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Old 07-19-2012, 10:10 AM   #21
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Its silly to think the complexity is something that can't be solved by a huge company like Amazon. Amazon is a huge company, with enormous resources and a major tech company to boot (maybe you all don't realize that besides shipping cheap books, they are a real force in the cloud computing platform - i.e. a real tech powerhouse). There are lots of lots of very smart people that work for amazon, (and they even have computers they can use to help them figure this stuff out).

That said, I am not in favor of them charging sales tax, or being forced to - I buy everything I can from them and I like saving money; will I stop doing business with them if they have to charge sales tax? Probably not, as long as they are still cheaper and still more convenient I will do business with them.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:18 AM   #22
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Its silly to think the complexity is something that can't be solved by a huge company like Amazon. Amazon is a huge company, with enormous resources and a major tech company to boot (maybe you all don't realize that besides shipping cheap books, they are a real force in the cloud computing platform - i.e. a real tech powerhouse). There are lots of lots of very smart people that work for amazon, (and they even have computers they can use to help them figure this stuff out).
Call me silly, but I don't believe I said anything about the inability of Amazon to do this. My comments were about the cost, complexity and PITAness of the process.

And I appreciate the heads up about them Amazon folks bein' smart and actually havin' computers. Ah hayd no ideer...
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:21 AM   #23
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The law that allows companies like Amazon to not collect sales tax where they have no physical locations was designed to protect small businesses that could use the internet to grow. No doubt the sales tax complexity would put many of them out of business.

Many states charge "use tax', and it is the obligation of taxpayers to track their internet purchases and pay the appropriate amount of sales tax when they file their state tax returns. The threads in this forum show this is not common - it seems many of us are ruthless lawbreakers and tax evaders.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:21 AM   #24
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Call me silly,
Silly
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:24 AM   #25
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Many states charge "use tax', and it is the obligation of taxpayers to track their internet purchases and pay the appropriate amount of sales tax when they file their state tax returns. The threads in this forum show this is not common - it seems many of us are ruthless lawbreakers and tax evaders.
I'm rarely a "Congress needs to do something" guy, but in THIS case I would much prefer to see a single standard for taxation of interstate commerce than creating a confusing patchwork of laws and reciprocal agreements between states.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:27 AM   #26
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I'm rarely a "Congress needs to do something" guy, but in THIS case I would much prefer to see a single standard for taxation of interstate commerce than creating a confusing patchwork of laws and reciprocal agreements between states.
+1

I think we've had this discussion at least once before - or was that the payoff the mortgage discussion?
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:34 AM   #27
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Call me silly, but I don't believe I said anything about the inability of Amazon to do this. My comments were about the cost, complexity and PITAness of the process.

And I appreciate the heads up about them Amazon folks bein' smart and actually havin' computers. Ah hayd no ideer...
Hey, Silly --

I found this photo of Rewah(yabbadabbad)oo hard at work before he retired, getting those Bedrock tax codes straightened out.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:37 AM   #28
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I'm rarely a "Congress needs to do something" guy, but in THIS case I would much prefer to see a single standard for taxation of interstate commerce than creating a confusing patchwork of laws and reciprocal agreements between states.
+2

The streamlined sales tax initiative agrees with you Streamlined sales tax

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I think we've had this discussion at least once before - or was that the payoff the mortgage discussion?
It seems the initiative I linked hasn't made much progress since the last time we talked about this. Like the whole mortgage debate.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:53 AM   #29
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I'm rarely a "Congress needs to do something" guy, but in THIS case I would much prefer to see a single standard for taxation of interstate commerce than creating a confusing patchwork of laws and reciprocal agreements between states.
+3. I hadn't given it much thought, but your suggestion seems a great solution!

Frankly I'm surprised this wasn't addressed a long time ago.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:58 AM   #30
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+2

The streamlined sales tax initiative agrees with you Streamlined sales tax

It seems the initiative I linked hasn't made much progress since the last time we talked about this. Like the whole mortgage debate.

Like most things in gvmt... they move at a pace that make glacier look like they are moving fast....


I think the easiest thing would be for the states to create an internet tax rate for their state... South Carolina charges 6% for out of state sellers so they do not have to keep track of various locations (heck, maybe they do not have local tax districts).... If they said 'all sales from mail order or internet orders to our state will be X% with not local tax'.... it would be very easy.... they would get a lot more money then they do now.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:36 AM   #31
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I used to do free delivery. But then tried out Amazon Prime for a month when I got my Kindle Fire.

