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(The Big Story) NewsFlash US Senate passes Internet Sales Tax Bill. Why? Because fark you, that's why   (bigstory.ap.org) divider line 573
    More: NewsFlash, Senate, internet, senate passes, sales taxes, D-Ill, United States  
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16640 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 May 2013 at 10:06 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»


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2013-05-06 11:26:33 PM  

AdolfOliverPanties: This is another example of why we are farked.
Politicians do not do what constituents want.
They do what big money wants, or they do something that will allow them to take in more of our cash so they can spend it on shiat constituents don't want.


Just because constituents want something doesn't necessarily mean they're right.  Most users still operate under the idea that the Internet is some amorphous entity that popped into existence one day and why the hell should I have to pay money to watch cat videos?  I don't like paying taxes, but you have to admit there's a problem when brick-and-morter stores operate under one set of rules while internet businesses operate under an advantageous other set of rules.  Amazon has made a killing (literally in the case of retailers) exploiting that difference.  I'm all for moving towards digital downloads and online sales, but you can't expect the government to fund its mandates if a huge section of its tax base dries up.  So you have to choose.  Either treat everyone by the same set of rules, or accept that states will have to tighten their belts even more as Amazon gobbles up retailers.
 
2013-05-06 11:27:02 PM  

Vangor: the charge of tax to a retailer


Sales taxes are assessed on the consumer, not the retailer.  The retailer collects it and submits it to the state to which it is owed.
 
2013-05-06 11:27:25 PM  
Sounds like a good idea...taxes.  Let's see if we can drive commerce completely overseas...we've already done so with manufacturing.  I can't figure out who would've lobbied for this, but I am sure the senators are getting paid well.
 
2013-05-06 11:28:12 PM  

Mock26: Teufelaffe: Here's the thing I have never understood about sales tax:  It's a tax on the merchant, not the consumer, yet many states require by law that merchants charge the consumer for sales tax.  The merchant would actually be violating the law if they didn't charge said sales tax, but still paid the state their 1%-10% tax*.  That just doesn't make sense to me.  Why the fark does the state care if the customer is charged that tax, as long as they get the taxes from the merchant, who's supposed to be the one paying the tax to begin with?

*Obviously, a merchant could adjust their pricing so that the final cost of a given product was MSRP without sales tax, but if they don't specifically and explicitly charge "sales tax" on the transaction, they'd still be in violation of the law.

Can you cite where it is illegal in some states to not charge the consumer the tax?


Bah, it's a lot harder to find with this bill having passed, but I was able to find this reference on the Finance Dept page about sales tax on the site for Jeneau:

All merchants are required to collect sales tax at the time of purchase...

In the past I've found a couple of state gov sites that said similar things, but right now the Googles are chock-full of stuff about this bill, so I can't seem to find them now.
 
2013-05-06 11:28:26 PM  
i0.kym-cdn.com

The purpose of the tax break was to encourage Internet sales. Internet retailers are doing well, so we end the tax break. We now move on with life.

People get some advantage and then whine like spoiled brats when they no longer get special treatment.

If anyone is asking why Amazon is supporting this, it's because they have distribution centers in many states. They also had problems in the past with affiliate programs and taxes. They want a level playing field with other internet retailers.
 
2013-05-06 11:28:51 PM  

Sim Tree: Because only amazon and their ilk can keep a massive database of hundreds of thousands of sales tax districts, including data items that change weekly or even daily. Amazon can simply hire a staff full time to take care of it. Other internet retailers will be forced to shut down.


Right, because it's not like software to handle tax accounting automatically is something that exists.
 
2013-05-06 11:28:52 PM  

Mentat: AdolfOliverPanties: This is another example of why we are farked.
Politicians do not do what constituents want.
They do what big money wants, or they do something that will allow them to take in more of our cash so they can spend it on shiat constituents don't want.

