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Sears Chairman Says Current US E-commerce Tax Rules Are Not Sustainable

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In his 'Chairman's letter', Sears Holdings Chairman, Edward Lampert, stated that the unbalanced competitive advantage created by E-commerce's failure to collect sales tax meant that the current set of rules would not be "sustainable without severe competitive and community damage over time."

The merger of Sears and Kmart in 2005 expanded the reach of each company, both in physical stores and in mail order and e-commerce, making it America's fourth largest 'broadline' retailer with approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada.

Lampert pointed to the two leaders in online commerce, Amazon.com and eBay, and commended their efforts in building "tremendous businesses over the last decade," but he said that, assuming a 6% sales tax (a rough average of sales taxes across multiple jurisdictions) were applicable to Amazon's annual domestic revenues of USD12.8bn, that would probably amount to almost USD800m in uncollected sales taxes for Amazon alone.

Lampert proposed that there be a leveling of the playing field for e-commerce merchants with all or none collecting taxes. "If state and local governments are going to require retailers like Sears and Kmart to collect sales taxes and not retailers like Amazon.com, they should recognize that over time their sales tax base will erode significantly and that they place companies who have chosen to locate stores locally at a competitive disadvantage", wrote Lampert.

"This will lead to a loss of revenues, the closing of local businesses, the loss of tax revenue, and ultimately to the increase in other types of taxes to compensate for the lost jobs and revenues."

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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