Skip to comments.The $12 Billion — No, Make That $24 Billion — Tax Increase (WA internet sales tax)
Posted on 04/30/2013 7:34:09 AM PDT by Lorianne
I have some concern about the legislation, says House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.
Not that its stopping him from supporting an Internet sales tax. Not when it could raise $24 billion for state and local governments. (Where do they get these figures? It was only half that when we covered the issue in depth in late 2011.)
After 13 years of going nowhere, the idea suddenly has traction in Washington. Last Thursday, the Senate voted 63-30 to send the measure to a final vote one week from today, and that tally is likely to be even more strongly in favor, reports this mornings New York Times. House action, once seemingly unthinkable, may be unstoppable.
Goodlattes concern notwithstanding, We also recognize the fairness issue certain items being taxed in certain circumstances, other items being not is a problem for brick-and-mortar businesses, so were going to try and solve that.
Ah yes, fairness. The bills even called the Marketplace Fairness Act. Who could be against that?
Certainly not Amazon. Sometimes the biggest enemies of capitalism are not socialists, but the capitalists themselves, quips Jeffrey Tucker in Laissez Faire Today.
As we first noticed 16 months ago, Amazon is fully on board with the idea. With it, Amazon can throttle smaller online competitors who dont have the means to sort out which of 9,600 tax rates apply to an individual customer. That is, unless those competitors buy proprietary software from Amazon to do the calculations. For which Amazon will take a 2.9% surcharge of each transaction, thank you very much.
They ought to change it to the "Anti Dog-eat-dog Act" so the parallels are even more obvious.
Hard-working creative enterprising individuals built up business that operate by means of the internet. NO help from al gore or anyone else in government.
So naturally, government wants to tax it to death and control the hell out of it.
Goodbye GOP, you support this tax bill and you are dead to me. That's 6% in Maryland, w House GOP collecting it for our lib Gov Martin O Malley..
Lets see how many in GOP who were willing to roll us off the cliff to protect the billionaires now vote for this screwing of us.
After all all of our taxes would of went up then too.
It’s probably $24B now, because they could sell pot over the internet and tax the hell out of it...
This act should do wonders for off-shore internet sales....
“Goodlatte voted against the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 151 Republicans that voted against the bill.”
Figures, he was willing to send us off the cliff to protection billionaires from an automatic tax increase but is now apparently will to support passing a new bill collecting that 6% on all my internet purchases.
This just shows who the GOP works for and its not us
Taxes are the drugs of politics. All are addicted.
To the GOP, they are pot. To the Dems, taxes are heroin.
This bill is telling me the difference.
The Dems will raise taxes on us (when they can get away with it) to help the poor and the moochers and other victim figures.
But the GOP will raise taxes on us (when they can get away with it) but do everything they can to protect the rich $$$ contributors from tax increases.
Both make sure that they themselves will do great.
I just called up Bob Goodlatters office and left a message, 'Dont do this' and cited his cliff vote.
Surprise, SURPRISE - Jay Inslee pledged no new taxes during his campaign.
Well, haven't we come full circle? All of a sudden it is proper not only for 57 states to impose their tax schemes on a company operating anywhere in those United States? Not to mention enough counties and cities to bring a whopping 9600 tax schemes to bear?
Obviously the above is not fully researched but the nub is there for someone to look up the case law involved and perhaps take a novel stand against the tax grab. Or perhaps get usury laws back on the books.
And from the article: Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis vs. First of Omaha Service Corp 439 U.S. 299 (1978)
The economy is anemic. The unemployment rate is high. Yet, our geniuses in D.C. want to increase taxes on internet sales across state lines! Raising taxes, especially in this economy, is a terrible idea.
#1 Higher taxes are a drain on economic activity. Does anyone seriously believe all of the lost internet sales will return dollar for dollar to “brick and mortar” businesses?
#2 The cost of compliance isn’t part of the tax itself, but there’s a definite added cost to track, calculate, and remit state, county, and municipal sales taxes. The cost of compliance is another drain on economic activity.
#3 Reduced sales means certain items will no longer be economical to produce. Looking for a pair of fuzzy dice for your classic car? You may be one of only 1000 people nationwide who want fuzzy dice. Meaning? A large internet retailer may be able to consolidate enough demand to make the dice economic to produce, but if demand drops, those dice may not be cost effective to manufacture given the available customer base. This means it may be harder to find low demand, specialty items. BTW, these items aren’t likely to ever be stocked in “brick and mortar” businesses simply because there’s not enough local demand in any given area.
