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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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3656 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Nov 2012 at 9:53 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-23 09:55:13 AM  
If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.
 
2012-11-23 09:57:16 AM  
I'm in Texas so i'm already paying taxes on Amazon. But it begs the question, exactly where are we doing business technically?
 
2012-11-23 09:57:44 AM  
Taxes aren't going to make me want to suddenly get dressed, get in the car, drive through some traffic lights, hunt for a parking spot, shoulder my way into a store through the cold air, and then hope that they have it in stock, and in a location that makes sense.

Internet wins
 
2012-11-23 09:59:42 AM  
But is my ass really touching the taxes?
 
2012-11-23 10:00:08 AM  

cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.


49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....

/she knows what I mean
 
2012-11-23 10:01:01 AM  

Girion47: Taxes aren't going to make me want to suddenly get dressed, get in the car, drive through some traffic lights, hunt for a parking spot, shoulder my way into a store through the cold air, and then hope that they have it in stock, and in a location that makes sense.

Internet wins


I predict a scheme to tax you for that convenience on top of sales tax. I'm serious.
 
2012-11-23 10:01:57 AM  
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.
 
2012-11-23 10:02:05 AM  
Even if my state starts applying the same 6% sales tax to my Amazon purchases that I get at the mall, online is STILL better because the base price is so much lower, meaning 6% of it is lower too. Throw in the cost of gas and the fact that Prime means free shipping, and I fail to see the downside.
 
2012-11-23 10:02:20 AM  
Oh goody, another tax thread on Fark.

These always bring out the idiots in masses
 
2012-11-23 10:03:11 AM  
Sales Tax? What is that? Is that that thing that Massholes complain about as they waste gas to avoid the $0.10 that they'd pay to the Commonwealth?

/Someday I'm going to point out that 6.25% isn't that bad compared to some of the other states in the US.
//Hell, my Ohio sales tax was higher thanks to what the counties add on.
 
2012-11-23 10:03:18 AM  

NannyStatePark: I'm in Texas so i'm already paying taxes on Amazon. But it begs the question, exactly where are we doing business technically?



I just tried to get around Lowe's sales tax online by buying form a store in Concord NH (no sales tax) but they charged me for sales tax according to my delivery address. NY! $11 diff on $150 purchase. 

/so, same as if I went to the local store and picked it up.
 
2012-11-23 10:05:09 AM  

Just another Heartland Weirdass: Girion47: Taxes aren't going to make me want to suddenly get dressed, get in the car, drive through some traffic lights, hunt for a parking spot, shoulder my way into a store through the cold air, and then hope that they have it in stock, and in a location that makes sense.

Internet wins

I predict a scheme to tax you for that convenience on top of sales tax. I'm serious.


I remember one year I was renewing my car's registration and I was about to write the check when I noticed that $1 of the total was a check-cashing fee. Then I noticed you could pay it online. I got online and the total was the same. I looked at the breakdown- a $1 Internet convenience fee instead. Oh well, I saved the cost of the stamp. They will get their money somehow.
 
2012-11-23 10:05:14 AM  
Not a problem. The site I buy from has been paying the taxes for the states people live in when they buy a product, since before the U.S. started slapping tax regulations on the internet. Any good business would get their heads out of their asses and plan ahead of time.
 
2012-11-23 10:05:26 AM  

Just another Heartland Weirdass: Girion47: Taxes aren't going to make me want to suddenly get dressed, get in the car, drive through some traffic lights, hunt for a parking spot, shoulder my way into a store through the cold air, and then hope that they have it in stock, and in a location that makes sense.

Internet wins

I predict a scheme to tax you for that convenience on top of sales tax. I'm serious.


Tax? Are you kidding? It's the companies that will wise up and start with the convenience charge, Think of all the profit they are missing!

NannyStatePark: cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.

49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....

/she knows what I mean


If they are on public assistance then how many of them are buying big ticket items over the computer that they would have to worry about taxes?
 
2012-11-23 10:05:51 AM  
The state needs more, damn it.
 
2012-11-23 10:06:11 AM  
Oh goody, another tax thread on Fark.

These always bring out the idiots in masses

/you
 
2012-11-23 10:07:37 AM  

Aar1012: Sales Tax? What is that? Is that that thing that Massholes complain about as they waste gas to avoid the $0.10 that they'd pay to the Commonwealth?

/Someday I'm going to point out that 6.25% isn't that bad compared to some of the other states in the US.
//Hell, my Ohio sales tax was higher thanks to what the counties add on.


NH? You don't specify what state in your profile so I'm guessing, unless you mean you have 6.25.

If it is NH, I have to say I wasn't really impressed with public facilities in that state; NY might have higher taxes but we have fairly decent public services too in most areas (excepting of course the one I live in darn it all).
 
2012-11-23 10:08:23 AM  
They have to be kidding me. My state requires that local sales tax be collected during an on-line purchase if the company has any facilities in the state. If they don't the tax doesn't need to be collected, but the consumer is required to remit the sales tax to the state (no one does this). How long has it been this way? Oh for about 20 years now. Almost all stated do this.
 
