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(Politico)   Online shopping: It's cheap, reliable, and there is a great selection of fantastic gifts out there. Except the cheap thing may not be true anymore as states start realizing this and are gonna start taxing your ass   (politico.com) divider line 118
    More: Sad, online retailers, state sales tax, artificial Christmas trees, gifts  
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3640 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Nov 2012 at 9:53 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-23 03:05:02 PM

buzzcut73: zamboni: SisterMaryElephant: Tuba City, AZ
13.725% sales tax rate

/how are smaller internets business owners going to track sales tax rates for over 6,000 jurisdictions they could possibly ship to?

I think they call them "databases"... but I could be wrong.

If they can ship to 6,000 jurisdictions, they can calculate taxes to 6,000 jurisdictions.

Yes, because putting an address an ZIP code and paying the postage to send it there is exactly the same as knowing the exact tax rate by neighborhood, any changes that have happened recently, the proper forms for each (city, county and state) and where to send those at the end of the year.
Moran.


Yeah, I guess you're right, FedEx has such problem determining price to deliver a product of x, y and z dimensions, w weight from door a to door b. Then they have to figure out who to send the bill also. It's too much. It must take them days to figure all that out.

So what you're saying is that a state that wants to collect sales taxes couldn't be bothered to update a national database, and those who want to sell products to the citizens of said state are too lazy to make a good faith effort to calculate the taxes as part of their business. I mean, they do want to be in the business... don't they?

OK. How about an internet sales tax. 50 states determine internet sales tax for their states. Suppliers doggedly determine what state they are sending their product to. After much deliberation, and looking at a laminated chart on the wall they determine what to charge. Then, after typing out an invoice, or perhaps hand writing it, they can inform the customer what the cost will be via telephone, or telegram.

Mind you, a computer could figure out the original idea in minutes, calculate the total, inform and/or bill the customer and electronically transfer the taxes received to the appropriate parties. They do have computers now. Probably can even put away the card catalogs and rolodexes. Things have changed a little since the fifties.

Moran indeed.
 
2012-11-23 03:26:37 PM
Databases are great when they work and are easy to use, but I'm guessing there's going to be a fee to access them, which could be very cost prohibitive to small business owners, not to mention the time it will take to keep it all straight in business records.

Seriously - I have grossed about $12k this year (I'm back in school or it would be higher), think I have time to track sales taxes for over 500 sales? And I'm just a tiny fish. Mind you I'm more apprehensive about this than waving a torch or pitchfork. As said above, I have no problem collecting the taxes (have to in NY anyway), it's just the sheer volume of it that scares me. Unless ebay/paypal integrate an additional system when you get the original payment, sellers like me are going to be absolutely screwed.

And if they do, they'll probably bump up their commissions another 5%.
 
2012-11-23 03:49:09 PM

zamboni: So what you're saying is that a state that wants to collect sales taxes couldn't be bothered to update a national database



How about we update the Constitution first so that such interstate impositions would be lawful?

To difficult, you say?

Then FARK it.
 
2012-11-23 04:20:35 PM

Amos Quito: zamboni: So what you're saying is that a state that wants to collect sales taxes couldn't be bothered to update a national database


How about we update the Constitution first so that such interstate impositions would be lawful?

To difficult, you say?

Then FARK it.


Oh, well if they don't want to, they don't have to participate. Strictly voluntary. Of course they also won't receive any sales tax money. (Just like if they don't want to raise their drinking age to 21 if they don't want to receive highway funds.)

OK. Fine. Let the states impose sales taxes on goods purchased in other states as some currently do, will continue to do, and and more will do. Hang on to your receipts. Pay your taxes to your states and localities at the end of the year, be accurate or be prepared to be penalized or do prison time. All very constitutional. Nobody's rights get trampled on. Everyone's happy!
 
2012-11-23 04:29:11 PM
zamboni: Yeah, I guess you're right, FedEx has such problem determining price to deliver a product of x, y and z dimensions, w weight from door a to door b. Then they have to figure out who to send the bill also. It's too much. It must take them days to figure all that out.

Fedex is not charging sales tax, so it's feasible for them to charge based on zip code. That doesn't work with sales tax. MORAN.

