software was so easy to use that “all [sellers] have to know is the [customer’s] zip code.”

Come again?

Anyone who knows anything about sales tax collection knows you cannot find the sales tax rate of a jurisdiction using the zip code.  The reason is that multiple jurisdictions overlap zip codes.  You have to know an exact street address to know which jurisdiction’s rate to apply.

The senator who sponsors the Marketplace Fairness Act doesn’t understand that sales tax jurisdictions do not map to zip codes?

Say it isn’t so.

Watch the startling admission below.

 

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1,000 Retailers Affected? Try 3.5 Million.

Proponents of the Marketplace Fairness Act have made the preposterous claim that this bill would only affect 1,000 retailers. This talking point has been repeated on the Hill many times. Here is a clip of Dick Durbin making the preposterous claim during a Congressional hearing:

First, we must point out the obvious. There are tens of thousands of small business who have joined coalitions like ours, including the We R Here Coalition and eBay Main Street to fight back against MFA. If only 1,000 retailers will be affected why are there tens of thousands who have joined our groups and are actively fighting to defeat the bill?

Second, in the clip above, Senator Durbin claims that there are only 11 retailers who will be affected by the Marketplace Fairness Act in the entire state of Oregon. Let the record state that we have more than 11 Oregon business owners in the eMainStreet Alliance and none of our Oregon members were named by the Senator. We have provided names and included signatures of Oregon businesses in our letter to Congress.

Third, the actual number of small businesses that will be adversely affected by this bill could be in the millions! But, don’t take our word for it; Rick Smith of MarketplaceFairnessCoalition.org recently discovered a hidden video by FedTax/Tax Cloud–a Certified Software Provider (CSP) that has openly lobbied for the passage of MFA– wherein they assert that the MFA will affect up to 3.5 MILLION retailers!

“Between 350,000 and 3.5 million retailers will be impacted by the new law ….” — Tax Cloud Video

We believe that if there is a small seller exemption in the bill, the number of affected small businesses would be close to the number Tax Cloud (Fed Tax) reported: 350,000.  Furthermore, proponents plan on getting rid of the exemption over time so that every remote seller in American will be entangled by this bill. So, even if ‘only’ 350,000 are affected at passage (with a small seller exemption in place), 3.5 million retailers will ultimately be impacted by compliance burdens and unfair regulations.

Once their video’s existence was discovered, Tax Cloud pulled it from the web and filed DMCA takedown notices against parties that repost it. But that won’t work. The cat is out of the bag and the veil has slipped. You can read the full transcript of the video and watch the clip in question here. The link also provides more details about Tax Cloud efforts to hide their revealing (and pernicious) video secret.

 

 

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Secret Video Uncovered – Tax Cloud Says Marketplace Fairness Act Will Affect up to 3.5 MILLION Retailers

We’ve taken issue with Tax Cloud/Fed Tax and their CEO David Campbell before. Campbell has repeatedly made misleading statements to the public, to the media and to elected officials about the capabilities of his sales tax software and the impact of the MFA. You can read more about that here and here.

Tax Cloud/Fed Tax, Avalara and other CSPs (Certified Software Providers) stand to make billions of dollars if MFA/MITFA gets rammed through.  They know that if the MFA passes, it will impact an enormous number of small businesses and they are rooting for just that so they can profit off the ensuing burdensome regulations.

The problem is, up until now, proponents of the MFA – including the Certified Software Providers – have grossly (and we would argue, purposely) understated the real number of individuals and small businesses that would be ensnared and impacted by the MFA so they can convince lawmakers that it will only hurt a small number of small businesses.  Proponents have been coy (at best) and downright dishonest (at worst). Some have even suggested it will only affect a thousand retailers (that is the downright dishonesty we’ve been talking about).

Nevertheless, the veil has slipped. A promotional video by Tax Cloud was recently uncovered by Rick Smith of MarketplaceFairnessCoalition.org. In the video Tax Cloud / Fed Tax admit the real impact of the MFA:

“Between 350,000…and 3.5 million retailers will be impacted by the new law ….”

Tax Cloud also suggests a potential windfall for their business:

“…an opportunity of 1.3 billion dollars for Fedtax.”

Once the video was discovered, Tax Cloud pulled it from the web and they have filed DMCA takedown notices against parties that repost it. But that won’t work. The cat is out of the bag. You can read the full transcript of the video and watch the clip in question here.

We have made countless calls to lawmakers over the past two years and even visited personally with many of them. In many  of those meetings they’ve said that proponents, including the certified software providers, told them that the legislation would only affect a thousand retailers or so.

Please use the Tax Cloud transcript when you go and visit or call your representatives about this issue.  It is quite compelling to show what proponents are admitting when they think nobody is paying attention. 

