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Amazon ending affiliate relationships to avoid Minnesota's online sale tax
St. Paul Pioneer Press ^ | 6/18/13 | Nick Woltman

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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: amazoncom; dayton; democrat; internet; online; sales; tax

1 posted on 06/18/2013 12:26:52 PM PDT by rhema
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To: rhema
Typical liberal policy. Tax your way back to prosperity, and if a company goes out of business, well, you didn't want them anyway!

"Minnesota...Still Stuck On Stupid!"

2 posted on 06/18/2013 12:29:38 PM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: rhema

Yet more economic activity destroyed by the state. Good going idiots.


3 posted on 06/18/2013 12:30:38 PM PDT by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: rhema

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.


4 posted on 06/18/2013 12:33:05 PM PDT by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters of Freedom, Committee of Correspondence)
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To: rhema

“unexpected”!


5 posted on 06/18/2013 12:34:22 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad & lived with his parents most his life.)
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To: Redleg Duke; MplsSteve

Got a note from a Minnesota friend who’s a small businessman: “Yep, I got the email from Amazon already. Our DFL at work.”


6 posted on 06/18/2013 12:38:42 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: Redleg Duke
Minnesota is lagging way behind the rest of the Midwest in just about everything these days.

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!

7 posted on 06/18/2013 12:39:36 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: rhema

ping


8 posted on 06/18/2013 12:47:28 PM PDT by Aevery_Freeman (We say "low-information" but we mean "low-intelligence")
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To: rhema

I believe Amazon did the same this with CA and CT whey they decided to tax them.


9 posted on 06/18/2013 1:04:38 PM PDT by matt04
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To: rhema

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.


10 posted on 06/18/2013 1:05:46 PM PDT by conservative98
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To: rhema

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.


11 posted on 06/18/2013 1:08:11 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: conservative98

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.


12 posted on 06/18/2013 1:08:12 PM PDT by conservative98
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To: rhema

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.


13 posted on 06/18/2013 1:12:48 PM PDT by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: rhema

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.


14 posted on 06/18/2013 1:21:15 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
No taxes at all would be best; but, if you must tax, tax fairly.

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."

15 posted on 06/18/2013 2:51:24 PM PDT by sand88
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To: sand88

How about this: If you insist on having a tax; apply it in the least unfair way possible.


16 posted on 06/18/2013 2:57:39 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
Brick and mortar facilities require police and fire protection. Internet presences far less so.

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.

17 posted on 06/18/2013 3:59:59 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
You make some good points. However, the sales tax is supposed to be a form of consumption tax (an "outgo" tax, as opposed to an "income" tax). The tax is paid by the consumer, and the retailer is simply the (quite unwilling) collection agent. However again, if you only require the b&m stores to collect that tax; then you are, in effect, subsidizing the on-line retailers by that amount.

I realize that we could go round and round on who actually pays the tax. Whole library stacks are filled with academic economics treatises on "tax incidence" (what fun I had reading those tomes!). Regardless of all that, if you require the b&m retailers to collect the tax, and don't require the on-line retailers to do the same; you have created a tax that is (even) more unfair than necessary.
18 posted on 06/18/2013 4:12:34 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: rhema

Mush mouths.

Congress is not constitutionally empowered to extend to the states the power to tax interstate commerce.


19 posted on 06/18/2013 4:22:59 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

>> “ as a general principle, on-line retailers should be subject to the same taxes as local bricks & mortar retailers” <<

Nonsense!

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.


20 posted on 06/18/2013 4:29:25 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: editor-surveyor

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.


21 posted on 06/18/2013 4:37:33 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

Tax policy cannot amend the constitution.


22 posted on 06/18/2013 5:24:45 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
Alas, internet sales are a portable business. MN apparently doesn't want anyone inside MN to make any money off the activity.

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.

23 posted on 06/18/2013 7:26:28 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

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!


24 posted on 06/18/2013 7:26:28 PM PDT by muawiyah
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