Eyes on Ecom Law

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Committee Hearings Held on Remote Collection Bills; Coalition Forms to Demand True Simplification Of State Sales Tax Systems, Defend Quill

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We have written previously about attempts by Congress to overturn the physical presence nexus standard of Quill Corp. v. North Dakota via the Main Street Fairness Act, the Marketplace Fairness Act, and the Marketplace Equity Act. The bills vary in their specifics as we discuss here and here, but most simply put, all three bills...

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Congressional Privacy Caucus Begins Inquiry into Data Brokers

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The Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, chaired by Representatives Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), announced this week that they are launching an inquiry into data brokers. Members of the caucus sent letters to nine data brokers – Acxiom, Epsilon (Alliance Data Systems), Equifax, Experian, Harte-Hanks, Intelius, Fair Isaac, Merkle, and Meredith Corp. – requesting...

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New Hampshire Does Not Tax Internet Access

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Reaffirming its state’s anti-tax DNA, the New Hampshire legislature confirmed what some state tax practitioners have been arguing all along: the New Hampshire communications services tax does not apply to Internet access charges. (New Hampshire does not have a sales tax.) On June 21, 2012, the Legislature enacted a statute, 2011 NH 1418, that bars...

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Is the EU About to Break the Internet?

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In a move that has the potential to do severe damage to the e commerce user experience, some E.U. countries are beginning to implement the E.U. privacy directive on internet cookies (small information files which websites use to remember customers and preferences). In principle, the so-called “Cookie Directive” requires that website users receive explanations of...

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Some Preliminary Thoughts On The New Maine Board Of Tax Appeals

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The Maine Legislature recently voted to create a new, three-member Maine Board of Tax Appeals (MBTA). The MBTA replaces the Independent Appeals Office that the legislature devised in 2011, which had yet to take effect, and will serve as an independent entity within the Department of Administrative and Financial Regulation. The MBTA is not part...

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Is It Raining In Pennsylvania: Sales Tax on Cloud Computing Services?

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I recently wrote a blog post on the new Vermont law on sales tax on cloud computing services, in which the state placed a moratorium on taxation of software as a service (“SaaS”). Pennsylvania, however, has decided to take a different approach to cloud computing. In Legal Letter Ruling No. SUT-12-001 (May 31, 2012), the...

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Some Sunshine in Vermont: Sales Tax on Cloud Computing Services

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I recently authored an article in State Tax Notes entitled “Let the Sunshine In: The Age of Cloud Computing”, which describes the murky area of state taxation of cloud computing services. On May 24, 2012, Vermont brought some sunshine to this cloudy area. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a bill that temporarily exempts charges for...

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FTC Report outlines Consumer Privacy Framework, urges self-regulation

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Following on the heels of the White House’s “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights,” (recently discussed in this space), the Federal Trade Commission released its own final report on Consumer Privacy last month: “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change, Recommendations for Businesses and Policymakers.” The issue of consumer privacy online continues to receive...

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Illinois Circuit Court Enters Written Order That Illinois Affiliate Nexus Law Is Unconstitutional

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On May 11, 2012, Judge Robert Lopez Cepero of the Illinois Circuit Court for Cook County, entered a written order (“May 11 Order”) granting summary judgment to the Performance Marketing Association (“PMA”) in its challenge to the 2011 Illinois affiliate nexus statute. The Court ruled that the Illinois law fails the “substantial nexus” requirement for...

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Yet Another State (Georgia) Adopts a Click-Through Nexus Law

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On April 20, 2012, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation revising the definition of “dealer” in the Georgia statute. Under Georgia law, a dealer is required to collect and remit sales/use tax on all taxable sales to Georgia residents. The first change to the dealer definition is to adopt a so-called “click-through nexus” law (or...

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