2012-11-23 10:11:10 AM  
NannyStatePark: I'm in Texas so i'm already paying taxes on Amazon. But it begs the question, exactly where are we doing business technically?

China.
 
2012-11-23 10:11:17 AM  
The thing that makes online shopping so cheap is I can instantly compare it to any number of other places, and get the best price. Not because I'm saving 7-8% on sales tax.
 
2012-11-23 10:11:59 AM  
I find it amazing that the internet is so gung-ho about taxing the rich and hating people who tax evade etc.. But then it's something terrible that states are trying to tax online sales.
 
2012-11-23 10:12:33 AM  

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.


I suspect that it will be offered as a feature for merchant accounts (via the credit card processor, not eBay itself). After all, if the billing info goes through there already it's not much more effort to keep a running tally of individual municipalities and submit a payment every month or quarter for each one.
 
2012-11-23 10:12:45 AM  

ladyfortuna: Aar1012: Sales Tax? What is that? Is that that thing that Massholes complain about as they waste gas to avoid the $0.10 that they'd pay to the Commonwealth?

/Someday I'm going to point out that 6.25% isn't that bad compared to some of the other states in the US.
//Hell, my Ohio sales tax was higher thanks to what the counties add on.

NH? You don't specify what state in your profile so I'm guessing, unless you mean you have 6.25.

If it is NH, I have to say I wasn't really impressed with public facilities in that state; NY might have higher taxes but we have fairly decent public services too in most areas (excepting of course the one I live in darn it all).


It is New Hampshire. I've actually been more impressed with our services compared to Mass. Our construction seems shorter and to hold up better.

The tax dodgers just piss me off...especially since they do get tax free of food and a certain amount of clothes.
 
2012-11-23 10:13:07 AM  
Maybe taxes wouldn't be such a horrid thing if we were all paid a living wage and those wages actually went up, allowing everybody to buy more stuff. Seems we're just splitting hairs when it comes to sales tax when the real issue is that stores are paying their employees less yet expecting those same employees to spend more each and every year.
 
2012-11-23 10:13:30 AM  
FTFA: "Scott Mason, vice president of government affairs for Lowe's, the home improvement chain, "Lowes.com collects sales tax from shoppers in every state that has a sales tax and where the company operates stores and warehouses. "It's absolutely a position of disadvantage.""

So does Amazon, asshole, and they always have.

I shop at Amazon for the price, selection and convenience, irrespective of having to pay sales tax. When I want to buy two by fours, I go to Homer. Lowes is too expensive... ;^)
 
2012-11-23 10:14:11 AM  
I don't have a big problem with this, but let the states iron it out.

If I go to my local brick and mortar I don't have to save my receipts, then figure my sales tax at the end of the year. I shouldn't have to with interweb purchases.

Look, you guys figure it out. Calculate the taxes, who they should go to, then give me a number. I'll decide if I want to go with that.

Maybe I'm weird, but I don't shop online because I'll save on sales tax. I do it because I can find a better price than I can locally, better selection than I can locally, and they send it to my door, often free of shipping charges.

I save more than the, in my case 7%, sales tax. I get what I want, and can get it delivered to my office.

You have computers... hell, you sell them... use 'em, dammit.
 
2012-11-23 10:14:17 AM  

Wade_Wilson: Even if my state starts applying the same 6% sales tax to my Amazon purchases that I get at the mall, online is STILL better because the base price is so much lower, meaning 6% of it is lower too. Throw in the cost of gas and the fact that Prime means free shipping, and I fail to see the downside.


This.

This just brings in more money for the state. It doesn't 'level the playing field' for brick and mortar stores. A cheaper item online, even with sales tax is still cheaper.

Prime is the best money I have EVAR spent.
 
2012-11-23 10:14:19 AM  
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.
 
2012-11-23 10:14:32 AM  
Oh NOes! I'll never buy from Amazon again if it means I hafta pay TAXES!!!1!
 
2012-11-23 10:16:43 AM  

NannyStatePark: cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.

49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....

/she knows what I mean


49% of Americans are on public assistance? WTF? Citation Needed.

Oh, I'm sure that's your FOX News/AM Talk Radio talking point, with some incredibly vague, or incredibly loose definition of what counts as "public assistance".

It's worded to make it sound like half of America is on welfare and living on the dole, just leeching off the good hardworking Real Americans, but in reality it's more like some people might get some tiny perk that's a drop in the bucket compared to their actual wages and salaries, you know, things they pay for in taxes on their jobs?

Seriously, I'd like to see the math on this "49% of Americans are on public assistance" claim, because I'm calling Bullshiat on this.  Sounds distorted or misleading.
 
2012-11-23 10:18:15 AM  
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?
 
2012-11-23 10:18:41 AM  
The best part is the old brick and mortar stores REALLY believe that the sales tax is why I shop online. No, it's because I needed a flash drive the other day, and the local store had 16 GB stick for $40. Amazon had the same thing for $10. I'd have paid $15 at the local store to have it immediately, but not a 400% markup.
 
