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(Lifehacker)   Is the Internet Sales Tax fair to everyone?   (lifehacker.com) divider line 112
    More: Unlikely, Internet taxes, Brick and mortar business, fairs  
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2909 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Apr 2013 at 12:23 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-27 09:04:03 AM
No. What if I mail order something instead of using the Internet?
 
2013-04-27 10:19:32 AM
No.  Taxes can never be "fair to everyone".
 
2013-04-27 11:09:08 AM
Yes, if you live in an integrated country that doesn't do sales tax.
 
2013-04-27 12:22:27 PM
img.photobucket.com
 
2013-04-27 12:27:11 PM
No, but they'll gladly pay it when it passes anyway, because the convenience is worth it to them.
 
2013-04-27 12:31:03 PM
No because the price of goods will go up for people who live in states without sales tax as online retailers must factor compliance with the 9600 different rates into their prices.
 
2013-04-27 12:38:21 PM
Just wait till states demand that the collected sales tax be shared between the home state of the buyer and the state where the warehouse is located.
 
2013-04-27 12:40:55 PM
Once internect commerce got too big to ignore and all the states with money problems could put a number on how much sales tax revenue was being lost to cyberspace, it was only a matter of time before government figured out a way to get their slice. It's a practical, easy way to put millions in state coffers.  God forbid that something in our lives isn't taxed.
 
2013-04-27 12:56:44 PM
I'll be shutting down my shopping cart if this goes through. I won't be a tax collector for other states where I have no representation.
 
2013-04-27 01:05:38 PM
Nothing is ever fair to everyone.

Oh, and:

Spare Me: I'll be shutting down my shopping cart if this goes through. I won't be a tax collector for other states where I have no representation.


I call bullshiat.
 
2013-04-27 01:09:11 PM
If you want to contact your senator to let them know how you feel about it, you can find your their contact info on ContactingTheCongress.

Like Boxer and Feinstein are going to listen to objections. They never met a tax they didn't like.
 
2013-04-27 01:15:11 PM

jjorsett: If you want to contact your senator to let them know how you feel about it, you can find your their contact info on ContactingTheCongress.

Like Boxer and Feinstein are going to listen to objections. They never met a tax they didn't like.


or an anti gun law
 
2013-04-27 01:17:49 PM
Can't answer that question, but I can answer the question "How will it affect my internet shopping?" Which will be: very little. Even with the tax, total prices should still be competitive if not lower than brick and mortar prices. And it's just more convenient.
 
2013-04-27 01:24:10 PM

Dinjiin: Just wait till states demand that the collected sales tax be shared between the home state of the buyer and the state where the warehouse is located.


Shared? Hell, no! Each state will charge you the full amount. And maybe a couple of states they drove through to get there will do the same.
 
2013-04-27 01:24:27 PM
I have no problem with this, but that's largely because I think consumption should always be taxed as opposed to income.
 
2013-04-27 01:27:24 PM

Carth: No because the price of goods will go up for people who live in states without sales tax as online retailers must factor compliance with the 9600 different rates into their prices.


Bollocks.  The Internet Sales Tax applies only to companies with at least $1,000,000 in sales every year.  Companies that big can handle this easily.  Software will be written, databases will be created, wash hands, rinse, repeat.  If there is any incremental cost to the consumer (besides the tax itself, if applicable), it will be miniscule.
 
2013-04-27 01:41:16 PM

Radak: Carth: No because the price of goods will go up for people who live in states without sales tax as online retailers must factor compliance with the 9600 different rates into their prices.

Bollocks.  The Internet Sales Tax applies only to companies with at least $1,000,000 in sales every year.  Companies that big can handle this easily.  Software will be written, databases will be created, wash hands, rinse, repeat.  If there is any incremental cost to the consumer (besides the tax itself, if applicable), it will be miniscule.


It doesn't even require that much.  As part of the payment process, you have to put in your billing address.  All they need is a single, simple table of State sales taxes.  I could bang one out in Excel in one minute.

I work for a company that will have to do this, and right now I'm doing it by hand.  It still doesn't take more than a couple seconds per invoice.  Doing it in an automated fashion via Shopping Cart takes absolutely zero effort at all.  Maybe one hour of labor to create the sales tax index and integrate it into the ordering system, then that's it, forever (unless a tax rate changes, in which it takes a while five seconds to update the index).

Larger companies already have staff accountants who are paid salary, so their costs come tax time are fixed.  It's a bit more paperwork for the staff accountant, but that's just the nature of the job.