Just because constituents want something doesn't necessarily mean they're right.  Most users still operate under the idea that the Internet is some amorphous entity that popped into existence one day and why the hell should I have to pay money to watch cat videos?  I don't like paying taxes, but you have to admit there's a problem when brick-and-morter stores operate under one set of rules while internet businesses operate under an advantageous other set of rules.  Amazon has made a killing (literally in the case of retailers) exploiting that difference.  I'm all for moving towards digital downloads and online sales, but you can't expect the government to fund its mandates if a huge section of its tax base dries up.  So you have to choose.  Either treat everyone by the same set of rules, or accept that states will have to tighten their belts even more as Amazon gobbles up retailers.


Amazon still maintains its advantage due to its partnerships and ability to quote you from a number of vendors, rather than just what they charge for what they actually have in stock. Amazon is the shiat, with or without sales tax. If you have a fulfillment center in your state (which is likely) you are already paying sales tax on Amazon.
 
2013-05-06 11:29:31 PM  
Did a FWCer sent this?
 
2013-05-06 11:29:58 PM  

feckingmorons: You already have to pay tax on the items you buy from out of state vendors that do not collect sales tax if those items would be taxable in your state. Use tax, not sales tax is what it is called. I file my return and pay the tax quarterly as required by my state of residence, Florida.


Of ll the things that never happened, this never happened the most.
 
2013-05-06 11:30:41 PM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Well, I guess when you oppose every tax ever, you'll eventually happen to oppose a bad tax. It's still surreal to see the Grover Norquist bunch on the correct side of an issue.

/yes, I realize that finding Grover on my side should give me doubts about my position


It is a bit unnerving, ain't it? I can understand the Elmer Fudd moment of having a carrot-chomping visitor kibitzing while I'm seconds from cornering that screwy rabbit....
 
2013-05-06 11:31:19 PM  

MyToeHurts: fark Harry Reid in the ass with a sharp stick!


you have to get past his Magic Underwear.

although maybe the sharp stick would help with that.
 
2013-05-06 11:31:19 PM  

Harbinger of the Doomed Rat: "vendor privilege tax"


that's different than a transactional sales tax that I was referring to.  I have no idea whether this legislation addresses that type of tax.
 
2013-05-06 11:32:17 PM  

shifty lookin bleeder: Vangor: the charge of tax to a retailer

Sales taxes are assessed on the consumer, not the retailer.  The retailer collects it and submits it to the state to which it is owed.


technically, no. You could never pay a dime in "sales tax" as a line item on a receipt but the retailer you purchase from is responsible for making sure he is paying the state and local sales taxes on all his sales. Usually this tax is passed along to the consumer but there is no requirement for anyone to do that explicitly or implicitly AFAIK. This is why you can often avoid paying taxes by making cash purchases. Sort of a wink and a nod to the retailer. He won't report it as revenue and therefore not pay income or sales taxes on it and in exchange, you avoid the pass along tax.
 
2013-05-06 11:33:06 PM  

Sim Tree: TV's Vinnie: I really cannot fathom why the Amazon bigshots want this bill so bad. If it happens, their sales are gonna plummet.

Because only amazon and their ilk can keep a massive database of hundreds of thousands of sales tax districts, including data items that change weekly or even daily. Amazon can simply hire a staff full time to take care of it. Other internet retailers will be forced to shut down.


Amazon provides this as a service to other retailers so everyone will be okay.
 
2013-05-06 11:33:42 PM  
Let's not pretend this is about protecting small businesses. This is about helping Amazon crush Ebay.
 
2013-05-06 11:33:50 PM  

ArkAngel: Thoguh: I don't have a problem with this.  It'll cut down on really blatant tax evasion, that's it.  And smaller companies won't have to "deal with 9,000 tax codes" or anything like that.  Some vendor will see a business opportunity to run all that stuff for a small surcharge and all the small businesses will just contract through them.