 

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David Campbell CEO of FedTax has a TruST Problem

In 2012, in a letter to the Governor of Maine, David Campbell, CEO of FedTax, tried to garner support for remote-seller use-tax collection legislation by claiming that any retailer that uses a shopping cart or order management system could integrate and use his third-party tax collection system in 20 minutes (or less).

Any retailer that uses an online “shopping cart” or order management system can register with our service and be ready to collect sales tax in 20 minutes (or less), no matter how small they are.” (emphasis added) — David Campbell (CEO, FedTax)

Many members of eMainStreet have been offended by this claim, not only because it is patently false, but also because proponents of the MFA have been using Campbell’s false claims, like this one, to mislead lawmakers.  Today, in response to a study about the true costs of sales tax software by TruST which blew up this falsehood, Campbell admitted that his software – TaxCloud – does not do what he previously claimed. Continue Reading →

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Compliance is Literally Impossible for Our Small Businesses

“The word “Fairness Act” is just a marketing tool used by politicians that receive money from large companies. The large companies just want the small companies like mine to disappear…”
Thomas Carlson

Kimberly & Thomas Carlson

By Thomas Carlson , AssitedLivingStore.com

In 1999 I was employed as a Federal Agent.  I wanted to find a  way out of a career where I had supervisors and a job that controlled my life.  My wife had a Master’s Degree in Gerontology (the study of aging).  We saw the Internet as a new and exciting way to try to become entrepreneurs.  We created a company called Assisted Living Store, Inc., and started selling adaptive products that would assist the elderly and disabled to perform daily living activities easier.  It took us eight years until I was able to quit my federal job and pursue our Internet business full-time.  My wife had stayed at home during this time providing daycare services for others while raising our children.  We used the money from her daycare to fund the entire Internet business.  We had no financial backing and started our business from scratch.

In 2006 we moved the business out of our basement and purchased a warehouse in South Saint Paul, Minnesota.  We decided to expand our business and import our own line of products.  Most of the items we sell are exclusive to our company.  We are still a 2 person company today.  Our children do help out when needed.  We as a family handle all aspects of running the business.  We import our own items, do all of the accounting,  unload 20′ full containers of product, answer the telephone, do the web design, take all of the photos on our websites, pack and ship all products, manage the warehouse, and the list goes on and on…

The MFA will require us to make some decisions on the future growth of our company.

Continue Reading →

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Honest Video about Marketplace Fairness Act

Please watch and spread this video far and wide. It is very well made and and it’s also honest. Thank you to the We’re Here Coalition for creating.

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Floored by the Marketplace Fairness Act

Just Krauss

Just Krauss

By Justin Krauss, GarageFlooringLLC.com

Several years ago I overcame a series of difficult obstacles and started Garage Flooring LLC up in my garage. At the time, things were so tight financially that I personally filled out the paperwork and put the filing fee on a credit card. I thought getting started would be the hardest battle for a small business owner. Boy was I wrong!

The Marketplace Fairness Act threatens to destroy eCommerce as we know it. I am not talking about Big online mega-retailers. Those companies actually support this bill because it gives them an unfair advantage and will put small businesses out of business. I’m talking about small online businesses like mine. While proponents of this bill want you to believe all internet companies are run by rich CEOs in Silicone Valley, most of us are anything but. My wife and I have a blended family of 8, we live in a rented 2500 sq. ft home in a modest neighborhood in Grand Junction, CO. Between the two of us we have over 300,000 miles on vehicles that span over 20 years.
Continue Reading →

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Time to Stop Growing My Business

michelle chance-sangthong

Michelle Chance-Sangthong

By Michelle Chance-Sangthong, CS Ideas, Inc
I’ve been in online retail since 2001, so I’ve weathered wars, floods, and the Great Recession, not to mention the dreaded Google updates. No matter what the challenge, it never occurred to me to close my business.

The Marketplace Fairness Act has me rethinking that.

Do I really want to grow my business if that would mean incurring an additional $20,000 annually to collect and pay sales tax nationwide? I don’t think so.
Continue Reading →

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The Cost of Complying with the Marketplace Fairness Act

Kevin Hickey

Kevin Hickey

By Kevin Hickey, OnlineStores.com

We have looked extensively in-depth at the consequences of the Marketplace Fairness Act. Online Stores Inc., has determined that the costs to comply with the proposed bill are going to be exorbitant for small businesses like ours. OLS has sat down and deciphered just how much it is going to cost in the first two years of implementation.

Several different costs will be associated with the passing of the new bill. Among these costs include management time to review the obligations, create an execution plan and determine how to monitor, the purchase of the software, set up and maintenance fees, and fees per transaction, just to name a few! All of these costs begin to accrue and after just one year, OLS has estimated its costs to be over $300,000!
Continue Reading →