OT Amazon to begin charging state sales tax

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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

You better hope the statute of limitations is up!
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I collected for NY from 76 to 84 or so. I never got squat for the paperwork.
The way the tax tables were set up it might cost me a few cents to have the pleasure of serving my state & counties.
Jim
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They're certainly in the best position to do so. They could then certify/define that their database was "correct", letting merchants off the hook.

E-tailers have to pay shipping, too. Maybe B&M stores should be forced to charge $7.95 per transaction to cover "shipping". E-trailers take three to ten days to deliver the products, too. Maybe retailers should require a three-day waiting period too. "Fair" is "fair".
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

You've obviously not seen the "back-end" of shopping cart software. There is no provision on any I seen/worked with of that lets you base tax on the buyers exact location (only State). This is not a simple implementation from a tech. viewpoint at all. Tax has to calculated in real-time, not by some guy reading off a spreadsheet.
Plus, how is a one-man operation going to keep up with filing tax returns in 45+ States? I'm not selling IN their state, just shipping TO the state.
I'm not going out of my way to collect taxes for other states, not my responsibility.
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On Thu, 24 Nov 2011 09:45:35 -0600, G. Morgan

The states (at least for now) are not going after the one man operation. They are going after the ones selling hundreds of millions of dollars in product. How does Sears do it with their catalog sales? It is not that hard. It is done now by many stores that have large operations and a presence in many states.
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On 11/24/2011 10:45 AM, G. Morgan wrote:

I think Eds point was that if you can quantify something you can do it with a computer. There wasn't any "shopping cart software" until that need came along.

The simplest method would be it is that it gets collected by one (or a few) organizations and gets distributed. This is very much like how credit cards work. There are only a few gateway processors. They send the transaction to whatever backend you use.

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George wrote:

That's a good idea. If gateways like Authorize.net build it in (and keep the rates updated), that would work.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

Exactly.
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On Thu, 24 Nov 2011 09:33:00 -0600, G. Morgan

BS. It is done already by many retailers that have catalog operations. Sears, Monkey Ward, etc. .
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Careful - you're showing your age there. Wards has been out of business for close to 20 years now.
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They ship to stores. Those purchases shipped to homes have the same intractable problem and people are constantly being over/under charged. Half object but no one cares.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Yep. And Wards is out of business.
The software necessary to accomplish the result you favor costs upwards of several thousand dollars per year and must be updated at least monthly. Giant retailers - Sears, Target, etc. - can absorb this cost, but the part-timer who sells homemade candles or cookies cannot.
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wrote:

No one is yet chasing the little guys. Maybe some day, but not now. Sure, there is some cost to this, but companies have been doing this already for years. If you have a physical presence in a state, you must collect the sales tax. Many big chain stores already are collecting it. The technology exists. Order a book from Barnes & Noble. Order a TV from WalMart on line. Order a program from Microsoft.
It is done very day by many companies. What is the big deal for Amazon to do it?
More energy has been expended by the naysayers here than it will take to put the program in place. It is a bad as kids and homework. They will complain for an hour about doing a 15 minute project.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Well, that settles it then. Do me a favor and whip up some code for me if its only gonna take 15 minutes. I will pay you $100 USD for the code. That's $400/hour; good money for you, and well spent for me because I can't do it. You must know something I don't.
Still have not answered how to pay the states. I can't collect w/o a permit. Do I have to visit every state and see the county clerk for a DBA, then go to every state's comptroller too for the sales/use permit?
I'm sure you have that worked out. Just tell me the procedure when you deliver the code in an hour or so.
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As I said elsewhere in this thread, I'd bet that zip+4 (which I believe gets you down to the specific street) would be a good way to base a database on. States would probably like to fund the database and solve the remittance "problem".
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Han wrote:

They would have to compensate me somehow for collecting tax on their behalf. Even if its mostly automated, its still going to take significant time and effort to keep up. I don't mind collecting for my own state, that's where I have a mailing address and operate from.
The law now prohibits me from collecting tax outside Texas unless I have a physical presence in the destination state. Works for me.
I make larger personal purchases (computers, TVs) on Newegg.com specifically for the sales-tax break AND free delivery. :-)
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That's where the "use tax" comes in. You deprive your state and the local merchants of income. Or you steal it from them, take your pick.
Because of people like you (and me), the use tax fig leaf was invented. I think that a zip+4-based salestax that gets then transmitted (at zero cost to the merchant) to the proper autorities would be fair.
YMMV, etc, etc.
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On 11/25/11 12:25 pm, Han wrote:

Does ZIP+4 differentiate between the sides of a street down the middle of which the county line might run?
Perce
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Not good enough.

Likely not, or it would have been done.
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States don't move that fast ...
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