Smaller companies won't have to deal with it at all. It excuses all companies with less than one million in online sales.


I'm really really REALLY glad that exemption made it in, because from what the ebay lobby group was crying about, it almost didn't. They're still crying about 10 million dollar sales levels, as well...
 
2013-05-06 11:34:32 PM  
I love that there are apparently people out there that actually believe that people buy online so they can evade the sales tax. For me, it isn't that at all. A lot of my online purchases are textbooks. Even if tax is added, I'm still way ahead buying them on Amazon rather than the university bookstore. The other stuff I buy is random crap I need around the house, but don't necessarily need right this minute, and am too damn lazy to go looking for. Like today, I accidentally dropped my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup on the tile floor. After sweeping up the mess, I went to Amazon and one-click purchased a new one that will be here on Wednesday (yay Prime!). Even with tax added I would have done so, because I would have saved the trouble of having to go looking for a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup.
 
2013-05-06 11:34:44 PM  
Boohoo, my unregulated Wild West of underpriced delivery goods is coming to an end.

Seriously though, how was this not already passed a decade ago?
 
2013-05-06 11:35:00 PM  
This thread has made me very glad I live in a big city without a lot of big box stores, where I don't mind paying $1.14 more to buy an item in an actual store, because many of the local stores are locally owned and run by people who know and care about what they're doing.
 
2013-05-06 11:35:32 PM  
Why should ebay charge sales tax? Wouldn't that be like forcing people to charge sales tax when they have a garage sale or sell something on craigslist?
 
2013-05-06 11:35:39 PM  
What they really need to do is standardize the sales tax.  I'm not talking about a flat tax, (that tries to raise all revenue with a sales tax), just a sales tax that is the same everywhere.   That means that for the consumer it's easy, and it means that there isn't an incentive for the businesses to play games.  Then, just have them send a check to the IRS.  The IRS can keep the federal portion and pass the rest on to the states.  The states can take their cut and pass the rest on to the towns.  Everyone gets paid, and as long as everyone is using a computer to keep track of it it's not really any more complicated for anyone.
 
2013-05-06 11:35:49 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: davidphogan: BarkingUnicorn: Remote sellers are not being taxed.  They are collecting taxes from in-state buyers and remitting that money to the buyer's state.

I don't get why, as a resident of a state with no sales tax, I should have to invest in infrastructure not otherwise required by my state on behalf of a state I have nothing to do with except that I'm shipping them a product.

If they want to collect this tax they should just make UPS/USPS/FedEx collect a use tax upon delivery.  That seems a little more fair, since UPS/USPS/FedEx are already doing business in the states that collect a sales/use tax.

You're not just "shipping them a product," you're getting revenue in return.  It's perfectly fair for you to pay a bit to support the market that supports you.  All of the software necessary to comply will be free to you.

If you think you can do business entirely on a COD basis, you are a farking imbecile.


That's how the Amish do it. Also many Quakers. I've seen it in action - works pretty well. Of course, you have to make certain sacrifices in order to live like the Amish, but it's far from impossible.
 
2013-05-06 11:36:17 PM  

tjfly: Obama: "I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."


To be fair, he hasn't signed the bill.  Yet.
 
2013-05-06 11:38:47 PM  
One more nail in the coffin of the Post Office.  People still use the Post Office, right?
 
2013-05-06 11:38:49 PM  
everyone hates taxes and everyone hates potholes

I don't ever buy anything anyway
 
2013-05-06 11:38:53 PM  

skullkrusher: shifty lookin bleeder: Vangor: the charge of tax to a retailer

Sales taxes are assessed on the consumer, not the retailer.  The retailer collects it and submits it to the state to which it is owed.

technically, no. You could never pay a dime in "sales tax" as a line item on a receipt but the retailer you purchase from is responsible for making sure he is paying the state and local sales taxes on all his sales. Usually this tax is passed along to the consumer but there is no requirement for anyone to do that explicitly or implicitly AFAIK. This is why you can often avoid paying taxes by making cash purchases. Sort of a wink and a nod to the retailer. He won't report it as revenue and therefore not pay income or sales taxes on it and in exchange, you avoid the pass along tax.