Bottom line, this tax is going to create a drain on the economy and have ramifications beyond the most obvious one of higher sales prices for internet transactions.
LAst year, I spent a little over $1200 at Amazon. This year, I spent almost $5000.
Maybe THAT is where they got the increase they note. I had to pay $250 in use taxes this year, vs less than $100 last year.
BTW, when the headline can’t get facts straight, it doesn’t speak well for the article. There is NO TAX INCREASE. This bill has NO TAXES in it. It is a TAX COLLECTION bill. The taxes are already due.
You might as well claim that if you drop one of your deductions on your W-4, you got a “tax increase”.
The reason it raises more tax money is that it catches tax cheats.
Also, Amazon isn’t the only company that knows how to calculate sales tax. In fact, there are companies that actually sell that software. And of course, there are hundreds of companies that collect sales tax online for all or most states. And they aren’t paying Amazon.
Amazon wants this solved because the state-by-state push is getting expensive for them to litigate, and they want to make sure all their competitors have to collect taxes (by competitors, read companies that have significant sales, because the bill won’t cover mom-and-pop low-volume businesses).
Hell, give me a week, I’ll write you a program that can tell you what your tax is based on your address. Because, you know, every state already has thousands of businesses that have that covered for the state, all you need to do is use 50 state’s worth of programs, and feed the data into the right state based on address.
Of all the arguments against this, the idea that in 2013 we have a problem with the SOFTWARE is the most ludicrous. It’s the Free Software Foundation era, people. Nobody is going to pay Amazon 2.9% per transaction to run a stupid tax program.
BTW, look to Paypal. They’ll certainly have this up and running on day one, so all transactions online that go through PayPal will have this. So it might well drive more businesses to use PayPal, which many already do because the real drag on business is the 2%+ taken off every transaction by credit card companies.
And note — Amazon has it’s own credit card, which many of it’s users use. A mom-and-pop store can’t do that, so Amazon has a competitive advantage there, as do other big-box retailers who get volume discounts from banks, or run their own credit cards.
The case law you are looking for is Quill vs North Dakota in which the USSC declared that states could not regulate businesses that did not have a physical presence in that state, thus freeing mail order and virtual sales from sales tax enforcement. The decision found that it was both an undue burden and a violation of the commerce clause (states have no power to regulate interstate commerce).
But they also suggested Congress could grant the states the power...
Thus, this bill will not be found unconstitutional regarding the commerce clause, although it might still fail the undue burden test because the states have NOT made a good faith effort to find less burdensome ways to collect the sales and use tax.
I’m sure that a group of online retailers will challenge it if it passes and is signed into law.
The important thing now is to oppose it and prevent its passage and save ourselves from the greedy politicians.
PayPal rates are the same as the credit card companies. Business pay this amount regardless. The problem is having to pay fees on the taxes I collect. I am aware that some states allow businesses to keep a percentage of the taxes collected to cover these costs, but it doesn’t appear to be in this bill.
This is enslavement, being forced to provide tax collection services at my expense on behalf of states that I have no presence or representation in.
The software is an issue because even if it is free, I will still have to spend precious time and resources learning to use it and keep it updated. I will still be legally liable and subject to fines for any errors I make.
Over and above the software issue is the compliance costs issue.
I still will have to spend hours filing monthly tax returns to 57 jurisdictions when I only have a physical presence in one (and its a non sales tax state, so I am further burdened by total unfamiliarity and my bookkeeping isn’t set up for it).
I use a decade old version of Quickbooks. It’s doubtful that this free software will work with it smoothly, so I will have to buy a new version or pay an expert to integrate it with the old one.
So having free software doesn’t make it free to use.
You insult any Liberty loving person with your stupid accusation of "tax cheats."
You seem to think that willingly giving money to government parasites is a noble thing.
Government at ALL levels is destroying our Republic. Any person that eagerly tries to supply more $$ to sadistic parasites are fools and aiding the enemy of Liberty.
Your mindset is so far removed the from the spirit our Founders expressed.
This bill be proposed will do more harm to our Republic. Anyone who supports this evil bill is an enemy of Liberty.
Please see post14 of this thread for realistic understanding of the results of this bill.
” This just shows who the GOP works for and its not us “
The GOP can go FTS if they join uber-lib Martin O malley to collect that 6% from me.
