OT Amazon to begin charging state sales tax

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It won't happen. No incentive.
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We'll see ...
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On Fri, 25 Nov 2011 07:31:58 -0600, G. Morgan

Easy. Put the money in a bag. Tag is with the state name on it. When the stagecoach passes through town, give the bag to them to deliver. Here in the east, we have trains running between some cities and they can do it too.
OR
Do it the same way dozens of multi location nationwide stores do it now and have been for the past dozens of years. .
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Let's concede for the moment that it would be possible to come up with some scheme for collecting cross state taxes and remiting those collections to the states involved. It clearly won't be free and won't be accurate, but let's live with that for the moment.
Noone has answered the question "Under what authority does one state impose a tax collection requirement on a business solely in another state?"
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Robert Neville wrote:

Exactly! Right now, there are 1000's of "Black Friday" shoppers converging on Wilmington, Delaware. They come from Maryland, PA, NJ... all states with a sales tax.
Delaware has no sales tax, so does that give authorities from MD, PA, & NJ permission to stop the shoppers at the border and cough up sales tax? I think not.
I just had an idea, I'll open a Delaware Corp. and run everything though that. I won't charge any sales tax to anyone!
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On Fri, 25 Nov 2011 10:19:47 -0600, G. Morgan

Works just fine, as long as you have no physical presence in another state. Open a sales office, tech center, warehouse, etc, you then have to collect for that state. It has worked like that for ages. That is what makes internet sales lucrative. You don't collect the tax, people don't pay the tax, even though they are obligated to do so as a use tax.
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Voluntary sales tax collection? With states jacking sales tax up above 9% these days? That's the whole reason B&M stores are screaming. This wouldn't be an issue if sales taxes were set at a reasonable level.
And they are welcome to try to change the law. This isn't a new issue - Quill vs. ND was decided back in the early 80s. Since this was decided at the SCOTUS level already, there is really only one choice: Implement a national sales tax that gets distributed back to the states (good luck with that) or suck it up.

Governments always need money, there's always people seeking more "free" benefits from government and government spending will always expand to exceed the amount of money collected.

True as far as it goes, but lets be clear: retailers collect sales taxes which are _imposed on the seller_ and passed through to the buyer, not use taxes. Use taxes are imposed by states _on the buyer_, usually but not always in lieu of sales tax.
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On 11/25/11 12:04 pm, Robert Neville wrote:

Dealing now with the VAT alternative.... I may be wrong, but I thought that VAT as implemented (originated?) in France is not how it works in many other countries that now have VAT: the VAT in France was not supposed to be passed on. E.g., widget costs $10 to make, is sold to distributor for $13 so manufacturer pays x% on $3, is sold to wholesaler for $16 so wholesaler pays x% of $3, is sold to retailer for $20 so wholesaler pays x% of $4, is sold to customer for $25 so customer pays x% of $5. IOW, the VAT was on the markup at each stage.
BTW, the way things work now can get rather silly. A few years ago we ordered replacement glass units for an entry door from the manufacturer of the door in Ohio. We paid no sales tax because the manufacturer has no presence in Michigan. The glass units were shipped by the Michigan company that made them, but we paid no sales tax because we had no business relationship with that company. We declared that purchase when we filed our MI taxes, but that had nothing to do with the items being shipped from a MI company.
Perce
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Close, but not exactly. VAT is charged against every transaction, but you get credited for the VAT you paid. Let's say VAT is 10% and you buy $10 worth of material. As a manufacturer you pay a total of $11. You sold it for $20, but collected $22.00. You get to deduct the $1 VAT you paid from the $2.00 you collected and remit $1.00 to the state.
$1 - Sounds like the state is getting less compared to straight sales tax? But you forgot about the $1 paid as a part of the materials. The state collects $2 total, which is a complicated way of collecting the same amount of revenue. Instead of just the retailer having to keep track of taxes, everyone along the chain has to keep track.
States like VAT because they can collect the tax in increments instead of waiting until the final sale. It also makes the "tax loss" from companies that go out of business without paying their final tax bill smaller since they only lose the tax on the last stage of the chain. And of course if the product is sold at a loss, too bad, so sad, no VAT refund.
Another benefit from the state's perspective is that it creates a huge paper trail that can be audited. Every intermediate buyer along the way is going to want a legitimate receipt showing the VAT they paid so they can deduct it from the amount they are collecting. No more cash discounts, no more tax free transactions.
Like almost every tax, politicians get it passed by starting at a low rate and promising it won't increase. Once it's there, look out. In Europe, it started at around 8% in the 50s, but now is 25% in some countries. And of course that's on top of income that's already been taxed.

