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(Seattle Times)   Amazon now collecting sales taxes in all states with a sales tax, except when it isn't   ( seattletimes.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Value added tax, Amazon, Amazon.com, Taxation, Corporate tax, sellers, Amazon sellers, Amazon's sellers  
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1206 clicks; posted to Business » on 06 Nov 2017 at 3:50 PM (11 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



18 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2017-11-06 12:21:35 PM  
Yeah, that's actually a big reason why I closed my Amazon Marketplace store. Amazon wasn't collecting sales tax on purchases, and doesn't provide sellers any mechanism to collect sales tax from buyers in states that have sales tax, while offering competitive prices for buyers in states that don't have sales tax. So I was basically just not charging any customers for sales tax, and then on the back end I was paying sales taxes to the state out of the profits from sales to states that don't have sales tax. Keeping all the details straight was a mess, I'm not surprised that a lot of sellers just weren't paying it at all.
 
2017-11-06 03:26:17 PM  
I buy some stuff for work, and I'm pretty sure that our accounting people track this stuff and send the tax to the state as required by law.  Really.
 
2017-11-06 04:12:53 PM  
"Some sellers say the cost of registering with tax authorities and the paperwork required to remit taxes in dozens of states would wipe out their modest profits."

While I understand it's likely a paperwork nightmare, if you can't abide the laws then you shouldn't be in business. It's not a difficult concept to understand.
 
2017-11-06 04:29:29 PM  
Fark you, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota. Hurrah, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.
 
2017-11-06 04:31:20 PM  
As long as Amazon is collecting fees from companies using their site, Amazon bears responsibility for ensuring those companies are following the law. Deeeeeeep pockets. Go get 'em, states.
 
2017-11-06 04:37:33 PM  
So, it's not an issue of not wanting to pay sales taxes. It's an issue of sales taxes aren't being collected from the consumer because there is nothing in place that says "you're in X state, you owe this much in taxes" and collects it at time of checkout. Then, you're still on the hook for taxes, but instead you're paying it out of your own pocket.
 
2017-11-06 04:45:08 PM  
I actually know someone who's dumb enough to fill out the state "use tax" form for all the stuff they bought online, but for which they weren't charged sales tax. I was stunned to learn anyone did this.
 
2017-11-06 04:51:36 PM  

ReapTheChaos: "Some sellers say the cost of registering with tax authorities and the paperwork required to remit taxes in dozens of states would wipe out their modest profits."

While I understand it's likely a paperwork nightmare, if you can't abide the laws then you shouldn't be in business. It's not a difficult concept to understand.


Current Federal court rulings say a company doesn't have to follow out of state laws regarding sales or use taxes.  Looks like there is a pending case before the Supremes (South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.,mentioned by The Pope of Manwich Village above) that could change that (or not).
 
2017-11-06 05:09:07 PM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: I actually know someone who's dumb enough to fill out the state "use tax" form for all the stuff they bought online, but for which they weren't charged sales tax. I was stunned to learn anyone did this.


My accountant was stunned that I wanted to do this.

Amazon is going to win the everything war, they should pay taxes.

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2017-11-06 05:18:11 PM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: I actually know someone who's dumb enough to fill out the state "use tax" form for all the stuff they bought online, but for which they weren't charged sales tax. I was stunned to learn anyone did this.


I don't see why it's stupid.

1. It's the law.

2. If states ever wanted to crackdown on this because they're desperate for tax revenue, they're going to start by auditing everyone who is a high earner but reports zero on the use tax. And the paper trail for everything you've ever bought online is pretty simple to follow.
 
2017-11-06 05:21:20 PM  

snowjack: Yeah, that's actually a big reason why I closed my Amazon Marketplace store. Amazon wasn't collecting sales tax on purchases, and doesn't provide sellers any mechanism to collect sales tax from buyers in states that have sales tax, while offering competitive prices for buyers in states that don't have sales tax. So I was basically just not charging any customers for sales tax, and then on the back end I was paying sales taxes to the state out of the profits from sales to states that don't have sales tax. Keeping all the details straight was a mess, I'm not surprised that a lot of sellers just weren't paying it at all.


You can add embed 8 % to your sale price, and even Quickbooks will track it for you.

While it might be nice for Amazon to have this mechanism, it is really the sellers responsibility.

If you are professional seller you should have a tax number from your state, Amazon collects the tax and forwards it to you, and then you can download a report that shows what you owe and what you were collecting.  You collect taxes in the state that you reside.