I don’t think Congress can set tax policies for the states.
Isn’t that an overreach into the state’s sovereignty?
Tenth amendment stuff. Look for a lawsuit.
Nothing new here - big business has always supported regulations that hurt them less than their smaller, nimbler competitors.
” The GOP can go FTS if they join uber-lib Martin O malley to collect that 6% from me.”
The GOP is committing suicide anyway.
Download and store any technical/agricultural information (wherever free for downloading, how-tos: DIY stuff) that you might use in the future on CDs/DVDs—especially projects that will save on energy bills. Make a list of contact and ordering information for out-of-state vendors of low-priced things that you might need in the future. Then consider cutting Internet service at some point in future for an extended length of time. Might have to do it anyway, as the economy continues the slow crash. Starve the B.
Several billionaires who support both political parties have publicly supported various Internet tax and population monitoring schemes. Big business has had emissaries pushing for local government regulations against new, small manufacturing shops, private property rights and small agricultural operations for decades, at least.
Pray tell, where does the Federal Government get the authority to enable the States to collect taxes from businesses and suppliers located in other states?
I'd like the citation. Be specific.
That’s the commerce clause. It’s one of the few things that the federal government is really given the power to do, set up rules by which trade between the states will be conducted.
In this case, the federal government is debating whether to require, as part of doing a trade over a state line, that a company wishing to do so commit to collecting the sales tax for that state.
Whether you think that is a good idea or not, there is no constitutional problem with the federal government creating such a system.
IF they do so, each company can still choose whether to perform this service, by choosing whether to sell their goods and/or services to people within a state.
I want to be sure I understand where you are coming from, so I can understand what level of insult you deserve.
Are you saying that it is the duty of a liberty-loving person to NOT pay any of their taxes? Or are there just SOME taxes that you think should not be paid, while others should be.
Should I be lying on my income tax forms? Or is it just the sales tax that you think is overly burdensome on your freedom.
I don’t know what state you live in, so I don’t know if you have a sales tax.
Assuming you have a sales tax, you are already obligated under your state law to pay tax on purchases made for which a company does not collect the sales tax. That is true for all 45 states that have a sales tax. You may not know this, but I am now telling you. If you tell me your state, I’ll send you links to the law, and to the forms you need to fill out to properly pay your taxes.
Also, in many of these states, they use the income tax form as a method of collecting. For example, in Virginia there is a line on your income tax form where you are supposed to write in the amount of “use tax” you owe.
If you write in “zero”, and you sign your return, you are swearing under penalty of the law that you had no out-of-state purchases for which you owe a sales tax. If that is a lie, you are committing perjury and tax fraud.
Now, maybe you think that you have a right to not pay sales tax. You mention “willingly give away”, so let’s explore that.
What do you mean by “willingly give away”? Clearly, we are not talking about voluntarily paying a tax that is not due. That would be silly. So I assume by “willingly” you mean “pay a tax for which you can somehow get out of paying it”. See, the law says you owe the tax, but since the store didn’t collect it, you are supposed to pay it, by law. That’s not really “willingly giving away”, that is “complying with a properly passed and legally binding law”.
But, you seem to suggest that your liberty obligates you to ignore laws if you think you can get away with breaking them.
So, I will ask you one more question. In most every state with a sales tax, there is an exemption for charity purchases. It is very easy to get this exemption, you simply need a form which identifies you as a representative of a qualified charity (I’ve done this for church purchases, for example). You tell the store that you are making a qualified purchase, and they don’t collect sales tax.
SO in fact, it is easy for you to avoid ALL sales tax. All you need to do is to forge a tax-exempt letter, and lie when you buy stuff.
This is no different from forging your tax bill and lying about not buying stuff from out-of-state, so I would think that, if you believe it is your moral obligation to cheat on your use tax, that you must also be using this method to cheat on your sales tax.
Or is your principle based solely on whether you think you can get away with being a tax cheat without getting caught? Because if you really think there is a principled reason to not pay your sales tax, it seems that principle requires that you publicly announce this fact, and stand like the great figures of civil disobedience against this tyranny.
Or maybe you just like the idea of making your neighbor pay higher taxes while you cheat on yours.
Or maybe you pay all your taxes, and your high-minded principles are only for speaking to others and insulting them.