Online retailers just do not want to have their prices in some parts of the country get inflated via sales tax and make their service appear to be less appealing than it is today.  That's all there is to it.  They want to maintain the unfair competitive edge they've got.  I can't blame them, but I also can't blame the States who are tired of losing tax revenue because their citizens aren't declaring their purchases as they are supposed to.

Living in a State without sales tax, my prices will stay the same.  My buddy up in Washington?  Not so much.
 
2013-04-27 01:46:37 PM

Spare Me: I'll be shutting down my shopping cart if this goes through. I won't be a tax collector for other states where I have no representation.


Hey moran, the taxes are paid to the state of the buyer...where you DO have representation...not the seller.
 
2013-04-27 01:52:48 PM

BlameBush: Once internect commerce got too big to ignore and all the states with money problems could put a number on how much sales tax revenue was being lost to cyberspace, it was only a matter of time before government figured out a way to get their slice. It's a practical, easy way to put millions in state coffers.  God forbid that something in our lives isn't taxed.


You're a liberal. Stfu and bend over. Paying taxes is patriotic.
 
2013-04-27 01:55:28 PM

Kuroshin: Radak: Carth: No because the price of goods will go up for people who live in states without sales tax as online retailers must factor compliance with the 9600 different rates into their prices.

Bollocks.  The Internet Sales Tax applies only to companies with at least $1,000,000 in sales every year.  Companies that big can handle this easily.  Software will be written, databases will be created, wash hands, rinse, repeat.  If there is any incremental cost to the consumer (besides the tax itself, if applicable), it will be miniscule.

It doesn't even require that much.  As part of the payment process, you have to put in your billing address.  All they need is a single, simple table of State sales taxes.  I could bang one out in Excel in one minute.

I work for a company that will have to do this, and right now I'm doing it by hand.  It still doesn't take more than a couple seconds per invoice.  Doing it in an automated fashion via Shopping Cart takes absolutely zero effort at all.  Maybe one hour of labor to create the sales tax index and integrate it into the ordering system, then that's it, forever (unless a tax rate changes, in which it takes a while five seconds to update the index).

Larger companies already have staff accountants who are paid salary, so their costs come tax time are fixed.  It's a bit more paperwork for the staff accountant, but that's just the nature of the job.

Online retailers just do not want to have their prices in some parts of the country get inflated via sales tax and make their service appear to be less appealing than it is today.  That's all there is to it.  They want to maintain the unfair competitive edge they've got.  I can't blame them, but I also can't blame the States who are tired of losing tax revenue because their citizens aren't declaring their purchases as they are supposed to.

Living in a State without sales tax, my prices will stay the same.  My buddy up in Washington?  Not so much.


Reread the legislation.

It's sales tax based on the PoSition of the consumer.

Live in Libertyville, Lake County, IL? Sales Tax; 7%

Glenview, Cook County, IL: It's 8.75%

Chicago, Cook County, IL? 9.25

Clothing in Florida? 6.0%

Certain Kinds of Clothing in Florida during Hurricane Relief week? 0%

This is a *nightmare*.
 
2013-04-27 01:57:29 PM

Kuroshin: I work for a company that will have to do this, and right now I'm doing it by hand. It still doesn't take more than a couple seconds per invoice. Doing it in an automated fashion via Shopping Cart takes absolutely zero effort at all. Maybe one hour of labor to create the sales tax index and integrate it into the ordering system, then that's it, forever (unless a tax rate changes, in which it takes a while five seconds to update the index).


Hypothetical:
I sell a shirt and a decorative belt buckle over the internet.
I ship to Delaware, no sales tax! Easy
I ship to New Jersey, I collect sales on the decorative belt buckle but not the shirt.
I ship to New York. I collect county and state sales taxes on both the buckle and the shirt.

At the end of the *period*, I have to cut a check to New Jersey, the county in New York, and the state of New York.

There are more than 9000 areas of sales tax regulation to deal with right now.

Good luck.
 
2013-04-27 01:59:22 PM

Marcus Aurelius: No.  Taxes can never be "fair to everyone".


But this can be more fair, maybe.  If you're concerned about being fair to everyone, cash transactions are probably second only to internet sales, but remain completely untrackable.
 
2013-04-27 02:11:10 PM

Kuroshin: I work for a company that will have to do this, and right now I'm doing it by hand. It still doesn't take more than a couple seconds per invoice. Doing it in an automated fashion via Shopping Cart takes absolutely zero effort at all. Maybe one hour of labor to create the sales tax index and integrate it into the ordering system, then that's it, forever (unless a tax rate changes, in which it takes a while five seconds to update the index).


I have no opinion on the sales tax issue in general, but its more complicated than that.  I have no idea what you all sell, but I assume its one category of product.