2012-11-23 10:19:02 AM  

NannyStatePark: I'm in Texas so i'm already paying taxes on Amazon. But it begs the question, exactly where are we doing business technically?


The land of the free, you gullible chumps.
 
2012-11-23 10:19:23 AM  
Of course, if you buy things on the Internet and pay no sales taxes, technically you're liable for use taxes. But that's impossible for states to enforce. I think it's possible, and Constitutional, for the federal government to address the old Supreme Court cases (e.g. Quill) with federal legislation to protect state tax bases (effectively providing that every vendor has nexus in every state), but there is currently a substantial element in Congress who think tax avoidance is a god-given American right.
 
2012-11-23 10:21:01 AM  
can we just move to a national sales tax and be done with it?
 
2012-11-23 10:21:26 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.


I normally find the folks who biatch about taxes, particularly ones that give megacorp advantages over smaller brick and mortar businesses are more the ones who are left looking all confused when suddenly all the stores in their town are shuttered, their property taxes are jacked up to replace lost revenue and suddenly an entire industry of jobs is gone from their town for good. Then as they tend to be older they decide to retire and go live in a college town that still has a viable main street and focus their biatching on how the town would be so much better without all the college students.
 
2012-11-23 10:21:48 AM  

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.
 
2012-11-23 10:22:49 AM  
I live in New Hampshire so of course I'm getting a kick. I've lived on the Mass, Maine and now VT state lines so I've seen the desire people have to avoid a little tax all over. I've often had friends in other states ask me to pick things up for them and ship them or bring them to them when I visit so they can avoid taxes. I wonder at what point it would become profitable to set up a site like shippingfirendinNH.com where you hire a middle man to freight you all your holiday stuff to avoid the taxes.
 
2012-11-23 10:24:28 AM  
Oh goody, another tax thread on Fark.

These always bring out the idiots in masses
 
2012-11-23 10:26:04 AM  
amazon is opening up shippIng depots all over the country, to provide next day shipping for less and to increase Prime memberships. Get used to taxes.
 
2012-11-23 10:27:26 AM  
If only there was a virtual harbour that virtual boxes of tea could be virtually thrown into.
 
2012-11-23 10:27:46 AM  

SuperT: can we just move to a national sales tax and be done with it?


No. Because I enjoy paying 0% state income taxes, and the only national sales tax plan I know of is the Fair Tax, which is exceptionally regressive.

I don't mind paying my fair share of sales tax. It's not like taxes are a form of theft. Taxes are the dues we pay to live in a decent society.
 
2012-11-23 10:28:37 AM  

Just another Heartland Weirdass: Girion47: Taxes aren't going to make me want to suddenly get dressed, get in the car, drive through some traffic lights, hunt for a parking spot, shoulder my way into a store through the cold air, and then hope that they have it in stock, and in a location that makes sense.

Internet wins

I predict a scheme to tax you for that convenience on top of sales tax. I'm serious.


LOL. Next thing you'll predict is a convenience fee for sports and concert tickets.
 
2012-11-23 10:29:08 AM  
If I buy online, I have to pay shipping and handling, plus I have to wait a few days or maybe a week or two to get it. And I don't get to see it before I spend my money. Serious disadvantages to THIS customer! On the other hand, I don't get the "We're sold out or we don't carry that size/model, and we don't know when the next shipment will come in. That's up to the Warehouse that knows you really don't want to buy that after all." Bricks-and-morter vs. internet is not an "even playing field", but the advantages are not all on one side, and a lot of the lumps in the field were created by the clowns who are complaining that the internet gives an unfair advantage.

I just had a thought -- if the internet is so much better (profitable), why don't retailers like Lowes give more than lip service to internet sales?
 
2012-11-23 10:31:25 AM  
I kinda understand why states are doing this, and sorry Wal Mart and Target, I'll still buy from Amazon sales tax or not because I really hate going to your stores.

This really sucks for the small online merchant though. Having to track ever-changing state, county, township and municipality (and even sometimes district level) sales taxes would be way more than anything but the big boys could handle.
 
2012-11-23 10:33:33 AM  
What needs to happen is something along the lines of a central broker that small and large retailers alike can use to manage sales and use taxes. I'm not against states wanting to get their fair share, but when almost every state has a sales tax, and you have states like Tennessee and Ohio where local counties, cities, and towns can add their own tax on top of that, I can definitely understand how it can get overwhelming to small and medium sized businesses. I imagine a somewhat simple program could be developed (if it doesn't already exist) to make this possible. The more difficult part of it is the distribution aspect for them.
 
2012-11-23 10:34:59 AM  

Silverstaff: NannyStatePark: cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.

49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....

/she knows what I mean

49% of Americans are on public assistance? WTF? Citation Needed.

Oh, I'm sure that's your FOX News/AM Talk Radio talking point, with some incredibly vague, or incredibly loose definition of what counts as "public assistance".