So, what is it? Do you just want to be insulting? Do you have a principle you are willing to go to prison for? Do you break laws when you think you can get away with it? Do you just like to make others pay for your government?
I do not believe the current incarnation of the bill requires monthly reimbursements, but I could be wrong.
I also believe that each state under this bill will be required to offer exactly the same assistance or rules to out-of-state companies that they do to in-state companies. That seems to be a principle based on constitutional strictures against tariffs between states.
I support the principle of collecting sales tax. I will likely oppose whatever the senate ends up doing because it will be a bad implementation. I would expect them to exempt small business, make payments at most quarterly, require states to provide streamlined processes (there is such a movement to make state sales tax easier), and to provide incentives to companies, such as a small percentage on a sliding scale of the taxes collected, or maybe a fixed fee system.
I was sure the bill was targeting large sales, like over a million.
I disagree with the use of the term “enslavement”, because you can choose NOT to sell things to any state for which you don’t want to collect taxes.
Otherwise, you could equally argue that if I have a business IN a state, that the state is enslaving me by making me collect tax. It’s the same principle, and again it is not slavery because you can choose NOT to operate a business.
But I do agree with you in the end — I don’t think ANY business, in state or out, should have to cover the cost of collecting tax for the government. That should be reimbursed for all businesses.
Apples and Oranges. When you live in a state, you are subject to their legal jurisdiction by reason of physical location.
This law subjects business not physically present to the legal jurisdiction of every sales tax authority in the US whether they are present or not.
It is unfair because brick stores will not be subject to the same laws and rules as click stores.
It is stupid because it fails to realize that bricks plus clicks is the current retail trend. The idea that they are leveling the playing field between bricks and clicks is not reality based and is typical of ignorant government protection of old business methods over innovation. That never helps anyone but the government that administers and regulates the alleged "help". It is just more proof that Congress is ignorant and disconnected from the world that the rest of us have to live in.
The really stupid thing is that it will prevent click businesses from growing organically because instead of spreading state by state as they grow and subjugating themselves to that states taxes as they build warehouses (as Amazon has done, but wants to prevent its competitors from doing). Instead, they will be forced to absorb the costs of collection and compliance at a paltry $1M mark which is far too small a sales volume to absorb those costs.
Everyone thinks that $1M is a big number. It is not. Sticking with the concept of physical nexus is perfectly sufficient to corral all the big national chains, all of which also sell online with free ship to store pick up as well as the big online outfits with warehouses in half the states like AZ.
The fact that this lets business and consumers pick and choose between high tax and low tax states is economically right and morally correct.
Profligate states should be afraid they will lose out to the states that are good stewards of taxpayer funds and keep their taxes low.
Government at ALL levels is becoming more oppressive.
If our way of life is to be destroyed it will be at the hands of sadistic humans that inhabit our State, local and Federal government.
You seem to look on government as a necessary "good." I look at government in the way our Founders did, as a necessary evil. Have a good day.
Why do you think that? If my local store ships something to another state, won't they have the same obligation to collect sales tax as an online-only store does? All business would be treated equally -- every business will have to collect sales tax for sales to any state they choose to sell to.
And for purposes of YOUR argument about this being "enslaving", it makes no difference whether you are subject to a legal jurisdiction or not -- if you are forced to collect taxes, and are not reimbursed for it, you are being made to work for free for another, which is a good illustration of slavery. At least, by your argument. There is no difference in the act just because you live in a state vs some other state. IN both cases, you will be made by the force of law to collect tax for the state as a condition of doing sales within a state.
Again, why do you argue that it is oppressive to pay the taxes you owe by law?
I’ve said nothing about government one way or another. I have made a simple argument — if the government has passed a law implementing a tax, as a citizen of that government, we have an obligation to pay the tax that the government has imposed.
And if you think those taxes are invalid, the appropriate response is to oppose them publicly. And if you want to use civil disobedience, you need to do that publicly as well.
Even if you see government as a necessary EVIL, you are still saying it is necessary, and if it is necessary, it needs to be funded.
And if your argument is that you don’t have to pay the taxes, while others do, and you do that under color of darkness so that nobody knows of your action, then you aren’t advancing liberty, but anarchy.
It is a bizarre world view that tries to claim honor from the dishonor of being a tax cheat.
First of all jurisdiction based on physical presence is a basic concept of law.
Remote regulation and taxation (tribute) to distant ruling bodies has historically led to rebellions and revolutions.
