Skip to comments.Amazon Supports a Bill Forcing Online Shoppers to Pay Sales Tax
Posted on 11/12/2011 7:39:16 AM PST by Perdogg
The days of skirting around having to pay retail sales tax by shopping online may be coming to a closeand Amazon, of all companies, is supporting the effort.
Online retailer Amazon.com has a long history of fighting requirements for shoppers to pay their local state sales tax whenever a purchase is made via the Internet. Most recently, Amazon has been battling it out with California, which has been trying to force Amazon and other online retailers with ties to the state to collect sales tax on purchases.
(Excerpt) Read more at moneyland.time.com ...
I wonder if, once Amazon gets the bill passed, if they’ll provide a database to the states so the states can see which citizens received out-of-state goods without paying the required sales tax?
That would be even more money for the coffers.
I want the local brick and mortars to compete with Amazon on price, and I’ll pay them the local sales tax. But they won’t, so I go to Amazon. For years before Al invented Internet I shopped by phone buying photo and stereo-video equipment from out of state, most often from New York, where the sellers had actual street stores (and some still do) and yet were charging much lower prices than the local businesses, and no sales taxes, with shipping costs often enough free.
It really is $79 a year.
That’s right. I am not paying sales tax and shipping. internet marketers are shooting themselves in the foot.
I’ve never looked at Amazon to buy anything or for any other reason but i’ll never go there in the future for sure!
How are they supposed to pay for the brick and mortar, staff, local property taxes, something amazon doesn't have to include in it's price?
Read to the end of my post. The New York photo and stereo sellers paid for their store fronts in prime locations. How did they do that?
Those kinds of stores still exist for books, it’s simply that it is the ingenuity of the proprietor who makes it go. Plus, like most small business owners, he probably lives a simpler life, foregoing the higher income he could get as a store manager.
Such a model doesn’t, and probably can’t exist, for a national chain.
Just search out those small guys.
So do a lot of Republican Congress Critters.
Bezos has been fighting them tooth and nail around the country in the various states, but has, I believe, succumbed to the inevitability of this happening, and would rather pay the tax to one entity rather than 50. (Or 57 in Obozo’s Amerika)
When a company gets big enough, they always seem to join the establishment.
Their streaming service sucks, to get it you have to pay for Amazon Prime at $79.00 a year
Anything remotely interesting they charge $1.99 for on top.
Netflix you pay $7.99 and all of the same shows you get for no additional charge.
Get your books and DVDs from your library or its interlibrary loan program.
Almost all of my Craigslist peddling has been good to pleasant but never had a bonus like that and I do some IT break fix for people. My customers are mostly seasoned citizens from church.
Now people are all going to want copies of that list. :p
Screw this! WHO gets the “tax”? The State? What if it’s from a state that has no sales tax? Then let me guess... the FEDERAL government? Once this door is opened, there is NO turning back. A few bucks here at the beginning, and soon EVERYTHING is taxed. And it will never be undone. Similar to the income tax. At first it got those greedy bastards who made $100,000 per year. In 1913 dollars. At 1%. Soon, surprise, everyone over 33K/yr pays it. In 2011 dollars, which amounts to about a guy in 1913 who made $1500 per year.
I don’t think that is it at all. Jeff Bezos would prefer that there was no such law, but they looked at the situation and decided that it was inevitable. They support this law because it at least makes the process of calculating the taxes simple and straightforward.
I agree , this will kill amazon and ebay. One of the main reason I go there , save on tax.
I don’t disagree with you but there are a lot of forces aligned against us.
There are both Republicans and Democrats in support of this, along with almost all of the big Brick and Mortar stores. Let me tell you, it’s hard to get in a fist fight with Wal Mart. They have deep pockets,and there are a lot of legislators with their hands in them.
They are going to collect the tax nationally, and then dole it back out to the states (Anyone believes this will ever happen, I have a bridge for sale).
Amazon is getting hit on this hard, because we are the biggest. I’m not kidding when I say Jeff Bezos has been fighting this. It was a very public and ugly fight in CA over the last few months, in which it was reported that there were threats from both sides that Amazon just wouldn’t sell to anyone in CA any longer. Try and wrap your brain around that one.
Bottom line is Jeff Bezos has put up a brave fight, and I am proud of him, and I completely understand his point on this. If you know you’re not going to win the fight, find the most painless way to lose.
My neighbor told me this morning that the state that I live in, mainly because you can’t move a family farm, (Pennsylvania) sent him a letter last month informing him that he was responsible for paying the state taxes on all the tobacco products that he had bought from an Indian reservation. (This was in the thousands of dollars) They knew every carton he had ordered. The seller had a notice posted that buyers information was never revealed. But the state knew down to the last cigarette. If they can do that with tobacco, they can do it with anything. Greedy bastards!! Last summer I bought a new tractor from the Kubota dealer across the state line, I’m expecting a call from the state dept. of revenue. It hardly seems fair. I buy lots across the state lines, because where I live I don’t get any of those great state “services” that my PA taxes pay for, why they hell should they only think of me when they want money?