It's worded to make it sound like half of America is on welfare and living on the dole, just leeching off the good hardworking Real Americans, but in reality it's more like some people might get some tiny perk that's a drop in the bucket compared to their actual wages and salaries, you know, things they pay for in taxes on their jobs?

Seriously, I'd like to see the math on this "49% of Americans are on public assistance" claim, because I'm calling Bullshiat on this.  Sounds distorted or misleading.


Here's an article about it by Mercatus, they're pretty reliable for good content.

Link

Looks to me like if you cut SS and Medicare you'd save 31% of that. Old people, not poor people, are the ones that all these old people are voting against.
 
2012-11-23 10:36:21 AM  

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.
 
2012-11-23 10:36:42 AM  
This happens in states that have distribution centers. There is one currently in the works in Richmond, VA so the whole state has to pay taxes since they are buying stuff from another vendor in the state. Other states will follow suit, although Tennessee has already requested I pay taxes on some stuff I had delivered there...
 
2012-11-23 10:38:12 AM  

slackux: hop online. No, it's because I needed a flash drive the other day, and the local store had 16 GB stick for $40. Amazon had the same thing for $10. I'd have paid $15 at the local store to have it immediately, but not a 400% markup.


Right. If something costs $50 + 5% sales tax in the store but costs $30 on Amazon, then I'm going to buy it off of Amazon. The sales tax doesn't matter when the base price is much less. $30 + 5% sales tax is still cheaper than $50.
 
2012-11-23 10:38:44 AM  

Super Chronic: Of course, if you buy things on the Internet and pay no sales taxes, technically you're liable for use taxes. But that's impossible for states to enforce. I think it's possible, and Constitutional, for the federal government to address the old Supreme Court cases (e.g. Quill) with federal legislation to protect state tax bases (effectively providing that every vendor has nexus in every state), but there is currently a substantial element in Congress who think tax avoidance is a god-given American right.


Just as long as the implementation for this clusterfark is viable. I make several sales a week over the 'net, to different physical locations every time. If I've got to suddenly keep track of individual tax rates for thousands of different municipalities, all of which are subject to change without notice, and then I've got to cut a check at the end of the year to each one of those individual entities.... well... fark that. Hell, this doesn't even address the issue of whether or not a sales tax license would be required for small online retailers like me. I sure hope not, because there's no farking way I'm going to spend $25 a year to charge $1.27 in sales tax in a jurisdiction I've never even heard of in the middle of nowhere, ad infinitum for every single tax jurisdiction in the US...

Being that this has a large potential to unintentionally shut... down... every small internet based retailer overnight, I sure hope that the implementation issue is addressed rationally with us in mind :P
 
2012-11-23 10:41:19 AM  

Silverstaff: NannyStatePark: cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.

49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....

/she knows what I mean

49% of Americans are on public assistance? WTF? Citation Needed.

Oh, I'm sure that's your FOX News/AM Talk Radio talking point, with some incredibly vague, or incredibly loose definition of what counts as "public assistance".


Why is it that anytime someone that may give a conservative viewpoint, some liberal moron jumps on this 'Fox Neusss' bullsh*t' talking point?
Even a loose definition of public assistance; SS, medicare, veteran benefits, unemployment, etc, is still public assistance. Many people have payed into those systems that they are now drawing into. It's problematic when they completely rely on some of these programs long term, for what was supposed to be a sort term solution.
The 49% number is probably close, if not spot on, to how many people receive some sort Government assistance. 

For the record; online retail sales should be taxed. States are hurting for revenue, and a large chunk of money can be collected from lost sales tax. 

/Don't watch Fox News.
//Glen Beck is certifiably insane.
 
2012-11-23 10:41:38 AM  

Just another Heartland Weirdass: I predict a scheme to tax you for that convenience on top of sales tax. I'm serious.


New York already figured that out. They require online retailers to charge sales tax, and they ALSO charge you internet sales tax on your income tax form. You can either look up the amount of tax in a table based on your income or you can fill in your own number based on how much you bought online that was not taxed (which was nothing I bought online -- including school supplies that would have gone untaxed if I bought them in person), but they explicitly warn you not to enter "$0" for the amount of extra internet tax you owe.
 
2012-11-23 10:44:22 AM  

NannyStatePark: 49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....

/she knows what I mean


So 49% of Americans are dependent on tax money to survive? I'm not too sure I'm seeing the problem here.

And yes I know it is a regressive tax, but it is one that brick and mortar stores already pay. I'm not seeing why online competitors who employee less people should be getting tax breaks for selling their products online.
 
2012-11-23 10:45:42 AM  
If it moves, tax it.
If it keeps moving, regulate it.
If it stops moving, subsidize it.
~ Ronaldus Maximus
 
2012-11-23 10:45:43 AM  

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.


Yeah, but you can't just buy the one database, because tomorrow, rates go up/down in 267 of those jurisdictions. Then, next month, another 1,000 change (quarter/year end). February 1st, more will change.

Some states require licensing. And don't even get started with CO, AL, and LA, whose (local) rates may change depending on what side of the street you're on, and also may require licensing or registration.

And auditors are always a joy to work with.

