As the US Senate passes a symbolic bill amendment ahead of the planned Marketplace Fairness Act, we may see a number of changes to the way the comic industry operates.
Pushed for by bricks’n'mortar retailers, it aims to create a level playing field for online and physical retailers when it comes to sales tax.
Already online retailers are obliged to collect sales tax for customers who live in the state that they operate from, but the new act will oblige them to do the same in all states, depending on the state’s tax levels, or if they charge tax at all.
This will also apply to the likes of eBay and Amazon Marketplace. There will however be an exemption for those turning over less that a million dollars a years.
There is considerable argument that online businesses larger than that will have to suddenly calculate, collect and distribute differing sales taxes to authorities around the country, each with their own differing rules and legislation. This is likely to affect the likes of ComiXology, Mile High, mycomicshop and more. Already, if you buy a comic directly from the ComiXology website you don’t pay sales tax, but you do if you go through the ComiXology App on the iPad. This could level that.
While this is not a issue in the UK, print comics are not taxed but digital comics are. Leading to all manner of other issues.