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Amazon Fights Back Against NY Online Sales Tax 254

Posted by Soulskill
from the fighting-the-good-enough-fight dept.
The New York Times is reporting on Amazon's lawsuit contesting the recently enacted New York state law which requires online retail outlets to collect sales tax on items sold to the state's residents. Amazon disagrees that it should be required to collect such tax without a physical presence in the state. We discussed the 'Amazon Tax' last month. Quoting: "The new law is based on a novel definition of what constitutes a presence in the state: It includes any Web site based in the state that earns a referral fee for sending customers to an online retailer. Amazon has hundreds of thousands of affiliates--from big publishers to tiny blogs--that feature links to its products. It says thousands of those have given an address in New York State, although it does not verify the addresses. The state law says that if even one of those affiliates is in New York, Amazon must collect sales tax on everything sold in the state, even if it is not sold through the affiliate."
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Amazon Fights Back Against NY Online Sales Tax

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  • I wonder if... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02, 2008 @04:24AM (#23272382)
    I wonder if Amazon could just refuse to sell items to people in NY state, and additionally drop all affiliates there (or at least stop accepting new affiliates). I'm sure all those affiliates (bit and small) would make some racket to their state legislators if they were cut off.

    Of course they'd never go that route, I think. It sure would be fun to watch, though. :P
    • Re:I wonder if... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SpiritualRemains (235040) <webmaster@spirit ... ns.com minus cat> on Friday May 02, 2008 @04:27AM (#23272388) Homepage
      I believe the easiest option for Amazon would be to simply drop all affiliates in New York. Refusing to sell to New York is financial suicide for them, but dropping all affiliates wouldn't cause too much grief from the public.
      • by CRCulver (715279)

        I believe the easiest option for Amazon would be to simply drop all affiliates in New York. Refusing to sell to New York is financial suicide for them, but dropping all affiliates wouldn't cause too much grief from the public.

        Perhaps this is part of the motivation behind Amazon's Kindle [amazon.com] device. If you're not sending something through the mail to an address in a specific state, but instead providing an electronic file to someone without any physical merchandise involved, wouldn't that mean state tax laws

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by electrictroy (912290)
          "Services" are taxable under state laws. That would include e-files served to your Ipod or PC.

          As a seller (on ebay and amazon), here is my argument against paying NY Sales Tax:
          - I am not a resident of New York.
          - Therefore I am not under the jurisdiction of that government (same as I am not under jurisdiction to France or Canada)
          - Thus I am not an NY citizen; governments can not tax non-citizens.

          So I owe the New York government absolutely nothing for my ebay/amazon sales, and I'd like to see them try to cr
          • by plague3106 (71849)
            Services MAY be taxable under state laws, depending on the state. In VT, services are NOT taxable.

            A state that is taxing a sale taking place in another state seems to violate the Interstate Commerce clause, at least that's my arm chair understanding. Couldn't it be argued that the sales tax is acting as a tarrif on imports from another state? Any real lawyers have any comments about this? Anyone know enough about the founders intent? They had postal services even 200 years ago... the concept hasn't cha
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by arminw (717974)
              ...A state that is taxing a sale taking place in another state...

              That is not the issue. If a NY resident buys something they are subject to NY tax, no matter where they bought it or how it was shipped to them, by truck or by wire. The sale takes place wherever the buyer lives.

              What NY wants to do is to force Amazon and others to be their tax collector, just as they do with stores physically in NY. The US Supreme Court has ruled that a seller has to be PHYSICALLY located in the state that wishes that seller t
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by electrictroy (912290)
                >>>"The sale takes place wherever the buyer lives."

                Close but not wholly accurate. If I buy something in Maryland, where I live, I pay SALES tax. If I drive across the border, buy in PA or DE, and then drive back, I have to pay a USE tax. Two different taxes, depending upon if the item was purchased inside or ourside of Maryland jurisdiction.

                Amazon has to charge Sales tax for sales within its own state (where it has physical presence). It does not have to charge Use tax for out-of-state sales; t
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by dgatwood (11270)

                  I would see the use tax as a lot more Constitutionally valid if it applied to all products used in the state. By prejudicially applying it only to imported goods, it is, in effect, nothing more than a thinly disguised way to apply sales tax on interstate commerce. While I realize a few appellate courts have upheld these blatantly unconstitutional laws, that's because of how many strict constructionalists the Republicans have packed into the courts in question. That doesn't make it remotely the right deci

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by aplusjimages (939458)
            Maybe you should start demanding that your tax money be used to benefit you. Got a pothole in your neighborhood, then call NY and require they fix it with the tax money you are paying them.
          • So I owe the New York government absolutely nothing for my ebay/amazon sales, and I'd like to see them try to cross the border and come get me. I don't think Pennsylvania would accept NY soldiers/officers marching across its territory in order to reach me in Maryland.