So a business collecting for it’s own state is not enslavement. Plus the business benefits from its local taxes and uses the roads, fire and police services paid for by the taxes it collects. The business derives no benefits from collecting taxes for distant states, that is why it is akin slavery.
Mostly this bill makes a cock up of jurisdiction based on physical presence. Where is the sale taking place? Is the buyer a virtual tourist? Tourists must pay the sales tax rate of the state they are visiting rather than the rate of their home state.
It is more logical to make the sellers location the sale location because it maintains the concept of physical nexus. It also means business, whether brick or click or a combination would only have to deal with the tax rates of the tax jurisdiction they are in for however many jurisdictions they choose to maintain a physical presence in.
This allows businesses to grow organically and only taking on the tax liabilities as they expand to new regions instead of being forced to assume massive amounts of liability and compliance costs based on a static dollar number. Not all businesses are the same or have the same ROI or profit margins. Having to suddenly absorb these costs for all jurisdictions at once will be a strain that can break a business.
It’s easy, it’s cheap and requires a one sentence law.
I will sue on the basis that this law is not equally applied.
Stores are not force to collect and remit taxes to the tax area their customers live in. But if I sell on the internet that is exactly what they want me to do.
So I want the law applied equally.
So every time someone buys anything in that over priced gift shop in Washington DC I want them to have to ask for proof of where they live, and the store has to collect and remit taxes to that location.
I want the House of Mouse to have to collect VAT to send to France. I want the Starbucks in the UN to have to send sales taxes to 193 different countries in the world.
You want to turn me into a unpaid tax collector for the world?
You're are going with me.
BTW in real life brick and mortar businesses are told that when they buy something it is up to them to make sure sales tax is properly paid.
If I get a invoice for an item that needs sales tax paid on it, I have to note it and the amount and send a check to the state on a monthly basis.
If I am audited and I have not done so I will be fined and they will "estimate" how much I should have paid and I will be charged that amount.
And what happens to the vendor who didn't change me sales tax? Nothing. It is not their job to make sure I pay the taxes owed by my company. It is mine.
So once again they are pushing for me to do something even the brick and mortar businesses are not made to do.
I do believe I see an equal protection violation there.
No, they won't.
In one week you will submit a program that will accurately say what taxes should be sent where on a variety of transactions that cover the US and its territories.
Put up or shut up.
Maybe you like the idea of someone else being forced to do your taxes for you rather then doing them yourself?
Why is it my job to pay your taxes?
But the sales tax is not a tax on the business, it is a tax on the purchaser. The business is just collecting the tax.
So this would not be a remote taxation to a distant ruling body.
And it is not regulation by another state. The regulation, as it were (I assume in this case we define regulation as the imposition of a rule regarding the collection and remittance of sales taxes), would be imposed by the federal government on all businesses within the jurisdiction of the United States.
Your argument about “enslavement”, to the degree we accept the comparison (which I don’t), is that a company is forced to provide a service without payment for that service. I argue that since the company has a “choice” (whether to sell products or not), it is not “enslavement”, it is simply a cost of doing business, just as having to pay the electric company for power and the water company for water and sewer.
And that “cost of doing business” applies equally whether a business is collecting tax money for the state in which they have a building, or a state in which they don’t have a building, if that regulation is imposed by the federal government, which it would be in this case.
The burden placed on the company is equal whether the tax is remitted to their own state or another.
I would also note that this tax COLLECTION is not considered a cost for which the business receives services. The business pays an actual business tax in the state they reside, and usually property tax as well, which pays for the government services they get. These taxes are not based on profit or sales, because the cost of the services they receive from the state are not tied to their sales or profits.
The problem I have here is that I disagree with your premise that it is “enslavement”, any more than it is “enslavement” that the government forces me each year to take my time and fill out tax forms, for which they don’t give me money. But whatever that burden is, it is clear that the burden of tax collection under this bill would be identical for all companies in similar circumstance — every business above the threshold that sells items to a people living in a state will have the SAME job of collecting and remitting taxes to that state.
You said that the business derives “no benefits” from collecting taxes for a distant state. But they do — they get a sale on a product to that state. It is that sale that imposes the regulatory burden. If they don’t think sales to a state are a benefit, they can refuse to sell to a state, and not get the regulatory burden.
And as I said, companies collecting tax within a state are not doing so to derive benefits, the state benefits come from the property, income, and business license taxes they pay to the state.
