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Amazon, Overstock thumb nose at California tax
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 7/3/11 | Andrew S. Ross, Chronicle Columnist

Posted on 07/03/2011 3:35:55 PM PDT by SmithL

So, I went online Friday looking to buy a copy of John Kenneth Galbraith's "The Affluent Society & Other Writings, 1952-1967." Thought it might be timely to revisit the Harvard economist's distinction between "private affluence" and "public squalor."

Barnes & Noble's website was selling it for $26.53. Total, which included California sales tax: $28.79. "Total Before Tax" at Amazon.com: $26.40. "Estimated Tax To Be Collected: $0.00."

At Overstock.com, I could still buy furniture and various knickknacks free of the 7.25 percent tax, even though California's law mandating out-of-state Internet retailers to start collecting the taxes was now in effect.

In other words, screw you, California, and your laws.

"They're not intending to comply, by all indications," said Betty Yee, former chairwoman and current member of the state Board of Equalization, the agency charged with implementing the law. Friday evening, the board posted a "special notice clarifying the obligations of out-of-state retailers" on its website (sfg.ly/mh6SxF).

"So, we'll bill them at the end of this quarter, based on estimates either they provide or we come up from other data sources. Then, if they don't come forward and pay, we'll consider other courses of action."

That most likely means litigation, or, as Amazon and Overstock might see it, a game of "catch us if you can."

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: amazon; california; goldenstate; overstock; taxandspend
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Fish gotta swim,
birds gotta fly, and
RATS gotta tax!

1 posted on 07/03/2011 3:36:02 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL

Amazon is not going to break the law. They have said they will stop doing the activity that is being taxed by dropping all of their affiliates.


2 posted on 07/03/2011 3:41:02 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: SmithL

Pubbies like their taxes too.


3 posted on 07/03/2011 3:45:05 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

Most Californians approve more taxes, just as long as the taxes are on someone else.


4 posted on 07/03/2011 3:47:23 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL

Most californians are stupid.The smart ones moved out years ago.


5 posted on 07/03/2011 3:49:22 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life is tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: SmithL

Following the law these days is passe as illustrated by the Bambi administration.......Democrats refuse to pay thier taxes, Bambi refuses to step down even though he can’t prove eligibility, Bambi refuses to ask Congress for approval gto war with Libya.............hey, it’s rotten from the head down. anyone who would comply with CA is insane


6 posted on 07/03/2011 3:51:04 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: SmithL

“Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that guy behind the tree.”


7 posted on 07/03/2011 3:54:29 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SmithL
Amazon is in a trickier position in California than they have been before. I haven't read the law, but other articles state that it doesn't just apply to the main company and any sales associates, but to subsidiaries too. Amazon's subsidiaries (although I might have the exact business relationship wrong) like Internet Movie Database and and Lab126 (the maker of the Kindle) are based in California. This makes California's claims different than those from the Quill vs. North Dakota which outlawed interstate sales tax collection without a business nexus. Do IMDB and Lab126 give Amazon a business nexus in California? I don't really know, but Amazon's lawyers better be working overtime on this issue.
8 posted on 07/03/2011 4:00:14 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! Tea Party extremism is a badge of honor.)
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To: SmithL

Tennessee is more than happy to take over California’s business burdens.


9 posted on 07/03/2011 4:02:54 PM PDT by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: SmithL
On line sales taxes, if they could be collected, is a lot of money. Believe me with gov broke the thieves in D.C. will figure out how to get their "fair share".

Why should I pay state sales taxes on a purchase not made in my state? I go on-line and buy something from France or Japan why should I pay a state sales tax?

10 posted on 07/03/2011 4:03:37 PM PDT by jpsb
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To: SmithL
Board of Equalization

Comrade Mao approves

11 posted on 07/03/2011 4:04:41 PM PDT by Charlespg
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To: KarlInOhio

‘Do IMDB and Lab126 give Amazon a business nexus in California? I don’t really know, but Amazon’s lawyers better be working overtime on this issue.”

Amazon has a very simple remedy for this problem. Amazon like thousands of other companies can relocate their subsidiaries. Amazon is probably contemplating this move immediately after the law was signed.