Actually, yes, it's a consumer tax and most state statutes say that explicitly.  And the rest of what you write would be crimes in most states with a sales tax, but I won't say anything if you don't.
 
2013-05-06 11:39:05 PM  

AdolfOliverPanties: This is another example of why we are farked.
Politicians do not do what constituents want.
They do what big money wants, or they do something that will allow them to take in more of our cash so they can spend it on shiat constituents don't want.


Nah, here's the thing.  People don't pay their use taxes.  If you buy something without being charged sales tax, it's up to you to do it.  If you're like me, you just look at the bill, smile, and move on with your life.

But here's the thing: your hometown still has bills to pay.  As much as I'd like to stand up behind my buddies who want a FairTax system, but AFAIK if Jeff Bezos wanted to send a big "fark you" to Tennessee, all he'd have to do without a law like this is close down any and all TN warehouses.  Now, back to your hometown: they have this shortfall.  This very measurable shortfall.  So they've been trying to cover part of the tax burden with a consumption tax, which means they get to tax the people who don't live in their town but use their roads and services.  Now, they could raise taxes on residents, but they're likely to raise hell.  What do?

And being a rural Southern Illinoisan, Chicagoans moving down here both crack me up and fill me with rage, because imho they represent what's wrong with America.  People claim they want the low taxes, but they still have that sense of entitlement!  These folks fill their coffers up there, retire, come down here and sing the praises of our low cost of living, and move to a part of the area that has low low low property taxes...and then they're shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, that they don't have the same exact quality of life they had up there.  The grocery store doesn't have the same selection!  Everybody looks poor!  The road in front of my house looks like a minefield!  Why is there corn blocking the view of oncoming traffic?  Why the hell are there so many tractors on the road?  Can't someone do something about all the potholes and tractors on the road???  Why is the road crew just two rednecks with a dumptruck???!?  What do you mean my $200/year property taxes don't cover the cost of an asphalt road?  How the hell am I supposed to drive my Vette on this road?

And yeah, there are people who have multiple acres here, and property taxes that low.  Mine is a lot higher than that, for an acre, but I can drive my hybrid down the road without losing a tire, so I don't biatch too loud.

Anyway...yeah, people expect their services, but nobody wants to pay for them.  And big businesses didn't want this.
 
2013-05-06 11:39:51 PM  
I don't see this helping brick-and-mortar retail at all.  There are several reasons why online shopping is easier:  you don't have to go to a store, you don't have to deal with some asshole's idea of management or the ill-paid people who work there, the time you save by not standing in line listen to a sad spiel about warranties and the like, and you can always get exactly what you want.  Sure, you have a wait, but that often beats BAMs by a damn sight.

All this is going to do is make BAMs feel better for a month while they realize people are still shopping online.   The lack of sales tax is nice, but that's not the only reason people shop online.  BAMs have serious management problems that start with how they view the consumer and their workforce (read: with contempt) and it shows.  Online retailers probably aren't much better, but it's easier for me to cut through the shiat and just get what I want.
 
2013-05-06 11:40:11 PM  
/* Ok, THIS was farking funny, +1 internet for you */

stdext::hash_map<const std::string&, double> StateToHowMuchCheddarWeOweEm;
void AddMuddafugginTaxes (const std::string& StateAbbr, double TaxOnThisPurchase)
{
StateToHowMuchCheddarWeOweEm[StateAbbr].second += TaxOnThisPurchase ;
}
 
2013-05-06 11:41:29 PM  

Triumph: Thoguh: It'll cut down on really blatant tax evasion, that's it.