Don't get me wrong - I specialize in SALT so it would be great for my business. Not so great for the smaller of small business owners.
 
2012-11-23 10:46:37 AM  

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?


Tuba City? Please let this be real.

*the googles*

YAY!!!!
 
2012-11-23 10:46:39 AM  
I'd be ok with them making sales levy the state tax, and let the county and city sales taxes fend for themselves.

But as other small business people have said, the 50-100 sales a month they do would be a horrible burden to keep track of down to the county level. Big sites could do it easy, tell the municipalities if you want your sales tax you need to fill out web form x from the secretary of treasurer or some shiat, but can you imagine being some SBO who suddenly had 'the new internet meme hot thing' and the shiat they have to go through to sell to just the US?

Computers could make it easier, but politicians are involved so it won't be.
 
2012-11-23 10:46:47 AM  
Wait, I thought you guys liked taxes....
 
2012-11-23 10:47:32 AM  

Wade_Wilson: Even if my state starts applying the same 6% sales tax to my Amazon purchases that I get at the mall, online is STILL better because the base price is so much lower, meaning 6% of it is lower too. Throw in the cost of gas and the fact that Prime means free shipping, and I fail to see the downside.


There's probably some wiggle room in prices as well. I bet once the taxes are everywhere, the price will fall on stuff to still be cheaper to order online.

Not having to leave my desk to get essentials or oddball things sure is appealing though. Some stuff I buy online just isn't available anywhere in the state. I'd have to drive to local large city with overseas importer outlets to find things.

When I hear the first rumors of my state doing the "we want our money" dance, I'll be buying up my entire wish-list lickity split.
 
2012-11-23 10:47:38 AM  
If you do business with Amazon and the item is shipped from another state, how can your state argue that the transaction was performed in their state?

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.


If only there was some kind of electronic system that could hold database information, this could be possible.
 
2012-11-23 10:49:02 AM  
Taxes should be levied to shape behaviour, not as a simple money grab.


/off to buy a pack of smokes
 
2012-11-23 10:50:15 AM  

NannyStatePark: I'm in Texas so i'm already paying taxes on Amazon. But it begs the question, exactly where are we doing business technically?


Simple, point of delivery.
 
2012-11-23 10:52:17 AM  
Most Canuckistan provinces have adopted "HST" ( harmonized sales tax) - a single dong up the ass with each purchase (instead of two).
The butthurt still stings like hell - but it feels you've only been violated once instead of twice.
 
2012-11-23 10:56:01 AM  

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 guess they'll just have to pay the fines then, won't they?
 
2012-11-23 10:56:19 AM  

NannyStatePark: cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.
49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....
/she knows what I mean


I read that four times, and that statement doesn't even make any sense. Good thing I have you on ignore.
 
2012-11-23 10:57:28 AM  
What have the Romans ever done for us?
 
2012-11-23 10:58:22 AM  
I'm kind of surprised that we've gone this long with tax free internet shopping. That's a lot of money left on the table.

Last night I ordered a new TV and home theater system from Best buy online. Free shipping, no sales tax, and they unpack it, set it up, and recycle the old TV. I just basically have to do the wiring. Not bad, plus the selection online is better than in-store.
 
2012-11-23 10:59:18 AM  

SuperT: can we just move to a national sales tax and be done with it?



No.
 
2012-11-23 11:02:23 AM  

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.


Sales taxes are an incredible pain in the ass to deal with, and they are not progressive. But politicians absolutely love them because they can fiddle with them to give specific, visible breaks when they are pandering to target groups.
 
2012-11-23 11:05:36 AM  

Silverstaff: NannyStatePark: cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.

49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....

/she knows what I mean

49% of Americans are on public assistance? WTF? Citation Needed.

Oh, I'm sure that's your FOX News/AM Talk Radio talking point, with some incredibly vague, or incredibly loose definition of what counts as "public assistance".

It's worded to make it sound like half of America is on welfare and living on the dole, just leeching off the good hardworking Real Americans, but in reality it's more like some people might get some tiny perk that's a drop in the bucket compared to their actual wages and salaries, you know, things they pay for in taxes on their jobs?

Seriously, I'd like to see the math on this "49% of Americans are on public assistance" claim, because I'm calling Bullshiat on this.  Sounds distorted or misleading.


It's wharrrgarble, of course.

Public benefits public assistance.
The real number is closer to 4%.
 
2012-11-23 11:06:37 AM  

Krieghund: Public benefits public assistance.


There was supposed to be a "does not equal" in there.
 
2012-11-23 11:08:07 AM  
I don't understand the opposition to paying state sales taxes when shopping online. If I buy something in a brick and mortar store, I pay state sales taxes, so why not when buying something online?
 
Slu
2012-11-23 11:09:43 AM  

NannyStatePark: I'm in Texas so i'm already paying taxes on Amazon. But it begs the question, exactly where are we doing business technically?


http://begthequestion.info/
 
2012-11-23 11:12:38 AM  

cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.