            Not that this is going to happen, but they could cut some of the web traffic going to your site, and they could force their local banks not to do business with you. There is plenty they can do within their own physical borders. It's just that

          • governments can not tax non-citizens.

            Cue in the thunderous laugh of millions of permanent residents... The only "benefit", resident non-citizens have, is the ability to avoid jury duty. Taxes are levied on all (without representation, of course — ha-ha).

            I know, what you meant — you are not a permanent resident of NY either... But do choose your words more carefully.

      • by foxtrot (14140)

        I believe the easiest option for Amazon would be to simply drop all affiliates in New York. Refusing to sell to New York is financial suicide for them, but dropping all affiliates wouldn't cause too much grief from the public.

        I don't know. Financial suicide? Refusing to sell to people in New York (or hell, even charging them sales tax) is a nice way to get the people of New York _really_ pissed off. In an ideal world, this would have the people of New York decide they need new lizards in office.

        Now, what an ideal world has to do with where we are now, that's anybody's guess...

      • by kabocox (199019)
        I believe the easiest option for Amazon would be to simply drop all affiliates in New York. Refusing to sell to New York is financial suicide for them, but dropping all affiliates wouldn't cause too much grief from the public.

        Amazon could live quite well without selling to New York. As long as they have a profitable market some where, they can afford to not do business in areas that are counter productive to them. They could just as easily say that they aren't doing business in either Canada, Europe, China
      • by arminw (717974)
        ....I believe the easiest option for Amazon would be to simply...

        ignore that law and let NY prove in federal court (if the can) that it is a valid law. What right does NY have to enforce one of their laws on someone from another state? Is this not a Federal issue, since the parties are in different states? Does NY law apply in Washington or any other state?
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Friday May 02, 2008 @04:28AM (#23272390)
    Doesn't the antidote to this seem clearer than day on this one? All Amazon has to do is ban publishers with payment addresses in NY... those big enough to care can simply reincorperate in a more tax-friendly state, those small enough not to matter will simply just go away.
    • by Gerzel (240421)
      That is right with one thing missing.

      As dropping those affiliates WILL cause some financial hardship, look for any problems with the law and sue to get it put down.

      If that doesn't work, then go the banning route.
      • by mh1997 (1065630)

        That is right with one thing missing.

        As dropping those affiliates WILL cause some financial hardship, look for any problems with the law and sue to get it put down.

        If that doesn't work, then go the banning route.

        If I were CEO of Amazon, I would ban affiliates because it would impact New Yorkers. If I as a resident of Indiana write to a state congressman in New York protesting this law, they won't care because I am not there. If the NY residents complain, it will carry far more impact.

        Secondly, lit

        • by jimicus (737525)

          Secondly, litigation costs money. If the residents of NY that are impacted convince the state government to change the law, Amazon will not have to pay a penny.
          Except through lost sales and developer time because they'd have to update their systems to say "Oh, you're based in NY? Sorry, can't affiliate with you."
    • by budgenator (254554) on Friday May 02, 2008 @05:59AM (#23272638) Journal
      Firstly
      The question is whether the vendors must collect those taxes on behalf of the state. Generally, only those companies that have a physical presence, such as an office or store, in the state of the purchase are required to collect the taxes.
      By have a physical presence in NY, I'm deriving benefits from the state; Amazon without a physical presence in NY receives no state benefits and should not have to work as the states agent withput consideration.
      Secondly
      Amazon's legal obligations are dependent on the actions of a third party over which it has no contract or control. It would be like the county tax assessor telling your your property taxes will increase 25% on sunny days!
      Thirdly
      NY is the poster child for it's mishmash of sales tax laws, my understanding is that you can be liable for state, county, and municipal sales taxes in some places of NY, the chief obstruction to a coherrent, unified national state sales tax system is NY
      • by Amouth (879122)

        ...
        Thirdly
        NY is the poster child for it's mishmash of sales tax laws, my understanding is that you can be liable for state, county, and municipal sales taxes in some places of NY, the chief obstruction to a coherrent, unified national state sales tax system is NY

        NC works the same way in that there is a state tax + count + city.. (atleast that is the option) 99.999999~% of citys all use the same sales tax and i have only ever seen it where the city or county would lower or not charge theirs for a short time.. (that is what the used to do in some areas for back to school time before the whole state agreed one one weekend where all school supplys are tax free)

        NY just likes to abuse it.. i am sure there are others states that have the same laws on the books and can

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by hesaigo999ca (786966)
        I agree that NY is full of sh*t .... I believe that this is the same state that applied a tax law for a vehicle that consumed too much gas, the turned around and applied a tax for a vehicle that took not enough gas, and it is only a matter of time before they come up with a tax for a vehicle sitting in the driveway too long....

