Role of the United States Constitution Paper
Business Law – BUS/415
November 30, 2009
Role of the United States Constitution
The popular media sources of today like television shows and movies have deeply influenced how people view our “Constitutional Rights.” There are very few people that have taken the time to research their legal rights and really understand how it affects their personal and business life. Business organizations do not rely on media sources to determine legal rights and how it affects their business practices and decisions. Many companies have legal departments or attorneys that have spent years in educating themselves ...view middle of the document...
A good example, would be the Alabama revenue department, that tried to tax a credit card company because it issued cards to customers in Alabama (Atkins, 2004). A small business owner in South Carolina received a $600 tax bill from New Jersey. The owner was billed corporate taxes and fees for selling software to a customer in New Jersey. The practice of state taxing out-of-state businesses is increasing the cost to participate in interstate commerce. Congress previously tried to address this issue by passing Public Law 86-272, the Interstate Income Tax Act of 1959. This law indicated that a business didn’t have to pay state taxes on the sale of substantial personal property in that state (Atkins, 2004). Since 1959, interstate and international commerce has grown tremendously which has also caused tension between business owners and state revenue officials. This issue has been addresses again when the HR 3220, the Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2003 was introduced by Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) and Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) on October 1, 2003. Atkins (2004) stated, “HR 3220 would codify the physical presence standard for state taxation of business activities. The measure also would extend that protection, which currently applies only to the sale of tangible personal property, to the sale of services and intangibles as well” (para. 12).
Congress has been pressured by state revenue officials to force sellers to collect sales tax on internet purchases. The state budgets have been tight and they are looking for ways to increase revenue to build the budget back up and it seems that that collecting tax for internet purchases is one of the ways they can make this happen. Recently a few states have passed bills where companies had to collect sales tax on goods purchased online (Lakely, 2009). For example, the New York legislature passed the “Amazon Tax” in 2008, which requires online retailers to collect sales taxes from customers who reside in New York. According to Lakely, “Amazon predicted the trend in its April 2004...