I feel bad for the good conservatives in California. This once economic powerhouse has been reduced to a beggar state, focused on confiscation of property to meet the unending demands of government workers, illegal aliens, and environmentalists. The demise of California unfortunately is also the demise of the entire country at least to some extent.


12 posted on 07/03/2011 4:08:39 PM PDT by businessprofessor
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To: SmithL

Califoria doesn’t need to secede from the Union. They are already a foreign country. Unrecognizable to us southerners. Ditto for NY.


13 posted on 07/03/2011 4:09:00 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: jpsb
I go on-line and buy something from France or Japan why should I pay a state sales tax?

But you might have to pay import tariffs. I've never been caught, but I have heard of other people getting hit. Other countries seem to be more vigorous about enforcing their tariffs. On some hobby sites which discuss how to get products from the US into European countries, they often suggest using the US Post Office to ship to other countries post offices because they are checked less than shipping by UPS which collects some outrageous tariff brokerage fees on top of the tariff, so they are eager to catch their customers and report them.

14 posted on 07/03/2011 4:09:00 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! Tea Party extremism is a badge of honor.)
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To: eyedigress
Tennessee is more than happy to take over California’s business burdens.

I'm just waiting for someone to tell Amazon that they can't pull out of California and do business in Tennessee (or elsewhere, for that matter).

15 posted on 07/03/2011 4:10:38 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (I didn't know she was a liberal when I married her.)
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To: SmithL

The San Francisco Chronicle, doing what it does best—lie. Amazon is not required to collect CA sales tax on items sold by Amazon.com. The law has to do with in-state affiliates, from whom Amazon has just disaffiliated itself.


16 posted on 07/03/2011 4:11:41 PM PDT by giotto
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To: giotto

-——Amazon is not required to collect CA sales tax on items sold by Amazon.com. -——

I think you are wrong. The state collects taxes from state merchants for sales in the state. The affiliates are deemed to be Amazon presence in California as a merchant, therefore all Amazon sales to customers in the state are subject to the tax.

That is the way it is here in Tennessee and other states

By getting rid of the affiliates Amazon removed it’s presence in California and hence a tax obligation


17 posted on 07/03/2011 4:25:09 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 ....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: KarlInOhio
Or, IMDb and Lab126 just move to Nevada or some more business friendly state.

If there is a connection between Amazon.com and these two businesses, it's time to say “hasta la vista, Commiefornia.”

Let Amazon, IMDb, Lab126, and Overstock move out and take their jobs and tax “contributions” with them to where the business climate is friendly.

18 posted on 07/03/2011 4:43:16 PM PDT by MasterGunner01 (To err is human; to forgive is not our policy. -- SEAL Team SIX)
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To: Tanniker Smith

I think Boeing will win that fight. As far as Amazon goes, they don’t make anything. It would be some good popcorn material to watch SC and TN tackle Obama for a 30yd loss.


19 posted on 07/03/2011 4:56:36 PM PDT by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: bert
all Amazon sales to customers in the state are subject to the tax.

Don't you mean, all Amazon sales to customers in the state who buy something on Amazon by way of a link from a California-based affiliate's website are subject to the tax (or would have been, if Amazon had not cut them loose?)

20 posted on 07/03/2011 4:59:49 PM PDT by giotto
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To: Tanniker Smith

BTW, Nissan NA pulled out and now reside SW of Nashville.


21 posted on 07/03/2011 5:01:16 PM PDT by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: ShadowAce; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Swordmaker; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; ...

Thanks SmithL.


22 posted on 07/03/2011 5:13:57 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's the Obamacare, stupid! -- Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: HANG THE EXPENSE

Gee, thanks alot! Move where? I was born here, lived here all my life. Should I move to tornado alley, or hurricane zone, or a flood plain, or snow country, or the now polluted gulf area?


23 posted on 07/03/2011 5:24:31 PM PDT by Clovis_Skeptic (The answer to 1984 is 1776!)
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To: bert

I spoke with a used book store retailer yesterday. He said “Associates” are third parties not the second party used book re-sellers. It is those who have websites that serve as marketing conduits to the Amazon.com website that were shut down. So you are right - by getting rid of the third parties Amazon.com has no more presence in California and thus no more tax obligation.