Decided it really is nice not to deal with delivery hassles. Some things I would like to get in a few days and most do not matter. Amazon Prime does also give you some free streaming which I don't really use. Also you can get Kindle apps and can "borrow" a book a month.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:38 AM   #32
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As a former resident of WA let me share with you what happens there: there is a state sales tax plus each county has its own sales tax. Odds are there are parts of the country cities and transit districts also have sales tax. Oh, and shall I add that local rates in particular change all the time?

Then there are a few outliers, like Oregon, that have no sales tax.

The background noise on all this is Federal legislation that would not exempt retailers from collecting (and remitting) sales tax as in the past. It would make life easier if states with sales taxes would be consistent throughout the state but I don't think the Feds can mandate that.

This isn't just an Amazon issue. Unless the legislation exempts retailers below a set annual dollar volume of sales this could be an administrative nightmare for all internet retailers.

Avalara: Sales Tax Rates, Exemption Certificates and Filing Software
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:44 AM   #33
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As a former resident of WA let me share with you what happens there: there is a state sales tax plus each county has its own sales tax. Odds are there are parts of the country cities and transit districts also have sales tax. Oh, and shall I add that local rates in particular change all the time?

Then there are a few outliers, like Oregon, that have no sales tax.

The background noise on all this is Federal legislation that would not exempt retailers from collecting (and remitting) sales tax as in the past. It would make life easier if states with sales taxes would be consistent throughout the state but I don't think the Feds can mandate that.

This isn't just an Amazon issue. Unless the legislation exempts retailers below a set annual dollar volume of sales this could be an administrative nightmare for all internet retailers.

Avalara: Sales Tax Rates, Exemption Certificates and Filing Software


You do have some really weird drawn tax lines.... we had one customer who was on a freeway.... the tax district line was following the north side of the freeway, then for some reason went around this one bulding and then came back to the freeway....

Someone got a sweetheart deal...
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:44 AM   #34
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Washington cities have their own tax rates.
Section II - State and Local Retail Sales Tax

The Local Sales & Use Tax Rates & Changes lists all the rates within the state of Washington by county. If you’re looking for Seattle, go to King County, and then find Seattle. The location code for Seattle is 1726 and the combined tax rate is 9.5%. The 9.5% sales tax rate is collected and then distributed as follows:
    • 6.5% goes to the state of Washington.
    • 2.6% goes to the City of Seattle.
    • 0.4% goes to the Regional Transit Authority (RTA).
These 3 rates add up to the 9.5% combined rate for the city of Seattle.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:46 AM   #35
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I think the easiest thing would be for the states to create an internet tax rate for their state... South Carolina charges 6% for out of state sellers so they do not have to keep track of various locations (heck, maybe they do not have local tax districts).... If they said 'all sales from mail order or internet orders to our state will be X% with not local tax'.... it would be very easy.... they would get a lot more money then they do now.
That might be an improvement (to eliminate dozens of different taxing scenarios per state) but there is still no enforcement mechanism to require out of state retailers with no "nexus" in your state to collect taxes. The courts have already ruled on this point -- states can not force out of state retailers to collect and remit sales taxes -- and basically said that *enforcement* of tax collection on interstate commerce would have to be enabled by an act of Congress.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:31 PM   #36
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That might be an improvement (to eliminate dozens of different taxing scenarios per state) but there is still no enforcement mechanism to require out of state retailers with no "nexus" in your state to collect taxes. The courts have already ruled on this point -- states can not force out of state retailers to collect and remit sales taxes -- and basically said that *enforcement* of tax collection on interstate commerce would have to be enabled by an act of Congress.

Oh yes, I know... and there are a lot of internet companies that would never have nexus... If you are small and do not go anyplace, you are safe as long as there is not any new federal laws passed..

The problem is that states have been aggressive in claiming nexus. The company I work for was audited by Florida. They claimed that if we had people show up to a convention, even if not presenting anything, just as an attendee, we would have nexus.

I had read that Amazon had rules concerning their employees travels just so they would not be in different states that could claim nexus...


I was just talking about a way for the states to get what they want and make it easier on the companies that will have to pay these taxes eventually... and you can bet that if Amazon has to collect and pay them, they will push to make everybody do the same...
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