So what you're saying is that a state that wants to collect sales taxes couldn't be bothered to update a national database, and those who want to sell products to the citizens of said state are too lazy to make a good faith effort to calculate the taxes as part of their business. I mean, they do want to be in the business... don't they?

The closest you'll come to a national database for sales tax is a product called a "rate locator". It runs off a zip + 4. This would work for most states. I have no problem collecting/refunding MA residents (6.25%). Get's a bit tougher in Denver CO, where 2157 S Havana St and 2164 S Havana St have different tax rates.

Unless you're proposing someone compile a database of every address in the US with it's corresponding sales or use tax rate(s). Don't forget the different types of sales tax either (AL has a sales tax, seller's use tax, consumer's use tax, rental tax, auto tax, and farm machinery tax, among others.). And you'll be updating that monthly. MORAN

OK. How about an internet sales tax. 50 states determine internet sales tax for their states. Suppliers doggedly determine what state they are sending their product to. After much deliberation, and looking at a laminated chart on the wall they determine what to charge. Then, after typing out an invoice, or perhaps hand writing it, they can inform the customer what the cost will be via telephone, or telegram.

Good luck with that. The SSTP took over a year to define "candy", and their stated goal is simplification of sales tax.

Mind you, a computer could figure out the original idea in minutes, calculate the total, inform and/or bill the customer and electronically transfer the taxes received to the appropriate parties. They do have computers now. Probably can even put away the card catalogs and rolodexes. Things have changed a little since ...

You realize that some jurisdictions still send me sales tax forms in triplicate with carbon paper, don't you?

MORAN, indeed.
 
2012-11-23 04:47:16 PM

zamboni: buzzcut73: zamboni:
Yeah, I guess you're right, FedEx has such problem determining price to deliver a product of x, y and z dimensions, w weight from door a to door b. Then they have to figure out who to send the bill also. It's too much. It must take them days to figure all that out.

So what you're saying is that a state that wants to collect sales taxes couldn't be bothered to update a national database, and those who want to sell products to the citizens of said state are too lazy to make a good faith effort to calculate the taxes as part of their business. I mean, they do want to be in the business... don't they?

OK. How about an internet sales tax. 50 states determine internet sales tax for their states. Suppliers doggedly determine what state they are sending their product to. After much deliberation, and looking at a laminated chart on the wall they determine what to charge. Then, after typing out an invoice, or perhaps hand writing it, they can inform the customer what the cost will be via telephone, or telegram.

Mind you, a computer could figure out the original idea in minutes, calculate the total, inform and/or bill the customer and electronically transfer the taxes received to the appropriate parties. They do have computers now. Probably can even put away the card catalogs and rolodexes. Things have changed a little since ...


Your analogy sucks. FED EX is a Fortune 500 company with a proprietary database developed and maintained by a full time (likely 24/7/365 IT staff) that calculates shipping costs for packages. That is a hell of a lot different than keeping up with different sales tax rates in over 6000 jurisdictions. Amazon can probably handle it, but Bob's Books has neither the time or the capabilities to do so.

Once they're collected, there is the issue of paying them. Does County X in state Y require monthly, weekly, or quarterly filings? Do I need to register with that particular entity before I can submit payments? What forms are required? How about the $0.0025 add on for the township? Separate filing or does it go to the county, or does the state take care of that part?

I honestly don't know what the answer is on how to make it work, but it is a very, very difficult issue to expect small internet retailers to deal with, especially when they don't even have a presence in the place the goods went to.

Yes, computers can figure the tax rates, but local governments accepting your submissions without paperwork? You can't even renew your driver's license or plates online in some states because credit card processing is a mystery to the DMV. State tax departments aren't that much better.
 
2012-11-23 05:00:01 PM

SisterMaryElephant: zamboni: Yeah, I guess you're right, FedEx has such problem determining price to deliver a product of x, y and z dimensions, w weight from door a to door b. Then they have to figure out who to send the bill also. It's too much. It must take them days to figure all that out.

Fedex is not charging sales tax, so it's feasible for them to charge based on zip code. That doesn't work with sales tax. MORAN.

I said rates... shipping rates. I don't believe that I mentioned sales tax... WTF are you talking about?

So what you're saying is that a state that wants to collect sales taxes couldn't be bothered to update a national database, and those who want to sell products to the citizens of said state are too lazy to make a good faith effort to calculate the taxes as part of their business. I mean, they do want to be in the business... don't they?