Like someone mentioned above, and as mentioned in the article, there are almost 10,000 different things to calculate.  Most states (or counties even) charge different rates on food, clothing, etc.  And each one probably defines these categories differently.

So now that you have 10,000 different things to worry about... you have to assume stuff is changing on a monthly- if not- weekly basis in different parts of the country.

Also at different times of the year, sales tax is cancelled on certain things.  Down here, during parts of hurricane season, sales tax is cancelled on "hurricane preparedness" stuff.  Going through you inventory of ten of thousands of items, and checking them against what Orleans Parish and Louisiana considers as part of that category is *a lot* of work.
 
2013-04-27 02:21:32 PM
They will find a way to squeeze every dime out of the people. I live close to a border where the next state is 20+ cents cheaper per gallon of gas, Guess where I fill up? And the folks from NY go to New Jersey for big ticket items because of the taxes.
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2013-04-27 02:25:11 PM

BlameBush: Once internect commerce got too big to ignore and all the states with money problems could put a number on how much sales tax revenue was being lost to cyberspace, it was only a matter of time before government figured out a way to get their slice. It's a practical, easy way to put millions in state coffers. God forbid that something in our lives isn't taxed.


God forbid your ilk keep screwing over mom-and-pop businesses that actually employ people in your community so that you can save 40 cents per order by ordering your wintergreen ramen noodles and giraffe-on-zebra porn from out of state.
 
2013-04-27 02:25:31 PM

Kuroshin: Radak: Carth: No because the price of goods will go up for people who live in states without sales tax as online retailers must factor compliance with the 9600 different rates into their prices.

Bollocks.  The Internet Sales Tax applies only to companies with at least $1,000,000 in sales every year.  Companies that big can handle this easily.  Software will be written, databases will be created, wash hands, rinse, repeat.  If there is any incremental cost to the consumer (besides the tax itself, if applicable), it will be miniscule.

It doesn't even require that much.  As part of the payment process, you have to put in your billing address.  All they need is a single, simple table of State sales taxes.  I could bang one out in Excel in one minute.

I work for a company that will have to do this, and right now I'm doing it by hand.  It still doesn't take more than a couple seconds per invoice.  Doing it in an automated fashion via Shopping Cart takes absolutely zero effort at all.  Maybe one hour of labor to create the sales tax index and integrate it into the ordering system, then that's it, forever (unless a tax rate changes, in which it takes a while five seconds to update the index).

Larger companies already have staff accountants who are paid salary, so their costs come tax time are fixed.  It's a bit more paperwork for the staff accountant, but that's just the nature of the job.

Online retailers just do not want to have their prices in some parts of the country get inflated via sales tax and make their service appear to be less appealing than it is today.  That's all there is to it.  They want to maintain the unfair competitive edge they've got.  I can't blame them, but I also can't blame the States who are tired of losing tax revenue because their citizens aren't declaring their purchases as they are supposed to.

Living in a State without sales tax, my prices will stay the same.  My buddy up in Washington?  Not so much.


Wrong.  You will need the State, City, County, Special District(frequent for Stadium taxes, Transit taxes, etc), and any other miscellaneous tax tabled and ready to go for the entire US because it's based on consumer address.  Auto sales software already does this, and it's very expensive without being automatically updated(and you'll pay more for automatic updates, if the vendor even offers that as an option[not all do]).

The tax table provided by the state of California Board of Equalization has 1800 records because tax rates in California must be tracked by city.  Your software has to be smart enough to recognize that some people list neighborhoods as cities, that some cities/neighborhoods cross county lines(different rates), etc, which means it will need to match zip codes(generally the easiest solution).
 
2013-04-27 02:32:22 PM
1. Set up business drop box in one of these states (Alaska, Montana,New Hampshire, Delaware, Oregon) because they have no sales tax.
2. Purchase goods on internet "for business"
3. Have them shipped to your home.
4. This is similar to what corporations already do.
5. ???
6. Profit.

1. Buy Stuffed teddy bear
2. Name teddy bear Mohammed
3. Sell the teddy bear at a mark up
4. Have I made a prophet?
 
2013-04-27 02:40:00 PM

Carth: No because the price of goods will go up for people who live in states without sales tax as online retailers must factor compliance with the 9600 different rates into their prices.


Yes, because people in high tech would never find a solution to automate tax compliance.

//Excuses me, gonna filed my quarterlies on Turbo Tax
 
2013-04-27 02:44:30 PM

mrlewish: 1. Set up business drop box in one of these states (Alaska, Montana,New Hampshire, Delaware, Oregon) because they have no sales tax.
2. Purchase goods on internet "for business"
3. Have them shipped to your home.
4. This is similar to what corporations already do.
5. ???
6. Profit.