24 posted on 07/03/2011 5:28:04 PM PDT by WayneLusvardi (It's more complex than it might seem)
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To: bert

I spoke with a used book store retailer yesterday. He said “Associates” are third parties not the second party used book re-sellers. It is those who have websites that serve as marketing conduits to the Amazon.com website that were shut down. So you are right - by getting rid of the third parties Amazon.com has no more presence in California and thus no more tax obligation.


25 posted on 07/03/2011 5:28:13 PM PDT by WayneLusvardi (It's more complex than it might seem)
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To: bert

I spoke with a used book store retailer yesterday. He said “Associates” are third parties not the second party used book re-sellers. It is those who have websites that serve as marketing conduits to the Amazon.com website that were shut down. So you are right - by getting rid of the third parties Amazon.com has no more presence in California and thus no more tax obligation.


26 posted on 07/03/2011 5:28:19 PM PDT by WayneLusvardi (It's more complex than it might seem)
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To: mrreaganaut

ping


27 posted on 07/03/2011 5:35:52 PM PDT by reaganaut (Ex-Mormon, now Christian - "I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see")
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To: giotto

.....by way of a link from a California-based affiliate’s website ...

I don’t know about that. I think an affiliate bookshop for instance that sells a book via the Amazon site listing would trigger the California presence even if they had no website of their own.

I recently bought a used volume from a California seller listed as one of several sellers on the Amazon site. That seller is now not an Amazon affiliate by my understanding of the situation.


28 posted on 07/03/2011 5:49:15 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 ....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: bert

Are you saying that an Amazon Marketplace seller located in California can no longer sell through Amazon? That’s not surprising, given the nature of the California law, but it is really unfortunate. There are many people who make their living selling books as Amazon Marketplace sellers. There are books that can be found only from Marketplace sellers. All of this commerce is being destroyed by our increasingly tyrannical government.


29 posted on 07/03/2011 5:59:07 PM PDT by giotto
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To: giotto

——Are you saying that an Amazon Marketplace seller located in California can no longer sell through Amazon?-——

That is my understanding.


30 posted on 07/03/2011 6:02:42 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. D.E. +12 ....( History is a process, not an event ))
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To: HANG THE EXPENSE
Some of us would like to leave the state but
declining real estate values and a poor job market keeps many people here. Walking away from your house is almost unthinkable. I can sympathize with the 1960 residents of Detroit. I hope the house market improves, it would be nice to see California in the rear view mirror.
31 posted on 07/03/2011 6:07:15 PM PDT by pterional
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To: SmithL

It was always meant to come down to a court fight. CA wants to make new law by saying that a retail company DOES have a physical presence in the state, even if that presence is a few guys in an office programming. They then want to use that presence in order to extend to the company the obligation to pay sales tax.


32 posted on 07/03/2011 6:13:23 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici ("Si, se gimme!")
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To: giotto

Yeah, when sale tax receipt totals collected are less than before the new law then it will be back to the drawing board to come up with another draconian tax plan. Liberals are just as happy as can be watching the exodus from California.


33 posted on 07/03/2011 6:19:03 PM PDT by Razzz42
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To: giotto

I just received 4 emails from various companies explaining to me that I would no longer qualify as an affiliate (Amazon was one of them) because I live in California. They said they would be happy to resume our relationships when I did not have my business in California. My answer is to incorporate in Nevada and open a PO Box virtual office there. Screw these idiots. My business will probably never pay me anything while I live here either.


34 posted on 07/03/2011 7:04:21 PM PDT by rbbeachkid (Get out of its way and small business can fix the economy.)
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To: Tanniker Smith
I'm just waiting for someone to tell Amazon that they can't pull out of California and do business in Tennessee (or elsewhere, for that matter).

Cue Governor Christie

35 posted on 07/03/2011 7:07:11 PM PDT by Qout
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To: KarlInOhio

I’ve read there’s a case regarding the Current mail order company and its subsidiaries which backs Amazon’s position.


36 posted on 07/03/2011 7:09:29 PM PDT by GOPrincess
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To: KarlInOhio

I’ve read there’s a case regarding the Current mail order company and its subsidiaries which backs Amazon’s position.