The only people I can think of who are currently "evading" taxes are eBay sellers who sell to in-state buyers and don't add on tax. For eBay, this is a big hassle, but for Amazon, it frees them to set up an even better distribution system.


I occasionally sell items on eBay, so I'm watching this pretty closely getting a kick.
 
2013-05-06 11:41:48 PM  

Sim Tree: Because only amazon and their ilk can keep a massive database of hundreds of thousands of sales tax districts, including data items that change weekly or even daily. Amazon can simply hire a staff full time to take care of it. Other internet retailers will be forced to shut down.


Amazon won't have to keep that database, because the bill requires states to do so (freely) if they want the revenue source. There will be an integration cost to said systems, but you're looking at one per state at most and there is no ongoing cost:

"Supporters say the bill makes it relatively easy for Internet retailers to comply. States must provide free computer software to help retailers calculate sales taxes, based on where shoppers live. States must also establish a single entity to receive Internet sales tax revenue, so retailers don't have to send it to individual counties or cities. "
 
2013-05-06 11:42:01 PM  

archichris: Mock26: jgi: Hugely anti-small business legislation. Amazon can cope with this. Small businesses may find it to be a huge paperwork burden. $1M in gross sales in a year is not a lot if you sell high price, low margin items. The negative side of this bill isn't that we all have to pay sales tax on online purchases. The negative side is that the large corporations win again.

It is no different than a small business that does not do internet sales having to deal with state taxes from in-store purchases.

Which state or municipality has the lowest sales tax?

Anyone want to go in with me and form a legal entity that exists in the best spot in the country to pay the least tax under this bill?  We can be an umbrella company for everyone who pays us a small fee and then they can collect mush lower internet sales tax......


Go for it.  If you can legally do so then do it.  A good friend of mine is moving to Florida because they have no income tax.  He will save about $75,000 a year by moving down there.  Sure, it is still Florida, but $75,000 buys you a lot of trips out of state.  And, it is perfectly legal.
 
2013-05-06 11:44:30 PM  

umad: Why should ebay charge sales tax? Wouldn't that be like forcing people to charge sales tax when they have a garage sale or sell something on craigslist?


How many people have a garage sale where they sell $1 million worth of stuff in a year?

Garage sale/craigslist sellers won't be hit. It's the people who run their businesses by selling on ebay which this will affect.
 
2013-05-06 11:44:37 PM  

shifty lookin bleeder: Vangor: the charge of tax to a retailer

Sales taxes are assessed on the consumer, not the retailer.  The retailer collects it and submits it to the state to which it is owed.


Sorry, I mean "to a retailer" in order to differ between retailers which must collect state taxes and those which do not.
 
2013-05-06 11:45:55 PM  

chitlenz: /* Ok, THIS was farking funny, +1 internet for you */

stdext::hash_map<const std::string&, double> StateToHowMuchCheddarWeOweEm;
void AddMuddafugginTaxes (const std::string& StateAbbr, double TaxOnThisPurchase)
{
StateToHowMuchCheddarWeOweEm[StateAbbr].second += TaxOnThisPurchase ;
}


Imma sell that function and make millions. Apparently this is a heretofore insurmountable obstacle for an online retailer to overcome
 
2013-05-06 11:45:57 PM  

evaned: How many people have a garage sale where they sell $1 million worth of stuff in a year?


Al Gore?
 
2013-05-06 11:46:13 PM  

legion_of_doo: We need to pass a bill that requires brick and mortar retailers to hold onto a product for two days (i.e. shipping time) before a customer can pick up their item in order to create equality between retailers & etailers.

/equality my ass


oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I really like this idea!!!
LOL

plus, by not driving to the brick and mortar shiat hole, I am doing my part to reduce traffic and pollution.
can we put an extra tax on brick and mortar for causing extra pollution??
HAHA HAHAHAH HAHA
/farkem
 
2013-05-06 11:46:19 PM  

thorthor: dopekitty74: So canadians are still free to buy online from US companies without having to pay taxes then?