As to your idea that we should just tax based on where the business is located — that isn’t necessarily a bad idea. That’s how physical stores work today, if I go to Maryland, I pay Maryland sales tax (there may be a way to get them to not do so by proving out-of-state residence and use). But the internet stores aren’t collecting taxes from any state, plus you’d still have the unfair competitive advantage if you set up your store in a non-sales-tax state.
But realize that you then WOULD be imposing a new tax burden on people. Because, as people keep forgetting or ignoring, every state with a sales tax already requires their residents to pay a “use tax” equal to the sales tax, when sales tax is not collected for the state.
But the “use tax” is based on the taxes within your state. So, if we had all internet companies collect their own state sales tax, and that was LESS than your state, your state would still expect you to pay them the difference. But if the other state had a HIGHER tax, you wouldn’t get a refund, and would end up paying a higher tax than you owe today.
(BTW, the “use tax” generally applies to things you buy for use in the state; so if you are a literal tourist, and buy food for lunch, you eat that food in the other state, and you have no use tax burden. If you buy groceries and drive them to your house and eat them, you owe the use tax).
In 2012, I paid $250 in “use tax” for online purchases. It took me about a two hours to collect all the information and calculate what I owed, so it wasn’t terribly bad (Amazon could make that easier, if they gave me a way to dump a summary table of ALL my order payments/taxes/shipping, instead of requiring me to pull up each invoice individually).
If Amazon had collected the taxes, that’s an hour of my life I would have, plus I wouldn’t have to come up with $250 all at once. And I’m pretty quick at the Amazon thing since I have been doing this for years. If you buy a lot of stuff from all around, you probably have to keep the information during the year, since most companies don’t have an easy old-order search function.
You probably can’t afford me. I didn’t say I’d do it for free.
You probably can’t afford me. I didn’t say I’d do it for free. The point is that the programming for such a thing isn’t hard, and it really only has to be done one time, or at least one time for each company that decides to compete in the market.
When every company needs such a program, there will be a half-dozen software firms who will be happy to put out a relatively inexpensive program to do this, with probably a monthly service fee; they will make money on the volume.
Meanwhile, I will cheat. If you want to know the sales tax on an item for any state, do this: Go to Walmart.com, pick an item that has the price you are looking to pay. Put it in your cart. Go to checkout. Put in the address you want to check for sales tax. Go to the “finalize order”. The sales tax for that price of that item will be right on the form.
Then cancel out before ordering.
See, the program already exists, probably in multiple forms. I chose Walmart because they are in most states.
If you find a state that doesn’t have a walmart, then just pick a local store in that state that allows online ordering, and do the same thing, entering the address from within the state, and the order form will tell you the tax.
Heck, I bet even YOU could figure out how to write a creeper program that would do those manual steps. But if you can write out the process, you can write the program.
They ought to call it the “Accountant Full Employment Act.”
They will if they do the sale on-line like the internet company does.
If they sell at the point of sale, they will assume the address is local, and charge local sales tax. Which still leaves the purchaser with the burden of comparing the sales tax to their home sales tax, and doing a “use tax” filing if it was less. Not that anybody does that. I don’t actually check when I buy souvenirs, but Virginia sales tax is pretty low, so I have a feeling we are talking about pennies one way or another.
You are absolutely correct though, that the one “advantage” the brick-and-mortar shop would have over an internet shop AFTER a law like this was passed is that, if the out-of-state people show up IN the store, the brick-and-mortar shop doesn’t have to figure out where they really live and file taxes for that state.
That advantage of course is a miniscule one, compared to the huge advantage internet companies currently get by undercutting the total cost of a product by 5% or more.
Except that this advantage only really exists because the purchaser then fails to correctly file their “use tax”. In reality, there is no free sales tax purchase in a sales tax state, only the ability to cheat on your taxes.
So my big reason for supporting the concept is twofold. First, it will relieve all the law-abiding citizens of their current burden of tracking all their untaxed purchases and calculating and remitting their own sales tax. Second, it will lower my tax burden by keeping others in my state from cheating on their taxes.
For example, in Virginia, the new transportation bill specifically says that if they don’t pass a federal law to allow this tax collection, the sales tax will go up. If everybody paid their use tax, then there would be no need for a federal law, and our taxes would not go up. So, because people in my state buy untaxed items and don’t pay their taxes, everybody who DOES file use tax, and everybody who buys something in-state and pays the sales tax, will have their taxes raised to cover the tax cheats.
