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Signet Calls for Tax Equality for Bricks-And-Mortar Jewelry Retailers

Oct 27, 2015 10:13 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Retail giant Signet Jewelers has called for measures to remove a perceived unfairness in the tax system that imposes a financial disadvantage on traditional retailers in the US versus their online counterparts.

The US-based jeweler’s comments to Cleveland.com come amid discussions over the introduction of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015 in the Congress. The Act, which is yet to be passed, aims to “restore States' sovereign rights to enforce State and local sales and use tax laws.”

Currently, online sellers such as Amazon and eBay can avoid charging and collecting sales tax in states where they do not have a warehouse or another physical presence. With this, they have a 7 to 8 percent price advantage over the so-called bricks-and-mortar stores that must charge sales tax, according to Cleveland.com.

Under current tax laws, brick-and-mortar stores are required to charge and collect sales taxes but the same does not apply to online sellers, James Alperin, an Ohio jeweler, said in an interview with the online site. The Ohio General Assembly is prepared to pass the legislation once Congress does, the site said in its report.

Signet, whose annual sales in the year to January 31, 2015 were $5.736 billion and whose US retail division is based in Akron, Ohio, said the state and Signet were “leaders in pushing on the topic of marketplace fairness that levels the playing field between on-line retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers as it pertains to sales tax collection” in an e-mail to Cleveland.com.

“Unfortunately, Congress has yet to approve this important legislation,” Signet added. “Ohio should continue its leadership role on the front and work towards additional, state-level solutions that promote fairness and competition among all retailers."

Signet’s brands include Kay Jewelers, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, and J.B. Robinson.
Tags: Ohio, Rapaport News, retail, Signet Jewelers, tax fairness
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