Great question and possible business opportunity.

1. Move to Canada
2. Buy shiat off the interweb
3. Profit?


If youre in canada you cant buy anything from walmart.com or amazon.com if you dont have a US postal code
 
2013-05-06 11:46:53 PM  
The first thing we do, we kill all the tax lawyers.
 
2013-05-06 11:47:18 PM  

shifty lookin bleeder: Actually, yes, it's a consumer tax and most state statutes say that explicitly. And the rest of what you write would be crimes in most states with a sales tax, but I won't say anything if you don't.


second part, most certainly illegal. First part, I don't think so. As long as a retailer is paying his sales taxes, everyone's happy whether those taxes are specifically tacked on and broken out on a consumer's receipt
 
2013-05-06 11:47:54 PM  
Mock26:
Go for it.  If you can legally do so then do it.  A good friend of mine is moving to Florida because they have no income tax.  He will save about $75,000 a year by moving down there.  Sure, it is still Florida, but $75,000 buys you a lot of trips out of state.  And, it is perfectly legal.

Your friend would save $75K a year in State income tax?

/bullshiat
 
2013-05-06 11:47:57 PM  
This is the worst thing ever, right?  Whenever Fark freaks out about something, it's always the worst thing ever.
 
2013-05-06 11:48:35 PM  

tjfly: Obama: "I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."Lying SOB.


Obama is only a lying SOB to people who were already lying on their state tax returns.

(Well, OK, the truth is a bit more complicated in some states. But to at least a fairly large extent, that's true.)
 
2013-05-06 11:51:11 PM  
Of course the million dollar sales exemption won't expand with inflation, so when our currency is devalued further, all the more online businesses will get farked in the future.
 
2013-05-06 11:51:55 PM  

ontariolightning: thorthor: dopekitty74: So canadians are still free to buy online from US companies without having to pay taxes then?

Great question and possible business opportunity.

1. Move to Canada
2. Buy shiat off the interweb
3. Profit?

If youre in canada you cant buy anything from walmart.com or amazon.com if you dont have a US postal code


Oh. Shows how much I don't know about taxes or Canada. Thanks for clearing that up.
 
2013-05-06 11:52:20 PM  

ontariolightning: thorthor: dopekitty74: So canadians are still free to buy online from US companies without having to pay taxes then?

Great question and possible business opportunity.

1. Move to Canada
2. Buy shiat off the interweb
3. Profit?

If youre in canada you cant buy anything from walmart.com or amazon.com if you dont have a US postal code


Heh. I sell on Amazon Marketplace, and I've seen how that works. I can think of at least three things I've shipped that have been paid for with a Canadian credit card, and shipped to a PO box in a town in North Dakota that is within 20 miles of the border.
 
2013-05-06 11:52:56 PM  
People get some advantage and then whine like spoiled brats when they no longer get special treatment.


That's a great argument. Hopefully all this fairly earned money will be spent well. I'm guessing that it will be. How else will the government fix my roads and allow the fda and usda get away with anything that has to do with meddling in illicit consumerism and aiding the existence of soul crushing and market destroying monopolies.
 
2013-05-06 11:53:23 PM  
Yeah, and do you know what they'll do next? The brick stores will complain that it's unfair online stores are open 24/7, so a law has to be passed that no online transactions can happen between 9 pm and 10 AM.

I say we pass a law that requires all stores in states that collect online taxes be open 24/7 for the convienence of the consumer.

It's only fair, after all.
 
2013-05-06 11:54:10 PM  

detritus: Of course the million dollar sales exemption won't expand with inflation, so when our currency is devalued further, all the more online businesses will get farked in the future.


I wonder what consequences would be to a new Constitutional amendment that automatically indexed any dollar amount mentioned in a law to inflation.
 
2013-05-06 11:54:35 PM  
I'm signing off this "series of tubes" so I don't get taxed more.
 
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