THAT is why I support the concept. Can’t say if I’d support the specific bill, it is probably poorly written.
Yes, I actually DO like the idea of you having to collect my taxes. It will make my life easier.
But really, if it was just me, that would be a lousy reason for a law.
But it is 150 million people. We are going to relieve the burden of 150 million people keeping records all year, and filing monthly, quarterly, or yearly reports, and the paperwork, and the government workers needed to handle 150 million+ filings, by shifting that burden to the point-of-sale, where it can be much more easily tracked and managed.
If I were writing the law, I would gladly include re-imbursement to business for performing this task. The money the state would spend on that would be less than what the state would spend processing the millions of “use tax” submissions each year.
Of course, in reality most people aren’t submitting their paperwork. Which is the real reason for burdening you with my taxes, because it is the only way to keep people from breaking the law. It is sad, but unfortunately true.
But I apologize for the burden, and can only note that if you don’t want the burden of collecting the sales tax for Virginia, you have an easy solution — refuse to sell items to anybody who lives in Virginia. You could even write to Virginia and tell them your demands — like tell them they have to pay you, and only require remittance quarterly, and should provide an online program for free that will tell you what the tax is for an address.
And I bet Virginia would work to streamline the process, if you got enough businesses to band together in this boycott.
And if not, at least you won’t be burdened. It is your choice if the cost of collecting sales tax is worth the sales to my state, just as everything in your business is based on your evaluation of the costs compared to the benefits.
Two hours for one jurisdiction that you live in. Multiply that by 46. That’s 98 hours or almost 2.5 work weeks. So that is not remotely equal to the burden of complying in only the jurisdictions in which you maintain a physical nexus.
Then there is the matter of liability. The bill cleverly instructs that states will not hold sellers for filing mistakes based on errors caused by software providers or the state agency and not hold software providers liable for errors by sellers or the state agency.
Which means every audit will be a nightmare of liability shifting and lawyer fees.
Nothing in there that states be required to prove an intent to defraud and avoid collection and remittance. So any error in using the software and boom you owe fines and interest for your mistake.
Liability for 46 jurisdictions in a bigger burden than liability for one.
No exception for sellers in non tax states.
This complicated cockamamie plan is merely an attempt by states to avoid responsibility for their high taxes and big spending ways and prevent market place competition between high and low tax states.
There is a better and simpler way, but it exposes politicians to responsibility for their actions regarding spending and taxation.
I said no such thing.
It is a bizarre world view that tries to claim honor from the dishonor of being a tax cheat.
FYI, I have never cheated on my taxes.
All your posts seem to indicated that your greatest joy is making sure government gets everything from you that they ask for. What a sad pathetic view of government.
We could list a million ways that the government utterly wastes our money. The GAO has stated the government wastes $550B a year in duplication and fraud. Of course, you would likely be more worried about paying ALL your taxes than having righteous anger at the sadistic humans in government that squander our hard earned money.
I have many friends with successful businesses. They all have horror stories how at one time or another sadistic government parasites have descended upon them with the goal of finding some small bookkeeping error or some physical asset not in compliance. The sole reason for their visits is to extract hard earned money through insane fines or fees. Ahhhhh, government, such a Noble enterprise /sarc.
You seem to have no perspective on the accelerating destruction of our Republic at the hands of Statists at all levels of government.
You seem to worship at the Alter of State Power. You truly have no sense of Liberty that our believed. Your thought process is more at home at the DUmp that at a site that believes in Liberty and natural distrust of government.
In a few years, government will unmask it's true nature and I hope you wake up.
Have a good day :)
Given that the states can’t even be bothered to go after the clear tax cheats who post to places like this site and brag about not paying their taxes, I hardly think there is a danger of the states trying to sue some small business in another state because they think the software screwed up.
The point of the liability clauses is to make that clear.
The 2 hours wouldn’t multiply by 46. The two hours is how long it took me to go through the 127 invoices from Amazon, and to record the payment, the tax, the shipping, and any refunds I got for returning items, putting it into a spreadsheet so I could add it all up.
You need to multiply that by the 150 million people who did online purchases, and you’ll get the burden of compliance under the current law.
But even if you did force every business to spend 100 hours, if there are 100,000 businesses impacted, that’s 10 million hours, compared to 300 million hours.
