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ACMA Makes Urgent Appeal for Help Fighting Alabama Tax

The American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) today issued an appeal for help in fighting an Alabama regulation levying taxes on catalogers and online sellers. All businesses doing $250,000 in annual business in the state will be affected. “Currently, no group or organization is stepping forward to oppose this,” says an email bulletin sent by ACMA President and Executive Director Hamilton Davison.

Davison is hoping for pledges of $20,000 from 20 member companies of his association to mount a legal effort against the Alabama law, but he welcomes support from all remote sellers affected by the law. Should it go unchallenged, he is fearful that other states will follow the initiative that runs counter to the Supreme Court’s 1992 Quill Corp v. North Dakota decision, which limits sales tax collection to businesses with locations inside a state.

“All states are looking for ways to increase revenues, and they’re eager to collect tax dollars from entities with no political standing inside the state,” Davison says.

Alabama’s Department of Revenue has issued a notice to remote sellers alerting them that the new tax rule will be applied to transactions occurring on or after Friday, New Year’s Day 2016. “Pursuant to this rule, an out-of-state seller…will be required to collect and remit Alabama tax on its sales into the state, regardless of whether it has an Alabama physical presence,” the notice reads.

Should ACMA receive enough pledges, it intends to initiate legal action naming itself as plaintiff “using one of the best legal experts in this field.” That most likely is a reference to George Isaacson, the Maine-based attorney who won a unanimous Supreme Court decision for the Direct Marketing Association in DMA v. Brohl, a case involving purchase reporting from remote sellers by the state of Colorado.

Parties interested in making pledges or obtaining more information can contact ACMA VP Paul Miller at [email protected].

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