Sounds like you were not collecting taxes for in your state of residence, which is Amazon has a mechanism set up for.
 
2017-11-06 05:23:37 PM  

thornhill: Prank Call of Cthulhu: I actually know someone who's dumb enough to fill out the state "use tax" form for all the stuff they bought online, but for which they weren't charged sales tax. I was stunned to learn anyone did this.

I don't see why it's stupid.

1. It's the law.

2. If states ever wanted to crackdown on this because they're desperate for tax revenue, they're going to start by auditing everyone who is a high earner but reports zero on the use tax. And the paper trail for everything you've ever bought online is pretty simple to follow.


GOP hates big tech business, because the companies tend to have a liberal slant.  Apple has a gay CEO who wouldnt give the the keys to ios, and Amazon is owned by Jeff Bezos who owns the Washington Post...

Coupled with the fact that they are scratching at the biggest players first to try and cover the deficit from their tax plan.
 
2017-11-06 05:51:47 PM  

theflatline: snowjack: Yeah, that's actually a big reason why I closed my Amazon Marketplace store. Amazon wasn't collecting sales tax on purchases, and doesn't provide sellers any mechanism to collect sales tax from buyers in states that have sales tax, while offering competitive prices for buyers in states that don't have sales tax. So I was basically just not charging any customers for sales tax, and then on the back end I was paying sales taxes to the state out of the profits from sales to states that don't have sales tax. Keeping all the details straight was a mess, I'm not surprised that a lot of sellers just weren't paying it at all.

You can add embed 8 % to your sale price, and even Quickbooks will track it for you.

While it might be nice for Amazon to have this mechanism, it is really the sellers responsibility.

If you are professional seller you should have a tax number from your state, Amazon collects the tax and forwards it to you, and then you can download a report that shows what you owe and what you were collecting.  You collect taxes in the state that you reside.

Sounds like you were not collecting taxes for in your state of residence, which is Amazon has a mechanism set up for.


I'll assume you're right; it's good to know they have a mechanism to charge marketplace customers sales taxes based on the customer's locations now. They did not at the time I was a marketplace seller, according to multiple people in their customer service department.
 
2017-11-06 07:17:10 PM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: I actually know someone who's dumb enough to fill out the state "use tax" form for all the stuff they bought online, but for which they weren't charged sales tax. I was stunned to learn anyone did this.


 I do it. I like to keep my books squeaky clean in case of an audit, and the dollar amounts involved are tiny.

My accountant once asked me how I wanted him to do my accounting and taxes, and I told him do it so I will have no trouble sleeping at night.
 
2017-11-06 07:26:10 PM  
Oh, you mean the 3rd party sellers feature that basically ruined Amazon as a reliable source for products on the consumer side?  Used to be you knew Amazon was selling you its own stuff through its own product pipeline and delivery, and with its own backed guarantees.  Now the "marketplace" means that Amazon might have nothing to do with the sketchy rip-off entity that is selling (or re-selling) whatever it is that they're putting in your search results.
 
2017-11-06 07:30:22 PM  

Duke of Madness Motors: My accountant once asked me how I wanted him to do my accounting and taxes, and I told him do it so I will have no trouble sleeping at night.


I have no intention of trying to figure out who's charged me sales tax and who hasn't (Does iTunes? Does a $0.99 mp3 count?). Sounds like it's not my problem. And at night, I sleep the sleep of the just.
 
2017-11-06 08:14:52 PM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Duke of Madness Motors: My accountant once asked me how I wanted him to do my accounting and taxes, and I told him do it so I will have no trouble sleeping at night.

I have no intention of trying to figure out who's charged me sales tax and who hasn't (Does iTunes? Does a $0.99 mp3 count?). Sounds like it's not my problem. And at night, I sleep the sleep of the just.


Of course not, I'm talking about things like PCs and monitors. Easy to tell if you paid sales tax, it's on the invoice.
 
2017-11-07 12:45:10 PM  

thornhill: 2. If states ever wanted to crackdown on this because they're desperate for tax revenue, they're going to start by auditing everyone who is a high earner but reports zero on the use tax.


Why stop there? The state will simply nickel-and-dime everybody, charging a flat amount (last I checked it was $34 in my state) based on their assumption that you spent X online without paying state sales taxes, unless you can demonstrate that you paid it.

It's not unheard of for a state to try to fark residents who buy something in a different state at a lower sales tax.
 
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