1. Buy Stuffed teddy bear
2. Name teddy bear Mohammed
3. Sell the teddy bear at a mark up
4. Have I made a prophet?


That is all well and good until you have to explain the the state treasury what the business reason is for you extensive collection of sex toys
 
2013-04-27 02:58:06 PM

Ed Willy: That is all well and good until you have to explain the the state treasury what the business reason is for you extensive collection of sex toys


Your mom.
 
2013-04-27 02:59:15 PM
So, you don't need to worry about suddenly being taxed for your Dropbox or Netflix account.

I already am taxed for my Netflix account. I have to pay school tax on it.
 
2013-04-27 03:30:40 PM

Kuroshin: iving in a State without sales tax, my prices will stay the same. My buddy up in Washington? Not so much.


Washington residents already pay sales tax for Amazon and Microsoft. We won't see any change at all.
 
2013-04-27 03:31:38 PM

propasaurus: Spare Me: I'll be shutting down my shopping cart if this goes through. I won't be a tax collector for other states where I have no representation.

I call bullshiat.


What? You don't think he makes a million dollars a year selling his old Pokemon cards?
 
2013-04-27 03:39:35 PM

TheZorker: It's sales tax based on the PoSition of the consumer.

Live in Libertyville, Lake County, IL? Sales Tax; 7%

Glenview, Cook County, IL: It's 8.75%

Chicago, Cook County, IL? 9.25

Clothing in Florida? 6.0%

Certain Kinds of Clothing in Florida during Hurricane Relief week? 0%

This is a *nightmare*.


No, simple compared to this.

http://www.sunjournal.com/news/lewiston-auburn/2012/06/10/so-you-thi nk -you-know-maines-food-tax/1205713
 
2013-04-27 04:16:11 PM

cig-mkr: They will find a way to squeeze every dime out of the people. I live close to a border where the next state is 20+ cents cheaper per gallon of gas, Guess where I fill up? And the folks from NY go to New Jersey for big ticket items because of the taxes.




It's been a while since I've been there, but I haven't heard any news of NY becoming a barren wasteland deviod of people (especially due to tax regulation). I bet traffic in downtown NY must be prettty empty nowadays because of this, right?
 
2013-04-27 04:20:27 PM
Um Isn't' It already?  I know my wow subscription is taxed.  Will this be a double tax?
 
kab
2013-04-27 04:35:44 PM
Sales taxes in general aren't fair, so my answer is no.
 
2013-04-27 04:42:16 PM

Stone Meadow: Spare Me: I'll be shutting down my shopping cart if this goes through. I won't be a tax collector for other states where I have no representation.

Hey moran, the taxes are paid to the state of the buyer...where you DO have representation...not the seller.


Hey Moran, I'm in Oregon, no sales tax. I don't have representation in any other state on this issue. And I won't become a tax collector for them. The compliance costs alone will put many out of business. Most businesses operate a very small margins, 3-5%. One million is gross sales only amounts to about 30-50 k in net profit. Nope, I'll shut it down if this goes through or only serve my state.
 
2013-04-27 04:47:17 PM

Spare Me: Stone Meadow: Spare Me: I'll be shutting down my shopping cart if this goes through. I won't be a tax collector for other states where I have no representation.

Hey moran, the taxes are paid to the state of the buyer...where you DO have representation...not the seller.

Hey Moran, I'm in Oregon, no sales tax. I don't have representation in any other state on this issue. And I won't become a tax collector for them. The compliance costs alone will put many out of business. Most businesses operate a very small margins, 3-5%. One million is gross sales only amounts to about 30-50 k in net profit. Nope, I'll shut it down if this goes through or only serve my state.


Sure you will.
 
2013-04-27 04:50:22 PM

Spare Me: Stone Meadow: Spare Me: I'll be shutting down my shopping cart if this goes through. I won't be a tax collector for other states where I have no representation.

Hey moran, the taxes are paid to the state of the buyer...where you DO have representation...not the seller.

Hey Moran, I'm in Oregon, no sales tax. I don't have representation in any other state on this issue. And I won't become a tax collector for them. The compliance costs alone will put many out of business. Most businesses operate a very small margins, 3-5%. One million is gross sales only amounts to about 30-50 k in net profit. Nope, I'll shut it down if this goes through or only serve my state.


You done grandstanding yet? The new law would allow each State to set its own rates, so presumably yours would be zero. How difficult is this to figure out?
 
2013-04-27 04:51:50 PM
So I assume, next, we'll be asking sellers to pay income taxes in every state where purchases pay sales taxes for online orders.
 