This. With the push just beginning (TN has done it) to tax consumption rather than income--though realistically, in most states it's both--it would be foolish to ignore online sales. And Amazon's stand against sales tax? Annoying. I can't participate in their affiliate program because my state charges sales tax. I think this was supposed to make me angry at my state, and pressure them into dropping the tax.
 
2012-11-23 11:16:44 AM  
I think subby is trolling a bit with the headline. I have zero problem with paying a sales tax online. It is in no way a deterrent to online shopping.

If you saw the festering human garbage I have to deal with in the parking lots and stores here in Florida to accomplish "shopping", you'd truly understand the appeal of the online marketplace.

I have a few very nice local curiosity/antique/gift shops near my house where I shop for about 30-40% of my purchases, the rest of my monies go to Amazon.com.
 
2012-11-23 11:20:30 AM  

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.


Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I think a person has to be nuts to want to sell things online. Here in the U.S., it's not just the Federal government and the 50 state governments. Oh, no. Every county and town has its own set of laws, and, say, selling pesticide or dildos to someone in most of Illinois might be okay, selling the dildo to Bumfuzzle, mid-state Illinois could be completely illegal.

Not that those things are all that enforceable without every town becoming Big Brother. I know there's been a few times I've bought things online (not dildos or anything similar) and found out later that I wasn't supposed to be able to have it shipped to me.
 
2012-11-23 11:30:09 AM  

Girion47: Taxes aren't going to make me want to suddenly get dressed, get in the car, drive through some traffic lights, hunt for a parking spot, shoulder my way into a store through the cold air, and then hope that they have it in stock, and in a location that makes sense.

Internet wins


And I can get many things on the Net that I cannot find in stores.
 
2012-11-23 11:34:20 AM  

Cloudchaser Sakonige the Red Wolf: I don't understand the opposition to paying state sales taxes when shopping online. If I buy something in a brick and mortar store, I pay state sales taxes, so why not when buying something online?



It has something to do with the Several States and their borders.

If the guy/company ships to you from within your State, your State has the power to force the shipper to collect sales tax on their behalf.

If from out-of-State, then no. In that case (technically) YOU are supposed to calculate that sales tax yourself, and send the State a check (but who does this?)

But I find it silly that the brick-and-mortars are complaining that it is the inequity in sales taxes that are killing them.

Hello, wake up and smell the OVERHEAD.
 
2012-11-23 11:34:36 AM  

Guntram Shatterhand: Maybe taxes wouldn't be such a horrid thing if we were all paid a living wage and those wages actually went up, allowing everybody to buy more stuff. Seems we're just splitting hairs when it comes to sales tax when the real issue is that stores are paying their employees less yet expecting those same employees to spend more each and every year.


The problem is that everything you buy with your shiny new "living wage" will be more expensive because labor is a huge factor in the price of a product.
 
2012-11-23 11:35:12 AM  

zamboni: I don't have a big problem with this, but let the states iron it out.

If I go to my local brick and mortar I don't have to save my receipts, then figure my sales tax at the end of the year. I shouldn't have to with interweb purchases.

Look, you guys figure it out. Calculate the taxes, who they should go to, then give me a number. I'll decide if I want to go with that.

Maybe I'm weird, but I don't shop online because I'll save on sales tax. I do it because I can find a better price than I can locally, better selection than I can locally, and they send it to my door, often free of shipping charges.

I save more than the, in my case 7%, sales tax. I get what I want, and can get it delivered to my office.

You have computers... hell, you sell them... use 'em, dammit.


I even bought my computers on line!
 
2012-11-23 11:41:29 AM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Silverstaff: NannyStatePark: cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.

49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....

/she knows what I mean

49% of Americans are on public assistance? WTF? Citation Needed.

Oh, I'm sure that's your FOX News/AM Talk Radio talking point, with some incredibly vague, or incredibly loose definition of what counts as "public assistance".

Why is it that anytime someone that may give a conservative viewpoint, some liberal moron jumps on this 'Fox Neusss' bullsh*t' talking point?
Even a loose definition of public assistance; SS, medicare, veteran benefits, unemployment, etc, is still public assistance. Many people have payed into those systems that they are now drawing into. It's problematic when they completely rely on some of these programs long term, for what was supposed to be a sort term solution.
The 49% number is probably close, if not spot on, to how many people receive some sort Government assistance. 

For the record; online retail sales should be taxed. States are hurting for revenue, and a large chunk of money can be collected from lost sales tax. 

/Don't watch Fox News.
//Glen Beck is certifiably insane.


No, the fox news thing isn't a talking point. A majority of the people I talk to who say something stupid about politics are conservative; a VAST majority of those, along the conversation, mention Fox News or one of their personalities. Looks like you're not in that, but it's hard to take you seriously when the only posted citation revealed that SOMEONE in 49% of households get it. It makes us think you didn't find that fact yourself, since you're obviously smart enough to have seen the difference, but just heard it.

//Not really an insult- what do I know that I researched myself? Very little.
 
