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Amazon Pressured on Sales Tax

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by YankeeFan, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    A leveling of the playing field or an unfair burden?

    And, of course they're leveraging potential jobs in exchange for tax benefits.

  2. ucacm

    ucacm Active Member

    I just purchased a 54 inch Plasma TV on Amazon because I didn't have to pay sales tax and shipping was free. I can guarantee you, had I had to pay a normal rate for shipping + sales tax, I would have purchased A TV at the Best Buy down the street from my house.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    The rationale in the '90s for waiving sales tax was to help the Internet grow as an experimental technology, work out infrastructure etc. Since that is clearly not the case anymore, I don't see why it should continue. There is zero reason that the shoes I buy on the Internet are untaxed and the shoes I buy at the local store are taxed.
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    This has been in the news in Illinois because of the new law that Gov. Quinn just signed.

    One argument I heard against the requirement to collect the tax is that as an out of state business, it receives no services from the state.

    I'm not sure how that stands up legally, but it does make some sense to me logically.

    If they have no presence in the state and receive no services from the state, why should they have to due the state's job?

  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    The logic to me would be that if they are delivering goods within the state's boundaries, they are operating within the state. To extend the point of why should they be governed by the state, what if they're doing something that's a crime or civil violation in Illinois but is allowed in Washington -- should they be exempt from that law because the home office is outside the borders?
  6. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    It you make Amazon do it, it has to be extended to all online merchants.
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I agree. I don't know why it hasn't happened already.
  8. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    It's amusing to notice the Pavlov's-Dog response of the rightwingers to anything and everything involving "taxes." Whoop-whoop-eeeyaaagh-eeeyaghgh.

    The crew which simply won't shut up about how much they love their country go absolutely batshit-berserko over the idea of the government, any government, collecting any taxes for anything, anywhere.

    When we arrive back at the taxless nirvana of living in mud huts and beating the jackals away from our doors with tree branches, at least we will have our countree back.
  9. Tucsondriver

    Tucsondriver Member

    I'd be really bummed out if they did start charging sales tax on Internet purchases in my state, but considering the budget crisis we're in, it's probably inevitable. We can come up with reasonable arguments for why Internet commerce should or shouldn't be taxed, but at the end of the day local governments' desperate need for revenue will be the deciding factor. If I thought it would make a difference, I'd be all for it, but honestly, I think it would hurt the middle class more than it would help beleaguered local governments. That said, if we're ever going out of the financial mess we're in, we're all going to have to be willing to send a sacred cow or two to the alter. If the top one percent of wage earners went back to Clinton era tax rates and government workers agreed to reasonable pension reforms (not talking about taking away anybody's collective bargaining rights here....), paying taxes on Amazon purchases would be a small price to pay.
  10. SoCalScribe

    SoCalScribe Member

    It doesn't honestly make sense that I can buy identical products from similar businesses and pay tax on one but not the other. I'm not some tax nut, but there are so many loopholes in our tax code that it unfairly privileges some enterprises.

    I'm the kind of person who thinks about whether I'm buying his gas, fast food, or convenience-store items in my town, or some other town, because I want myself and my community to benefit from the sales tax and commerce.

    I think -- heck, I know -- that, inefficient or not, brick-and-mortar stores employ more workers than online stores. So why should the one that requires a much lower level of employees than a traditional, physical store be the one that gets the tax break?
  11. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Just because you did not pay sales tax to Amazon you still owe the tax to your state. It's called a use tax.

    Really what states are saying is that their citizens are not honest enough to come forward and pay taxes on out of state purchases so they need Amazon to collect up front.

    As states crack down many who have not payed a use tax on big purchases are going to get a knock on their door from their tax collector. The first thing Amazon is going to cave on will be to provide states with lists of big purchase sales.
  12. franticscribe

    franticscribe Well-Known Member

    So far Amazon's stance when state's have come calling for those lists has been to fight like hell not to hand them over. They've gone to court to prevent both North Carolina and New York from compelling them to hand over customer lists that include what was purchased.
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