State to Study Lost Revenue Due to Internet Sales

The Board of Revenue Estimates, at the request of Governor Martin O’Malley through Comptroller Peter Franchot, will be conducting a study to determine how much revenue is lost due to Internet sales and what can be done to recoup the money.  As reported by the Carroll County Times:

The study will estimate the volume of Internet sales that take place annually in Maryland as well as their estimated percentage of total retail sales. The study also will try to estimate how much tax revenue loss is due to sales by online retailers. Recent developments in the Internet sales market also will be explored, including the expanding market for digital goods, such as music, books and software downloads.

The comptroller said the study will explore the potential effect policy changes would have on Maryland’s economic climate based on recent experiences in other states and best practices that have been used to ensure tax compliance among Internet sellers.

The study also will examine the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement, which would standardize sales tax laws and filing requirements for Internet retailers. So far, 24 states have adopted the streamlined sales tax.

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