The closest you'll come to a national database for sales tax is a product called a "rate locator". It runs off a zip + 4. This would work for most states. I have no problem collecting/refunding MA residents (6.25%). Get's a bit tougher in Denver CO, where 2157 S Havana St and 2164 S Havana St have different tax rates.

So you know this is true... yet you can't calculate the tax. Interesting.

Unless you're proposing someone compile a database of every address in the US with it's corresponding sales or use tax rate(s). Don't forget the different types of sales tax either (AL has a sales tax, seller's use tax, consumer's use tax, rental tax, auto tax, and farm machinery tax, among others.). And you'll be updating that monthly. MORAN

Multiple red herrings aside... I believe we were discussing sales taxes not "seller's use tax, consumer's use tax, rental tax, auto tax, and farm machinery tax, among others"

OK. How about an internet sales tax. 50 states determine internet sales tax for their states. Suppliers doggedly determine what state they are sending their product to. After much deliberation, and looking at a laminated chart on the wall they determine what to charge. Then, after typing out an invoice, or perhaps hand writing it, they can inform the customer what the cost will be via telephone, or telegram.

Good luck with that. The SSTP took over a year to define "candy", and their stated goal is simplification of sales tax.

Mind you, a computer could figure out th ...


Anyhoo. Most states who are currently proposing, if not already asking for sales taxes from their residents, only propose to collect the statewide base sales tax. This 6000 locations thing is yet another red herring. The tax form from the state that I moved from a few years ago only sought the states base sales tax... actually minus any sales tax charged in the original state. It never attempted to localize it. The sales tax in my city was several points higher. So, could a company that wanted to sell their goods online to each of the 50 states manage to calculate the sales tax for each of the 50 states... or would that also be an imposition?
 
2012-11-23 05:24:42 PM

zamboni:
Multiple red herrings aside... I believe we were discussing sales taxes not "seller's use tax, consumer's use tax, rental tax, auto tax, and farm machinery tax, among others"

OK. How about an internet sales tax. 50 states determine internet sales tax for their states. Suppliers doggedly determine what state they are sending their product to. After much deliberation, and looking at ...


A state only sales tax will be the only solution to this, and I do believe that's where it will end up, eventually. I know some local jurisdictions that would have their panties twisted and their lawyers courting if they're not getting theirs, so there are numerous hurdles to any state trying to enact this, never mind all of them. (As I stated earlier, it took a year for 23 states (i think) to agree on a definition for candy).

Industry groups with current exemptions would follow right behind them - they'd have to make sure they're not losing anything. That's why I mentioned farm machinery, autos, etc. These are not seperate taxes, just different rates. If you buy a tractor, you pay X%, if you buy a car you pay Y%, and if you buy a TV, you pay Z% (all in one jurisdiction). 

Licensing & exemptions would also have to be determined at the state level with sign-off from local jurisdictions in those home-rule states (those states that allow local jurisdictions to make their own rules).

Everyone's got something to lose, or win, and they're damn sure not gonna let someone else get a better deal. And they're not giving up what they've already got. Especially these little local jurisdictions - they like the power & control....
 
2012-11-23 05:44:11 PM

SisterMaryElephant: zamboni:
Multiple red herrings aside... I believe we were discussing sales taxes not "seller's use tax, consumer's use tax, rental tax, auto tax, and farm machinery tax, among others"

OK. How about an internet sales tax. 50 states determine internet sales tax for their states. Suppliers doggedly determine what state they are sending their product to. After much deliberation, and looking at ...

A state only sales tax will be the only solution to this, and I do believe that's where it will end up, eventually. I know some local jurisdictions that would have their panties twisted and their lawyers courting if they're not getting theirs, so there are numerous hurdles to any state trying to enact this, never mind all of them. (As I stated earlier, it took a year for 23 states (i think) to agree on a definition for candy).

Industry groups with current exemptions would follow right behind them - they'd have to make sure they're not losing anything. That's why I mentioned farm machinery, autos, etc. These are not seperate taxes, just different rates. If you buy a tractor, you pay X%, if you buy a car you pay Y%, and if you buy a TV, you pay Z% (all in one jurisdiction). 

Licensing & exemptions would also have to be determined at the state level with sign-off from local jurisdictions in those home-rule states (those states that allow local jurisdictions to make their own rules).