2012-11-23 11:44:27 AM  
It's cute how there are people who think that local merchants are losing sales to online retailers because of taxes. Obviously the ability to search for an item quickly, compare items easily, avoid checkout lines and parking lots and visit multiple retailers in minutes would lose its appeal if I had to pay the same tax rate I'd have to pay at a local retailer.
 
2012-11-23 11:47:00 AM  

NannyStatePark: I'm in Texas so i'm already paying taxes on Amazon. But it begs the question, exactly where are we doing business technically?


Read the seller's TOS. It will specify the State whose laws govern your transactions.

Which State gets to collect taxes is a separate question: where are you using the purchases? "Sales" tax is actually a "use" tax owed by the consumer; sellers are just required to collect and forward it to the State.
 
2012-11-23 11:48:50 AM  

Gwyrddu: NannyStatePark: 49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....

/she knows what I mean

So 49% of Americans are dependent on tax money to survive? I'm not too sure I'm seeing the problem here.

And yes I know it is a regressive tax, but it is one that brick and mortar stores already pay. I'm not seeing why online competitors who employee less people should be getting tax breaks for selling their products online.


Silverstaff: NannyStatePark: cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.

49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....

/she knows what I mean

49% of Americans are on public assistance? WTF? Citation Needed.

Oh, I'm sure that's your FOX News/AM Talk Radio talking point, with some incredibly vague, or incredibly loose definition of what counts as "public assistance".

It's worded to make it sound like half of America is on welfare and living on the dole, just leeching off the good hardworking Real Americans, but in reality it's more like some people might get some tiny perk that's a drop in the bucket compared to their actual wages and salaries, you know, things they pay for in taxes on their jobs?

Seriously, I'd like to see the math on this "49% of Americans are on public assistance" claim, because I'm calling Bullshiat on this.  Sounds distorted or misleading.


Hey, even I'll stand up and say that "public assistance" is a broad term and that I probably count among that having participated in various programs. My kids have attended schools where half the kids get reduced lunch prices, for instance. Politics aside, things are tough all over. Tons of broke people rely on the internet to get their kids clothes on E-Bay or use Amazon to avoid full retail pricing, for example. So even if they don't have big ticket items, they just lost X percent of their purchasing power.

I think insinuating that people don't have the right to be pissed over spending more money in this economy is a dick move.

I haven't even given my opinion of the tax.
 
2012-11-23 11:49:55 AM  
The $2.99 delivery fee for a pizza, pisses me off more than taxes.
 
2012-11-23 11:52:01 AM  
STILL is a plus for not having to deal with crowds of subhumans.
 
2012-11-23 11:52:39 AM  

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.


Speaking from the brick and mortar side, suck it.

Technically, if the the website isn't collecting sales tax, the buyer is supposed to pay a use tax. But it's easier to collect from retailers than individuals. And there are plenty of tools to help you calculate, collect and file sales tax. You want the ease and convenience of not having a physical location, you need to learn to deal with sales tax.
 
2012-11-23 12:02:45 PM  

cman: Oh goody, another tax thread on Fark.

These always bring out the idiots in masses


"in masses"?

I suppose you are technically correct, although my ironic idiocy spideysense is tingling.

/it feels kinda good
 
2012-11-23 12:07:36 PM  

cryinoutloud: NannyStatePark: cryinoutloud: If this is a huge problem for you, maybe you need to stop shopping already.
49 percent of Americans are on public assistance, but let's start judging people for whom this could present a problem, because obviously it stems from a spiritual defect or an allergy to shopping....
/she knows what I mean

I read that four times, and that statement doesn't even make any sense. Good thing I have you on ignore.


Awww. did that mean nasty old NannyStatePark outwit you one too many times?
Hey, if you don't want to play, take your toys and go home like a little girl. I could give a crap. I don't have ANYONE here on ignore. I try not to get baited by your derp myself. This isn't just a problem for shoppers. This is a huge fat pile of red tape for retailers, and it's going to raise prices. Not all shopping is an addictive, materialistic indulgence done for recreation. People also buy -wait for it- stuff they need to live!
 
2012-11-23 12:12:02 PM  

URAPNIS: The $2.99 delivery fee for a pizza, pisses me off more than taxes.


OMG THIS!!!
 
2012-11-23 12:21:32 PM  

ArgusRun: 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.

Speaking from the brick and mortar side, suck it.

Technically, if the the website isn't collecting sales tax, the buyer is supposed to pay a use tax. But it's easier to collect from retailers than individuals. And there are plenty of tools to help you calculate, collect and file sales tax. You want the ease and convenience of not having a physical location, you need to learn to deal with sales tax.


You know, back in the mid-90s, a bunch of states got together for this Streamlined Sales Tax Project with the goal of making sales tax collection more uniform and easier. Some of the results:
--Candy is taxable in some states, while food is exempt. Candy is defined (SSTP) as anything "not containing flour". Twix, Kit Kat, Milky Way, and M&M Crispy (but not regular M&Ms) all contain flour and are considered food and not candy
--Food is even better. Many states tax "prepared food". Prepared food is defined as "for immediate consumption", meaning it's sold in a heated state or heated by the seller; two or more ingredients mixed or combined as a single item; or, (my fav) food sold with eating utensils, including either a napkin or a straw.