In the discussion of the government passing THAT LAW, you said:
The bottom line is that anyone who supports this bill is an enemy of Liberty and an enemy of our Constitution.Now, maybe your statement that government is becoming more oppressive was just a random though, and had nothing to do with this bill. But it is reasonable to assume that, since you are talking about this bill, your statement meant that you thought this bill was an example of government oppression. That was reinforced by your statement that every person who supported making people pay the sales tax they owe were "enemies of liberty", implying that liberty meant "not having to pay your sales tax".
Government at ALL levels is becoming more oppressive.
And you keep arguing that support of the idea of enforcing the sales tax, making people pay their taxes, is a non-conservative principle, when it is in fact a core conservative principle of the rule of law.
I never said you cheated on your taxes. Your argument though clearly indicated that you think the honorable thing is to support people who cheat on their taxes, and the dishonorable thing, worthy of DU, is to give the government any power to enforce the tax law.
All your posts seem to indicated that your greatest joy is making sure government gets everything from you that they ask for. What a sad pathetic view of government.
Sadly, that is wrong and illogical on two levels. If the first sentence was true, it would be a sad pathetic view of MY existence, because it has no implications as to the view of government, only how I felt.
But nothing I have said would lead logically to the claim you make. I feel no joy paying my use tax. What I feel is the exercise of a legal obligation, much like how I feel after I complete my income taxes, or send in my DMV paperwork to update my license and registration. Not joy. Relief.
What I do feel is the value I get from behaving ethically when there is every chance to behave unethically, and much too gain from doing so. I don't "have" to pay my $250. The state won't come after me. Nobody would know. Except I would know.
And I come from a time when we were taught that this, above all else, was important -- that I would know I had done wrong, even if I could get away with it.
So I pay my use tax because it is the right thing to do, since I am obligated to follow the just laws of the state, and there is nothing unjust about the sales tax. If there were, I would publicly protest, and go to jail, to fight to change the unjust law.
And I argue that we should find a way to convince people to pay their obligations, because it is clear that even among conservatives, there is little honor left, as too many are proud of "sticking it to the man" by not paying their sales taxes.
Of course, you would likely be more worried about paying ALL your taxes than having righteous anger at the sadistic humans in government that squander our hard earned money.
That is the false argument of singularity. You can do both. I should hope that EVERY conservative would obey the rule of law, and therefore be worried about paying all their taxes. Are you saying that you do NOT worry about paying all your taxes? That you would feel fine if you didn't pay all your taxes? Because earlier, you seem to get pretty upset when you thought I called you a tax cheat, and seem proud to claim you have never done so.
If you have never cheated on your taxes, it seems clear that you have spent time making sure that you had paid all the taxes you owe -- so why do you fault me for the same thing?
I think government takes to much, and spends too much. But I have no more right to cheat on my taxes to deprive them of money, than the hippies have to cheat on their taxes because they don't like the government funding the military. Our country has laws, and you don't get to pick and choose which taxes you pay based on how you feel they are being used.
Unless you believe they are being used immorally, in which case you could have the obligation to publicly refuse to pay taxes, and go to jail, and thus practice civil disobedience.
You seem to worship at the Alter of State Power. You truly have no sense of Liberty that our believed.
I don't worship at any altar. I do believe in the rule of law, and don't believe it impinges on liberty to ask that all people be treated equally when it comes to taxes.
As I have said repeatedly, and I wait for you to disagree, all taxes should be as low as possible, applied as broadly as possible, and be paid by as many people as possible, in the same proportions.
Taxes are the fairest when every person who is in the same circumstance and does the same thing pays the same tax. The current situation with sales/use tax does not meet that conservative criteria, and this failure of the tax code is skewing business decisions and the marketplace, in bad ways.
I can see why an operator of an internet company who is benefiting from the current government policies wouldn't want skewed policies replaced with evenly applied taxes.
But it is unpersuasive to try to argue that this artificially manipulated marketplace is somehow representative of liberty, and that those who seek to impose a more "free" system, free that is from government interference that picks winners (internet companies) and losers (brick-and-mortar companies) is somehow an enemy of the very liberty we are trying to restore.
Just argue that the bill will make your life harder, and therefore you oppose it because you like things the way they are.
In a few years, government will unmask it's true nature and I hope you wake up.
Government did this long ago, but unfortunately it does not give me liberty to cheat on my taxes, nor does it persuade me to stop fighting for a more conservative application of the tax burden.