Everyone's got something to lose, or win, and they're damn sure not gonna let someone else get a better deal. And they're not giving up what they've already got. Especially these little local jurisdictions - they like the power & control....


Despite my recent postings, I'm actually pretty reasonable even though I like to stir the pot. I like the idea of internet sales. I like to buy things on the internet. I would propose something easy and reasonable, to encourage compliance (if it looks like it's going to happen anyway). Send it to your own state, add the state's base sales tax. Send it to another state, origin state gets base sales tax (if they require it), destination state gets something... (what... 2%... more, less? States would be happy with that... since I doubt they are getting even .1% now from voluntary compliance.) and the customer is done with the transaction... no forms to fill out later. I'd be fine with that.
 
2012-11-23 08:50:48 PM

zamboni: Amos Quito: zamboni: So what you're saying is that a state that wants to collect sales taxes couldn't be bothered to update a national database


How about we update the Constitution first so that such interstate impositions would be lawful?

To difficult, you say?

Then FARK it.

Oh, well if they don't want to, they don't have to participate. Strictly voluntary. Of course they also won't receive any sales tax money. (Just like if they don't want to raise their drinking age to 21 if they don't want to receive highway funds.)



You sound like a fan of creeping centralized authoritarianism.


zamboni: OK. Fine. Let the states impose sales taxes on goods purchased in other states as some currently do, will continue to do, and and more will do. Hang on to your receipts. Pay your taxes to your states and localities at the end of the year, be accurate or be prepared to be penalized or do prison time. All very constitutional. Nobody's rights get trampled on. Everyone's happy!



Yeah, keep it out of the Fed's hands.

You'll be glad you did,
 
2012-11-23 09:59:37 PM
Critics have argued that Amazon has become one of the top retailers in the country by undercutting them among consumers who knew they could go to the online retailer to avoid as much as 9 percent in sales tax.

So the only thing you could think of to do was b**** about it?
 
2012-11-23 11:34:49 PM

Amos Quito: zamboni: Amos Quito: zamboni: So what you're saying is that a state that wants to collect sales taxes couldn't be bothered to update a national database


How about we update the Constitution first so that such interstate impositions would be lawful?

To difficult, you say?

Then FARK it.

Oh, well if they don't want to, they don't have to participate. Strictly voluntary. Of course they also won't receive any sales tax money. (Just like if they don't want to raise their drinking age to 21 if they don't want to receive highway funds.)


You sound like a fan of creeping centralized authoritarianism.


Fan? No. Just an observer of reality. This is what the government does.


zamboni: OK. Fine. Let the states impose sales taxes on goods purchased in other states as some currently do, will continue to do, and and more will do. Hang on to your receipts. Pay your taxes to your states and localities at the end of the year, be accurate or be prepared to be penalized or do prison time. All very constitutional. Nobody's rights get trampled on. Everyone's happy!


Yeah, keep it out of the Fed's hands.

You'll be glad you did,


I'd like to. Is it realistic?
 
2012-11-23 11:51:50 PM

buzzcut73: zamboni: buzzcut73: zamboni:
Yeah, I guess you're right, FedEx has such problem determining price to deliver a product of x, y and z dimensions, w weight from door a to door b. Then they have to figure out who to send the bill also. It's too much. It must take them days to figure all that out.

So what you're saying is that a state that wants to collect sales taxes couldn't be bothered to update a national database, and those who want to sell products to the citizens of said state are too lazy to make a good faith effort to calculate the taxes as part of their business. I mean, they do want to be in the business... don't they?

OK. How about an internet sales tax. 50 states determine internet sales tax for their states. Suppliers doggedly determine what state they are sending their product to. After much deliberation, and looking at a laminated chart on the wall they determine what to charge. Then, after typing out an invoice, or perhaps hand writing it, they can inform the customer what the cost will be via telephone, or telegram.

Mind you, a computer could figure out the original idea in minutes, calculate the total, inform and/or bill the customer and electronically transfer the taxes received to the appropriate parties. They do have computers now. Probably can even put away the card catalogs and rolodexes. Things have changed a little since ...

