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February 8, 2013

Some small firms uneasy about the cost of collecting sales taxes in other states

  • State and local governments stand to collect billions in uncollected revenue if a new bill makes it through Congress.
    AP Business Writer

    NEW YORK — Small business owners may be closer to losing an advantage they've enjoyed during the e-commerce boom — being exempt from collecting sales tax in states where they're not located. And they're worried they will have to spend more money in the process.

    Under federal law, a state or local government cannot force a company to collect sales tax on a purchase unless the business has a physical presence in that state. The physical presence could range from an actual store to an office, warehouse or distribution center. The sale could be conducted online, over the phone or through mail-order.

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