Skip to comments.Amazon ending affiliate relationships to avoid Minnesota's online sale tax
Posted on 06/18/2013 12:26:52 PM PDT by rhema
In advance of having to collect online state sales tax, Amazon said Tuesday that it will sever ties with its Minnesota-based affiliate websites that receive a fee for referring shoppers to the retail giant's online store.
The move comes less than a month after Gov. Mark Dayton signed a law requiring certain online businesses with a physical presence or affiliates in Minnesota to charge sales tax on items it sells to the state's residents. The law takes effect July 1.
"While we oppose this unconstitutional state legislation, we strongly support the federal Marketplace Fairness Act now pending before Congress," Amazon told its affiliates in an email. "Congressional legislation is the only way to create a simplified, constitutional framework to resolve interstate sales tax issues and it would allow us to re-open our Associates program to Minnesota residents."
Amazon affiliates like Twin Cities-based Carrie Rocha, who blogs about online bargains at Pocketyourdollars.com, direct shoppers to Amazon and are paid a commission on purchases made by those they refer.
Although Rocha has affiliate relationships with hundreds of retail websites, Amazon is her largest single revenue source, making up about 10 percent. Other retail websites also have ended their affiliations with Rocha, including Overstock.com.
"Amazon is the big dog," Rocha said. "But I've been fired by other online retailers already. ... I've been getting these emails since this was signed into law." Amazon also has ended affiliate relationships in other states that have passed similar laws, such as California.
The online sales taxes are not new -- they are supposed to be paid voluntarily by the consumer who buys goods online. Most consumers do not pay the tax. What's new is the law requiring the vendor, such as Amazon, to collect the tax upon purchase.
By ending the affiliate relationships, Amazon exempts itself from having to collect the tax.
"Minnesota...Still Stuck On Stupid!"
Yet more economic activity destroyed by the state. Good going idiots.
Liberals view other people’s money as public money. Just how much of your money is their money depends on the liberal’s degree of ideological conviction and the liberal’s changing need to steal more money.
Got a note from a Minnesota friend who’s a small businessman: “Yep, I got the email from Amazon already. Our DFL at work.”
Remember back when Minneapolis was a desirable cultural leader standing just below Chicago ~ now Indianapolis has the lead in both venues, and Detroit, Chicago's clone city, has turned into a third world outdoor slum.
Not surprising the Minnesota state legislature seeks to reject the benefits of the internet. Too many Democrats!
I believe Amazon did the same this with CA and CT whey they decided to tax them.
This is pretty stupid on MN’s part. Amazon affiliates aren’t even buying or selling anything. They just promote products that are already on Amazon and get a percentage when it sells through a referral link.
I don’t know much about the specifics of any of these laws (federal or state); however, as a general principle, on-line retailers should be subject to the same taxes as local bricks & mortar retailers. No taxes at all would be best; but, if you must tax, tax fairly.
The tax is charged by whoever on Amazon sells the thing. It isn’t the affiliate in MN or wherever who just gives out a link to Amazon.
Grabbing more taxes for services not rendered is like an extortion fee of sorts. Whats the difference?—except the government does it as legal organized crime.
If the NSA is collecting credit card information, then they could use that against everyone who purchased goods on the internet and didn’t pay the sales tax.
Fairness has absolutely nothing to do with taxes of this type. Such thinking is a trap pushed by Statists of all stripes. Government at all levels is totally out of control.
It is the illusion that fairness is taxes is just or possible.At all times in all cases, people need to argue for less government.
The United States became the worlds economic Superpower because of one and only one reason -- Our Founders left us a Republic that had a central government that was very limited in power and scope.
As a result, unfettered free-enterprise allowed to flourish and provide the world with the example of what true "economic" liberty provides.
The American DNA is fundamentally no different than others. It is Freedom that provides prosperity.
Government at ALL levels are filled with parasitic sadistic humans who seek to punish and sadistically control others. 95% of what government does, free people in the free marketplace could do in a much cheaper and superior manner.
Every single problem society faces, bar none, has at it's root government intervention. Everything government touches, it ultimately corrupts and it ultimately destroys.
Our Founders knew clearly the true nature of man and those who "seek" government as they employ. The knew the slimiest and most corrupt would seek government as their career (applies to the politically elected).
So please, never refer to taxes being applied "fairly."
How about this: If you insist on having a tax; apply it in the least unfair way possible.
They should be treated the same way we do public charitable trusts that reduce the costs of public infrastructure, or maybe pay them the difference between their fire and police protection and that of the brick and mortar guys.
Congress is not constitutionally empowered to extend to the states the power to tax interstate commerce.
>> “ as a general principle, on-line retailers should be subject to the same taxes as local bricks & mortar retailers” <<
Locals have the ability to affect the politics of the state; out of state sellers do not.
States are constitutionally prohibited from tampering with interstate commerce, so it would require an amendment of the constitution to legitimately open this insane floodgate.
Congress is not constitutionally empowered to extend to the states the power to tax interstate commerce either.
I can’t dispute what you say regarding the Constitutional issues (I plead ignorance). My remarks are entirely based on time-tested principles of tax policy.
Tax policy cannot amend the constitution.
This is the use of taxes to destroy your own people ~ kind of like Assad using sarin, but in this instance they'll just move next door to Wisconsin.
BTW, in Virginia the gub’mnt pays the merchants for collecting the sales tax. Note, it is not mandatory that you sell, so it’s a voluntary act!