Your analogy sucks. FED EX is a Fortune 500 company with a proprietary database developed and maintained by a full time (likely 24/7/365 IT staff) that calculates shipping costs for packages. That is a hell of a lot different than keeping up with different sales tax rates in over 6000 jurisdictions. Amazon can probably handle it, but Bob's Books has neither the time or the capabilities to do so.

So a government that wants to collect taxes can't be bothered to provide database information from those they want to collect taxes from. Fine. They get no taxes. If they provide the information, then you collect the taxes.

If "Bob's Books has neither the time or the capabilities to do so" then they don't need to be selling items on the intertubes... or anywhere. What if I tell the town that I have a physical presence in that wants me to pass along sales tax to them that I have neither the time or the capabilities to do so, what would be their response? Simple innit?

Once they're collected, there is the issue of paying them. Does County X in state Y require monthly, weekly, or quarterly filings? Do I need to register with that particular entity before I can submit payments? What forms are r ...


Not really their problem... is it? Do you want to sell stuff to their residents or not? If not, tell them, not me.
 
2012-11-23 11:52:25 PM
ladyfortuna: Speaking from the small retailer side of things, I don't have a problem with this except that they want US to collect tax, track the tax rates for every single municipality we ship to, and I guess file some kind of tax form with each of those. I sell 50-100 items a month and it would be a huge pain in the ass. I can't even imagine being one of the higher volume sellers and having to do that.

Depending on how involved it was, I'd probably lose at least two days a month to just doing the paperwork. This is assuming ebay didn't implement some tool to help us, because frankly I'd be shocked if they did. They won't even store sales data past 90 days.
 

PayPal doesn't report your PayPal transactions to the IRS unless you meet certain sales volume criteria. Since their rules are based on the IRS regs., I'm guessing that you can follow the same guidelines that PayPal follows in deciding whether to withhold sales taxes on transactions. If you aren't going to report your transactions, it's unlikely you'd be required to withhold sales taxes.
 
2012-11-24 12:01:44 AM
So, just shop at one of the 16 billion other websites that doesn't charge state tax, then? Ok. No problem. I mean, really, WTF does China care if Texas gets its tax money? Just buy direct. Skip the middlemen.
 
2012-11-24 12:19:49 AM

debug: The people biatching about paying sales tax on online purchases are the same folks that will complain about how schools don't get enough funding or the museum down town is closing due to lack of funding or program blah-blah-blah is ending due to lack of funding.

Pay up or shut up.


These are the same people who would rather pay 10% more for the product, spend more money driving to the store, and waste more time out of their lives if it means paying eight percent less in sales tax.

They hate taxes because they are taxes. That's why they hate taxes. And they're idiots.
 
2012-11-24 03:41:23 PM

untaken_name: So, just shop at one of the 16 billion other websites that doesn't charge state tax, then? Ok. No problem. I mean, really, WTF does China care if Texas gets its tax money? Just buy direct. Skip the middlemen.


I bought 6 USB to micro USB cables from China. I think I paid 5 cents each. Shipping was only 2 dollars for 10 day delivery.
 
2012-11-25 12:20:14 AM

zamboni: Amos Quito: zamboni: Amos Quito: zamboni: So what you're saying is that a state that wants to collect sales taxes couldn't be bothered to update a national database


How about we update the Constitution first so that such interstate impositions would be lawful?

To difficult, you say?

Then FARK it.

Oh, well if they don't want to, they don't have to participate. Strictly voluntary. Of course they also won't receive any sales tax money. (Just like if they don't want to raise their drinking age to 21 if they don't want to receive highway funds.)


You sound like a fan of creeping centralized authoritarianism.

Fan? No. Just an observer of reality. This is what the government does.



Of course creeping centralized authoritarianism is what government naturally "does", but this is not in the best interests of the People, which is why the FF's went to great lengths to prevent such, and why it must be stopped.


zamboni: zamboni: OK. Fine. Let the states impose sales taxes on goods purchased in other states as some currently do, will continue to do, and and more will do. Hang on to your receipts. Pay your taxes to your states and localities at the end of the year, be accurate or be prepared to be penalized or do prison time. All very constitutional. Nobody's rights get trampled on. Everyone's happy!


Yeah, keep it out of the Fed's hands.

You'll be glad you did,


I'd like to. Is it realistic?



Perhaps so, perhaps not.

But given the consequences of surrendering to a centralized authoritarian regime, I think it's worth the effort.

You?
 
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