So, if you buy a bag o'bagels, not taxable. A bagel from the deli with (OMG) a napkin, taxable. Milky way, not taxable. Skittles, taxable.

It gets more fun from there.

So, yeah, I can see how easy it would be for Mom & Pop operations to deal with this.

OTOH, the states will have 2 new revenue streams - sales tax from the internets, and audits from small businesses who happened to ship Joe Q from Podunk a used DVD.
 
2012-11-23 12:22:18 PM  

URAPNIS: The $2.99 delivery fee for a pizza, pisses me off more than taxes.


I'm never buying pizza from Amazon again.
 
2012-11-23 12:33:34 PM  
I always thought states could not instigate taxation on out-of-state sales, per the Interstate Commerce laws. Internet sales are just multimedia catalogs sales, something we've been doing for over 100 years starting with the Sears and Roebuck catalog. If a product is shipped over state lines, there is no sales tax collected. As a Minnesota resident, I had to pay sales tax on Fingerhut catalog purchases, but not Hickory Farms or those ads in the back of comic books. It's the same for the Home Shopping Channel. Texas cannot tax QVC sales that are not shipped from Texas to Texas residents, so why can the tax Amazon sales that are shipped from another state? Laws regulating interstate commerce have to come from the federal level, so I don't see how what the states are doing are legal.
 
2012-11-23 12:45:27 PM  

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: 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.

I normally find the folks who biatch about taxes, particularly ones that give megacorp advantages over smaller brick and mortar businesses are more the ones who are left looking all confused when suddenly all the stores in their town are shuttered, their property taxes are jacked up to replace lost revenue and suddenly an entire industry of jobs is gone from their town for good. Then as they tend to be older they decide to retire and go live in a college town that still has a viable main street and focus their biatching on how the town would be so much better without all the college students.


Considering all the tax breaks that the big brick and Mortars get in smaller towns, I'd say that no sales tax evens the playing field.
 
2012-11-23 12:48:04 PM  

Guntram Shatterhand: Maybe taxes wouldn't be such a horrid thing if we were all paid a living wage and those wages actually went up, allowing everybody to buy more stuff. Seems we're just splitting hairs when it comes to sales tax when the real issue is that stores are paying their employees less yet expecting those same employees to spend more each and every year.


Bears repeating.
 
2012-11-23 01:10:40 PM  

NannyStatePark: Hey, even I'll stand up and say that "public assistance" is a broad term and that I probably count among that having participated in various programs. My kids have attended schools where half the kids get reduced lunch prices, for instance. Politics aside, things are tough all over. Tons of broke people rely on the internet to get their kids clothes on E-Bay or use Amazon to avoid full retail pricing, for example. So even if they don't have big ticket items, they just lost X percent of their purchasing power.

I think insinuating that people don't have the right to be pissed over spending more money in this economy is a dick move.



I'm not saying anybody should like taxes, nobody likes taxes. But people getting pissed at this should realize the other two groups that are also seriously hurting right now. One group are brick and mortar stores that are already paying sales tax on everything they sell, putting them at yet another competitive disadvantage to online retailers. The second group are states governments, which are almost all under water right now. The same state government is often the ones handing out benefits right now. So the state government have to make hard choices, like cut school lunch programs or increase taxes somewhere?
 
2012-11-23 02:02:13 PM  

slackux: The best part is the old brick and mortar stores REALLY believe that the sales tax is why I shop online. No, it's because I needed a flash drive the other day, and the local store had 16 GB stick for $40. Amazon had the same thing for $10. I'd have paid $15 at the local store to have it immediately, but not a 400% markup.


Yup, and lets not even get into cables. HDMI cables should not be more than a single digit.

Monoprice, Meritline, Amazon,they get my money. Sure, some of the things will break, but for what they charge compared to brick and mortar, I can buy 35-40 of them for the price of one in store.
 
2012-11-23 02:03:30 PM  

Girion47: Taxes aren't going to make me want to suddenly get dressed, get in the car, drive through some traffic lights, hunt for a parking spot, shoulder my way into a store through the cold air, and then hope that they have it in stock, and in a location that makes sense.

Internet wins


Same here.
 
2012-11-23 02:48:32 PM  

theMightyRegeya: 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.

Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I think a person has to be nuts to want to sell things online. Here in the U.S., it's not just the Federal government and the 50 state governments. Oh, no. Every county and town has its own set of laws, and, say, selling pesticide or dildos to someone in most of Illinois might be okay, selling the dildo to Bumfuzzle, mid-state Illinois could be completely illegal.

Not that those things are all that enforceable without every town becoming Big Brother. I know there's been a few times I've bought things online (not dildos or anything similar) and found out later that I wasn't supposed to be able to have it shipped to me.


Fortunately, I sell video games, so most of those concerns don't apply. I do have to be careful about what games I ship to certain foreign countries though. Like Manhunt 2 - can't ship that to the UK or I believe Germany, and probably some middle eastern countries as well.
 
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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