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In a rare bipartisan moment, something significant happened last week in the United States Senate and New Mexico’s two senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, helped to make it happen by voting to end the chaos and misunderstanding surrounding the sales tax and online purchases.
And good for them and the 67 other senators who joined in bipartisan passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act.
One of the major fictions about commerce today is that Internet sales are immune from what we here in New Mexico call the gross-receipts tax, but is more commonly known elsewhere as the sales tax.
Yet, while the great bulk of online sales do go tax free, so to speak, others are in fact legally subject to the sales tax in New Mexico and other states with such a tax.
By law, any retailer with an outlet, store or office in a state where a consumer makes an online purchase is required to collect whatever rate the sales tax is levied. So if you live in New Mexico and purchase a coat from Eddie Bauer, you are obligated to pay the 5.125 to 8.6875 percent (depending on location) gross-receipts tax levied on that sale.
Why? Because Eddie Bauer has an outlet in New Mexico.
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