ICSC poll: Most voters support online sales tax collection

Washington, D.C. -- Some two-thirds of Americans say they support the Federal e-Fairness legislation calling for collection of online sales tax at the time of purchase.

A national poll conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers found that a majority of Americans feel it would be far easier to pay sales or use tax on online purchases at the time-of-purchase. The poll also showed an increase in support among voters for federal legislation that would restore basic free market principles for brick-and-mortar retailers.

"Americans increasingly recognize that this is not a new tax," said Michael Kercheval, president and CEO of ICSC. "The results of this poll demonstrate that consumers want a sales tax system that supports their retail habits and gives brick-and-mortar merchants a chance to compete on a level playing field," Kercheval said.

The national poll identified a number of key findings, including:

  • 78% of voters feel it would be easier to pay state sales or use tax on online purchases at the time-of-purchase rather than through special forms or when they file their income taxes. This is up three percentage points since October 2012.
  • 64% of consumers are aware that they are required to pay state sales or use tax on online purchases, if not collected by the online seller, when they file their state income tax. This is up by 23 percentage points since October 2012.
  • 64% of Americans support federal legislation that would require online-only sellers to collect sales tax at the time-of-sale, up five percentage points since October 2012.

"Brick-and-mortar merchants want the government to stop picking winners and losers so that all retailers can provide consumers with the shopping experience they have come to expect," said Betsy Laird, senior VP of global public policy, ICSC.

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