2013-04-27 04:59:05 PM

Stone Meadow: Spare Me: Stone Meadow: Spare Me: I'll be shutting down my shopping cart if this goes through. I won't be a tax collector for other states where I have no representation.

Hey moran, the taxes are paid to the state of the buyer...where you DO have representation...not the seller.

Hey Moran, I'm in Oregon, no sales tax. I don't have representation in any other state on this issue. And I won't become a tax collector for them. The compliance costs alone will put many out of business. Most businesses operate a very small margins, 3-5%. One million is gross sales only amounts to about 30-50 k in net profit. Nope, I'll shut it down if this goes through or only serve my state.

You done grandstanding yet? The new law would allow each State to set its own rates, so presumably yours would be zero. How difficult is this to figure out?


If someone in Kansas or whatever buys something, I'm collecting Kansas sales tax according to this Bill. Or California, or Washington. This Bill makes me a tax collector for other states. Get it? Not going there.
 
2013-04-27 04:59:48 PM

jbc: God forbid your ilk keep screwing over mom-and-pop businesses that actually employ people in your community so that you can save 40 cents per order by ordering your wintergreen ramen noodles and giraffe-on-zebra porn from out of state.


Speaking for where I grew up: WalMart utterly destroyed mom-and-pop stores. Now, they're all owned by the same handful of relatively wealthy local families, sell garbage, and sell it to (the small number of) tourists at an incredible markup.

The only "decent" large local store not affiliated with major national chains (and not a clearance/markdown/warehouse deal store that does not have consistent stock) hires on the cheap, and depending on the day/employee, you'll receive good advice or you'll have someone try to sell you things you don't want to buy (because he/she doesn't know enough details about the things you DO want to buy).

So, yeah, I'll continue using the internet. There are no real meat cutters/butchers, no hobby stores, NOTHING.
 
2013-04-27 05:15:30 PM
Taxes, taxes, taxes and libs are inseparable.
 
2013-04-27 05:17:12 PM
Read  the farking bill, please.

Sellers will remit one payment to a State and the State is responsible for apportioning it to tax districts within its borders. States have to provide FREE software to sellers they wish to conscript as tax collectors.  The software has to do everything the seller is required to do, including electronic remittance.  The States are responsible for maintaining the rates database and sellers are immunized from liability for any errors in State software or maintenance.  All software must handle all States, so sellers need only one program not 50.

Multi-state sellers currently pay big bucks for commercial software and services that do all of that.  They're going to be rather pleased to get it for free.
 
2013-04-27 05:17:43 PM
Honestly, I don't know why sales tax on internet items has taken so long to really get anywhere.  I mean really, just apply the tax based on the shipping address and be done with it.  It wouldn't be that terribly complicated of a business rule to implement, and then states with no sales tax could continue not charging any while states with sales tax did.
 
2013-04-27 05:20:30 PM

jbc: God forbid your ilk keep screwing over mom-and-pop businesses that actually employ people in your community so that you can save 40 cents per order by ordering your wintergreen ramen noodles and giraffe-on-zebra porn from out of state.


Mom and Pop are going to get killed in this, at least in population centers. How are they going to compete with Amazon same day delivery? Right now sales tax keeps companies like Amazon out of local markets but take that barrier away and suddenly Amazon has warehouses co-located with delivery services in the three hundred largest population centers. They'll be able to undercut mom and pop and the customer will save time from not even having to leave the house. What will be left are big chains that can go head to head with Amazon on price and convenience stores that compete by offering immediate access to goods in your neighborhood instead of on price.

For small businesses in remote parts of Montana, the change might make them a bit more competitive though they'll still lose out on selection. But if you want a new pair of work boots today, in rural areas this will make it a bit easier for mom and pop to compete. Everywhere else they're farked.

/Just wait till companies like Wal-Mart and Target start feeling threatened by Amazon same day delivery... all hell is going to break loose when they get into that market
//This might also bring back multiple daily delivery cycles, at least for packages
 
2013-04-27 05:26:40 PM
It's idiotic.
 
2013-04-27 05:34:13 PM

Gunny Walker: Shared? Hell, no! Each state will charge you the full amount. And maybe a couple of states they drove through to get there will do the same.


Double tax?  Doubtful.  Picking the higher rate of the two states and splitting the difference?  You betchya.
 
2013-04-27 05:35:15 PM

Spare Me: If someone in Kansas or whatever buys something, I'm collecting Kansas sales tax according to this Bill. Or California, or Washington. This Bill makes me a tax collector for other states. Get it? Not going there.


So you want to profit off other States' residents free of charge. Sounds like, "fark you, I got mine."
 
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