Quick Hits: The End of Tax-Free Internet Sales?


punch_small.jpgAfter Easter recess, Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) is planning to introduce the Main Street Fairness Act (groan), which would open up all Internet sales to state sales taxes. At Cnet, Declan McCullagh explains why the logistics of such a move would be frightening.

Pay-per-call specialist Marchex has laid down $62.5 million in cash and stock for Jingle Networks, operator of free directory assistance services (1-800-FREE411)and  provider of mobile voice search performance advertising and technology. Marchex is bit more interested in the latter business, which will boost the reach of its call advertising network to 500 million phone calls across digital media, including mobile.

There are seven stages of grief, but only five stages of mobile price promotions according to the Mobile Marketing Association’s new guidelines on mobile couponing best practices (PDF).

DSNR Media Group announced that its dynamic landing page optimization service Traffiliate has been fully integrated into AppNexus’ real-time platform.

According to a new report by mobileSQUARED, a third of advertising agencies expect 30% of their clients’ campaigns will feature a mobile element.


  1. In reference to the Main Street Fairness Act which is expected to be introduced by Sen. Durbin, the issue is not whether internet sales should be taxed – they are because the consumer is supposed to report and pay the sales tax if the retailer does not collect it. The issue is the most efficient way to collect that tax. Today large internet retailers easily manage millions of items for sale at any given moment, and even the smallest internet retailer can calculate accurate shipping rates to every corner of the country in a blink of an eye. It would not be “too frightening” to keep track of a few thousand local jurisdictions.
    As part of the Streamlined Agreement, states have certified several companies to provide technology solutions to online merchants to make collecting sales tax easy. My company offers a service, called TaxCloud, that automatically calculates accurate local sales tax. It also prepares, files and remits the sales tax to the Streamlined states. TaxCloud is completely free to merchants.
    It is better that Congress address this issue so that all businesses collect the correct tax. Until then, more and more states are going to be attempting on their own to collect these taxes, which will increase complexity.


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