State officials want to lower a threshold for out-of-state businesses required to tax online purchases to drum up more revenue. In his preliminary budget, Gov. Charlie Baker called for a rule that retailers with at least $100,000 or more in online sales to Massachusetts residents collect and pay the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax. The current threshold is $500,000 per year and only applies to retailers with 100 or more online transactions from Massachusetts shoppers in a year. The state House of Representatives included Baker’s plan in its version of a nearly $43 billion fiscal 2020 budget, debate on which got underway this week. The state began aggressively collecting online sale taxes in 2017. Despite a law that limited states to collecting taxes from retailers with a physical presence within their borders, Massachusetts relied on the argument that “cookies” stored on a computer or smart phone by websites effectively created that physical presence.
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By christian m. wade
april 24, 2019