That's definitely a possibility, but I don't think it is likely. They tried something similar when they shut down all Amazon affiliates in California (after California passed a sales tax law) - didn't work.
Assuming it’s a federal bill, the federal legislatures should bug off concerning interstate issues of state level tax revenue.
Ping of interest.
Actually, the little guys fly under the radar. They can fill all of the out of state orders they can get without worrying about whether they have a
nexus in any of the states except their own. But being huge and wanting to build an efficient nation-wide distribution network, Amazon increasingly loses that luxury. They are the target of all those parasitic state governments. And now that those states are leaning heavily on Amazon, Amazon wants to level the playing field by screwing the little guys as well.
No big deal, except I buy stuff from those little guys ...
I live in NY. Amazon has been adding sales tax to all purchases no matter what State they’re originating from. They’ve been doing this for the past 3 (?) years. Anything entering NYS is taxed. The end destination is taxed not the place of origin.
Now that they’re owned by Amazon, W00t charges sales tax even though they’re in Texas. No fun paying sales tax on a BOC.
This will lead to “barter” and “swap”
.gov will attempt to tax that too
Then it beomes “gift” or “taken as trash to the dump” as a favor
.gov is hungry
CraigsList has many unreliable sellers - BEWARE
all of .gov is overpaid and corrupt and is involved in insider trading - they exept themselves - they write the laws and sit on the committees
Mafia Princess Nancy Pelosi is to be exposed on 60 Minutos this Sunday night I believe
non-politicians go to prison for that
Even Martha Stewart did
Meanwhile known tax-cheats like (D) US Secretary of Treasury Turbo-Tax Timmy Geithner and (D-NY) Charlie “Red” Rangle keep writing tax laws or regulating and living free and high on the hog
Slick Willie never paid a penny of taxes on the millions of dollars of ‘gifts’ and ‘pay to play’ stuff he collected in a huge White House room - including custom engraved firearms, sculptures, paintings, antique furniture, and — cash in the bag (Monica Lewinski was not taxable - but the pizza was !!!)
GOOGLE Search : : “The blood of tyrants and patriots”
This does NOT “level the playing field”.
For every transaction, Amazon pays the lowest credit card processing fee of any large online retailer. And they do it all in house, do it so well they sell credit card processing services to tens of thousands of their suppliers, merchants and competitors.
Enforcing sales tax nationwide will make PayPal and Amazon credit card processing services a absolute requirement that will permit Amazon to increase the transactional costs of all online transactions.
Amazon in effect will gain something like 0.01% of all online transactions that go through their new Amazon/Paypal/National Sales Tax Payment Processing Service solution.
10,000+ taxing authorities in the USA. Only the largest credit card and merchant processing services will be able to comply, Amazon hopes to cut out some of the smaller competitors to PayPal in the long term.
the USA has about 43,000 zip codes.
The USA has about 11,000 taxing authories.
There are companies that compile sales tax by zip code. Such as this one:
Amazon hopes to merge this information with their credit card processing services and PayPal services to increase their total market share and to increase their revenues from those business units.
It’s that simple.
The link above is to Birmingham AL, the highest tax city in the USA.
Amazon has never wanted to play the municipality game. In many states, sales tax can vary by county, or even city, and just keeping up with the constantly changing sales tax code is a full time job for many sites that do collect and remit sales taxes. They have said in the past that they're willing to collect and remit sales taxes, but only at the state level, and not willing to handle multiple tax zones.
The second thing they wanted was a limited immunity from local bans on products - some municipality bans adult novelty products, for example, and then someone orders the banned product from various online retailers, then city attorneys go after the violators of the ban with various fines and penalties. I don't know if the bill in question actually has this in it, but if Amazon's pushing for it, it likely does.
The question really becomes - is there a constitutional manner for the federal government to mandate collection and remission of sales taxes where a business has no physical location? I don't think so - voluntary compliance is one thing, but mandated compliance I don't think is actually enforceable. But if it has the dangling carrot of immunity from unknowing violation of local laws, then there's something that a lot of companies would be willing to take in exchange for collecting sales taxes.
Assuming its a federal bill, the federal legislatures should bug off concerning interstate issues of state level tax revenue.
The federals will collect it and then send it to the states after a small processing cost.
BTW, this is a foot in the door for a national sales tax.
Check your credit card statement. If you are actually paying $25 rather than $79, please tell us more about your fantastic deal.
Good old RINO Lamar and his buddy Turbin.
I buy TONS of stuff from Amazon. First place I go when I want to buy something. If they are going to do this, I’ll stop using them.
If the internet is taxed, the flea markets should be taxed as well.
Nearby Cypress College has a flea market every weekend;there could be 500 or more merchants and thousands of customers each day. No Sales Tax.
So you want to be a small business owner having to deal with sales taxes from all “57” states?
That is a good trick if Amazon gets away with not paying for buildings, property taxes and staff for their warehouses and call centers.
Well almost all communities fall over each other to give big companies generous tax incentives to build their distribution centers in their town.