Yep. That's the classic Use Tax scenario. Use tax makes some sense in a business environment because the transactions amounts are typically much higher, there's far less businesses than individuals and businesses get audited far more often than individuals.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Those stores maintain a B&M presence in the states they sell to. If they don't have a B&M location in that state; they don't have to charge sales tax. Do try to keep up.
How is that 15 minute coding job coming along? It's so easy according to you, let's see what you have so far.
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On Fri, 25 Nov 2011 10:09:32 -0600, G. Morgan

That is what I'm saying, but if you look at the big guys like B&N, they have stores in just about every state. Since they also have on-line sales, they collect tax for just about every state. Nothing new here.
Coding is done. Will be on the next stage coach to your location.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Even if a retailer COULD do it (which I doubt), there's still the question of whether he SHOULD, or, more specifically, whether a law should force him to do so.
The brick and mortar stores agitating for a nation-wide law overlook one thing: Their state will get more money and the state will use that money to increase their meddling with the populace in general and the small retailer in particular.
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wrote:

We know it can be done because some sellers are already doing it. Not a big deal.
It is really one big ethics question. If buyers paid the use tax due, it would not be an issue. Is it fair that you have to pay more in taxes because your neighbor buys over the internet and pays none?
If you walked into a store and there was a $5 bill on the counter, would you take it? Is that stealing?
If you walk into the Dept of Revenue and there was a $5 bill on the counter at the window, would you take it? It that stealing?
If you buy a $100 gizmo over the internet and pay no tax, is that stealing? And everyone takes it. Most pat themselves on the back because they are so smart to evade the tax.
Choose the conclusion: 1. morals are variable with the situation 2. morals do not apply to the government 3. morals do not apply if I can save a few bucks 4. morals define my character and are always upheld
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Its not a moral issue, dippy. I would probably continue to buy online if I had to pay sales tax. Careful throwing words like "tax-evasion" around. It is not a crime to shop online. It is a felony to actually commit "tax-evasion", so let's not use that term.

5. Shopping online is convenient, safe, and costs less. Morals don't enter the into the equation at any point in the buying process.
And I will add: if I were offered a choice to *voluntarily* pay sales tax, I'd decline! (so would you, Mr. Morals)
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On Fri, 25 Nov 2011 23:30:59 -0600, G. Morgan

So, calling me names makes you right? You have a legal obligation to pay a "use tax". If you are not paying it, you are evading it. Don't take my word for it, check with your lawyer or the state Attorney General
Why don't you want to use that term? It may be a felony, but if you are not paying the use tax, you are committing a crime. I see, should I put you down for the "variable morals" answer?
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Then your answer was #1 not #5.

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They are collecting taxes *for the state*. In NY the state gets its 4%(?) and my county gets another 4. Amazon has been collecting for NY for several years. They add 8% to the bill-- and just like every other NY vendor, they send the 8% [or 6 or 12 or whatever] to the state with a note of what jurisdiction each sale took place in.
Jim
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wrote:

But taxes don't work like that, especially sales taxes. YOu have state taxes, but many places also have local sales taxes, and often more than one. There was an area around O'Hare at one point (don't know if it still exists) where there was state, city, airport authority and some other entity sales tax. This is very similar to a vinter I was talking to. He said there are counties where UPS refuses to accept wine shipments because a person on one side of the road may be legal and the other side not.
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On 11/23/2011 9:00 AM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

But surely the additional local sales taxes aren't just arbitrary and are defined with geographic boundaries? In my state the sales tax is 6% with the counties of Allegheny and Philadelphia adding an additional 1%.

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A friend lived in one town but had an address for the city next to it. I lived a couple of blocks closer to the city (same subdivision) but had a town address. The tax rates were substantially different. How does your simple model handle this?

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