37 posted on 07/03/2011 7:09:41 PM PDT by GOPrincess
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To: SmithL

Don’t put it past the State Board of Equalization to come after residents for use taxes.


38 posted on 07/03/2011 7:35:19 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Pelosi: Obamacare indulgences for sale.)
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To: rbbeachkid
What business do you have?
What do you do that makes you a value added retailer?

You sound like the typical tax scamming black market internet drone.
Do you really operate a business, or do you just try to scam extra money by operating a third tier Internet sales layer?

Let me guess, you spend a lot of time clicking through various internet websites, so those sites can charge paid advertisers more money, for all those clicks. Right?

And you call that a business?

39 posted on 07/03/2011 8:38:40 PM PDT by sarasmom (God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy....)
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To: HANG THE EXPENSE

Or maybe the smart ones stay to continue a fight and aren’t quitters by leaving. Our fore fathers stayed and looked how that worked out.


40 posted on 07/03/2011 8:54:15 PM PDT by repubpub ("History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is." Thomas Jefferson)
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To: repubpub

When the judge ruled prop 187 unconstitutional that was the last straw.That has been some years ago and the place has gotten worse.Why are you still there? Are not your taxes through the roof?Dont get caught in the sh thole when the ballon goes up.


41 posted on 07/03/2011 11:08:03 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life is tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: Clovis_Skeptic

My wife was born and raised there and I moved her back to georgia where I am from.We would go back to visit family and watched the place go to hell over the last 20 years.She says she would never move back.Its a shame because that place was fabulous.Our old neighborhood has sure gone to the dogs.


42 posted on 07/03/2011 11:13:06 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life is tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: pterional

I certainly understand that.I hope you can figure out some way to escape. I have friends in illinois that I tell them to move south like so many of their neighbors.


43 posted on 07/03/2011 11:15:19 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life is tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: SmithL

I hate our greedy CA gov’t. If we could only cut pensions to the state unions, and stop donating to illegal aliens, we’d be a great state again.


44 posted on 07/03/2011 11:18:00 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle

Change that to ‘eliminate state employee unions’ and ‘deport illegal aliens’ and I’ll second it.


45 posted on 07/03/2011 11:33:45 PM PDT by Pelham (Islam. The original Evil Empire)
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To: giotto
Are you saying that an Amazon Marketplace seller located in California can no longer sell through Amazon?

I think that Amazon Marketplace sellers already collect sales tax for the state that they are in, including California.

What California is contending is that because Amazon had affiliates in California (basically web sites that steer people to Amazon to make a purchase) that Amazon has a physical presence in California and therefore had to collect sales tax on all sales to California residents. Amazon severed all ties with the affiliates in California, removing the state's justification.

46 posted on 07/04/2011 12:42:21 AM PDT by Dan Cooper
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To: giotto
There are many people who make their living selling books as Amazon Marketplace sellers. There are books that can be found only from Marketplace sellers. All of this commerce is being destroyed by our increasingly tyrannical government.

Yup.
And that is of no concern to the scumbag government bureaucrats.

47 posted on 07/04/2011 12:54:48 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Dan Cooper
What California is contending is that because Amazon had affiliates in California (basically web sites that steer people to Amazon to make a purchase) that Amazon has a physical presence in California and therefore had to collect sales tax on all sales to California residents.

Thank you. For some reason, probably because it makes no sense whatsoever, I couldn't get a handle on what this law meant. The only people in California making money on the Amazon sales in question are the affiliates. So only affiliates should have to pay tax. How does Amazon's affiliation get transmuted into physical presence in California? The overreaching audacity of this is breathtaking.

48 posted on 07/04/2011 2:39:32 AM PDT by giotto
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To: Dan Cooper

I forgot to mention this: You wrote, “I think that Amazon Marketplace sellers already collect sales tax for the state that they are in, including California.” So what’s to stop the lawmakers from making the same claim about Marketplace sellers as affiliates, namely that their physical presence in CA means Amazon should pay tax on all sales to CA residents? Will Marketplace sellers be next on the chopping block?


49 posted on 07/04/2011 2:49:42 AM PDT by giotto
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To: SmithL

U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 9: No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

Happy July 4th. Next case.


50 posted on 07/04/2011 2:51:44 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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