I understand with people calling for the demise of Amazon.com because of the sales tax situation. However that will not happen as Amazon.com (as another poster put it) is too well entrenched online. The way I understood the interstate tax law is that if a place sent out catalogs and had a physical presence in that state, whether it was a store or a shipping facility, then tax was required to be collected. HOwever if there was no physical presence in the state then the law of interstate commerce applied.
What Amazon.com has done is to work with the small mom and pop stores in California to circumvent this loophole. However, if Amazon.com set up any kind of facility, thus creating a physical presence in the state, then by law they are required to collect state taxes.
Amazon prime is 79.00 dollars for regularly paying folks.
The contention with all of this is this basic fact, Amazon.com is a middle man unless they have the physical inventory and it ships directly from their facility. I can see if a mom and pop store that physically resides in California sells merchansdise through Amazon.com to residents of California, then tax should be collected.
However, the problem then becomes, Amazon.com has a shipping facility in Washington (establishing the physical presence in Washington state), a dealer in Nebraska and the consumer in Washington. Who gets the state sales tax tax? Does Washington or does Nebraska? This is why interstate commerce was setup to avoid dual taxation on goods that cross state boundaries.
If you lived in NC when they passed their online tax, NC said they get the sales tax. Quite frankly I found this to be robbing from another states coffers. As if the merchandsise originated in another state, than that state should get the sales tax not NC. According to the law though if you do pay online sales tax to that other state you still have to declare it at the end of the year and pay tax in NC.
Actually when I worked the Flea Markets in Raleigh NC on the state fairgrounds we were taxed by the state and fed. Now you might not know this but I took this to be business and filed state and federal taxes even had a fed tax id. I incorporated the taxes into the price. When someone said it was unfair that I did not tax my customers, I quietly and politely explained to them that this peice of merchandise cost this much and the tax was this much which was then added together to form a price. My prices were not usually haggled over. I even had to pay a county tax.
As far as other flea market vendors go, I can tell you those around me established a business and claim they paid taxes on their sales.
the die hard flea market vendors usually had a business set up and paid their taxes. It was the flea market vendor who came infrequently that did not pay taxes.
What I am trying to say here is that just because you don’t see a sales tax at a flea market doesn’t mean one isn’t being charged. I kept this hidden (to portray the image the customer wasn’t paying a sales tax) by incorporating it into my price. I do know full well that State of NC went after those who did not pay taxes on the sales of their merchandise.
“Well gee, aint it grand? We get to pay more to the state government than we already do. And the Republicans in the house and senators like Enzi helped them screw us some more.
Im in a state supposedly run by Republicans. They will gladly take any tax the feds tell them is available and go back to mouthing their anti-tax lies.”
BINGO! Well said.
Man has the myth of the internet got you. I like when people claim an internet company does not have to pay for physical buildings, staff and other things. And the myth that this is the internet perpetuates itself.
In reality, Amazon does have all those things you mention and they do pass it on to the consumer of their products. Some of the way Amazon.com does business is called drop shipping, where they ship items from the third party’s shipping facility. However, Amazon.com does keep a physical inventory on hand. They must have aplace to store that physical inventory and they must have staff to receive and ship that inventory. Most of Amazon.com is no longer on 3rd party servers. So they must maintain what is known as a server farm. This requires buildings and staff.
If a company owns buildings and staff they must pay taxes on those assets and resources. Inventory can be taxed in certain situations.
I used to chat online and from the start I heard people say this is “internet”. Meaning it was fake and nothing was based in reality. How much farther from the truth they are. Your statements just perpetuates this idea: “This is just the internet.”
Amazon just lost a customer.
Don’t be silly. Of course Amazon has building and staff etc.
The difference is that one Amazon building serves hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of customers. They serve far more customers than could ever physically even fit into those buildings to even just pick up the books that they’ve ordered. Imagine the line that would form if all they had to do is walk through and just grab the book and walk out the other door.
Now compare that to any of the brick and mortar stores with a couple of cashiers who even have time to chat with the customers. Not only do they have to ship just a few books at a time to each store, they even have to provide a paved parking lot for their customers. Amazon only has to provide parking for the employees. Each employee serves thousands of cusomters per day instead of just a few hundred.
The building and labor cost for Amazon is but a small fraction of what the brick and mortar guys spend. I’ll bet the book-density at an Amazon building is at least ten times what it is at brick and mortar.
Most people are a lot smarter than you may be giving them credit for.
I guess it is ironic the last thing I ordered from Amazon was last night...”Atlas Shrugged Part I” on instant video.....
I am against taxes, but I have to to note that the bill levels the playing field because buggy whip makers were at a disadvantage compared to internal combustion vehicles.
You are missing the point. Amazon got a tax break not available to their competitors like Barnes and Noble. Now they want sales tax imposed so that startup online firms will have a big barrier to cross.
There is another unexplored issue here in that both amazon and ebay facilitate on a major scale the avoidance of customs duty by their sellers/buyers. Many sellers will list a US ship from address online and then mail from say China. Product is mailed directly from china with a fraudulent customs declaration. Ebay/Amazon know this is happening on a major scale but do little to stop it.
If they are going after sales tax then absolutely amazon/ebay should be directly responsible for that customs duty. Put the heat on them for that and see what Bezos has to say.