        Tax Auditor: "I see you work from home, but you own a car ..."
        Person: "Yes...i don't have to drive to work, as I work from home."
        Tax Auditor: "I see, I see, well that means you are pr
      • by kidgenius (704962)

        Firstly The question is whether the vendors must collect those taxes on behalf of the state. Generally, only those companies that have a physical presence, such as an office or store, in the state of the purchase are required to collect the taxes. By have a physical presence in NY, I'm deriving benefits from the state; Amazon without a physical presence in NY receives no state benefits and should not have to work as the states agent withput consideration.

        First, I congratulate you on you being one of the few that understood that properly. Second, if you don't collect for them, they have every right to bar you from doing business in their state.

    • If Amazon gives in by banning NY retailers, they will lose the battle as other states pass similar provisions. They can't ban every state, and every state wants a cut of the pie.

      As a New Yorker, I'm offended by what (legally) appears to be an unconstitutional money grab. The problem is that very, very few people declare excise tax, and if they do it is typically for under $100 in goods.
      • by mh1997 (1065630)

        If Amazon gives in by banning NY retailers, they will lose the battle as other states pass similar provisions. They can't ban every state, and every state wants a cut of the pie.

        Although they can't ban every state, would you want to risk that your state not get a piece of a pie. It might not be "the" pie, but a piece.

        Probably most of the money that affiliates make is not taxed/reported, but the larger affiliates are paying income taxes on their commisions. Second, even the money that is brought into the

        • by Firethorn (177587)
          If Amazon banned New York, held firm, it would send a message to other states and the affiliates in those states to not pass this kind of law

          Bingo. This law will cost your state jobs and revenue. Have a nice day.

          It's sort of like Barrett refusing to do business with any state that bans his firearms to citizens. (IE California).

          He's done it too. California police departments got a bit of a shock after endorsing the banning of the .50BMG round and found out that they could no longer get their material dest
      • Amazon already sets up its distribution centers in sales tax-free zones such as having one in Nashua, NH which is a border community to MA which has a 5% tax on most things that aren't food or clothing.
      • by op12 (830015)

        If Amazon gives in by banning NY retailers, they will lose the battle as other states pass similar provisions.
        Just to clarify, it's the affiliates that are the issue, not the retailers. Banning NY affiliates would not be nearly as difficult/contested as trying to ban NY retailers.
  • A few thoughts... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Friday May 02, 2008 @04:43AM (#23272426)
    Congress needs to act, since this is an interstate issue.

    I don't think New York has the authority to do this. But I sure would like to see the supreme Court act.

    One problem with sales tax is the complexity of the code. What states need to do is to create an out-of-state seller tax rate, which retailers could voluntarily choose to pay (instead of trying to figure out the specific taxing locale). It might be equal to the highest taxing rate in the state, and would be paid to the state with no locale attached to the revenue sent there. Then the state would divide the revenue up amongst their localities based on some sort of formula (perhaps based on in-state sales, for example, for percentages).
    • Re:A few thoughts... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kamochan (883582) on Friday May 02, 2008 @05:11AM (#23272474)

      And this would scale to global customers, how exactly? Chinese or Swedish or maybe Australian buyers paying average-US-state sales tax on their purchases?

      If something like this (the NY solution, or parent's) gets implemented for real, then online vendors will simply move out of the US to the land of the (tax-)free.

      It's internet commerce. Any solution needs to be globally viable, or it will be doomed to silliness. This is also why it's going to be darn difficult to solve.

      • by darthflo (1095225)
        Over here in Europe it's pretty common having to pay your country's VAT (plus customs fees) for imported goods. The same would work for offshore retailers sending goods to the US.
        • by jimicus (737525)

          Over here in Europe it's pretty common having to pay your country's VAT (plus customs fees) for imported goods. The same would work for offshore retailers sending goods to the US.

          Except the US has a very different tax system to most of Europe. The closest they have is something called "Sales Tax", and that varies from state to state. (As I understand it, it's also only levied on goods sold within the state, not goods brought in from another state or, for that matter, another country).

          • Except the US has a very different tax system to most of Europe. The closest they have is something called "Sales Tax", and that varies from state to state. (As I understand it, it's also only levied on goods sold within the state, not goods brought in from another state or, for that matter, another country).

            Very true. Other differences between sales tax and my understanding of VAT;

            *It's only levied on final sale - if a middleman has a federal tax ID as a reseller, he pays no sales tax.

            *Similarly, it d

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by rjstanford (69735)
              The state isn't taxing Amazon, though. They're requiring Amazon to collect taxes owed by Amazon's customers on behalf of the state. This is how all point-of-sale-collected sales tax works: its not owed by the retailer, but by the consumer, and collected by the retailer both as a convenience (no reporting/payment burden remains) and because consumers have proven remarkably unlikely to actually report and pay the tax themselves. If it wasn't for this, the only actual way to enforce a sales tax would be to
            • US Constitution (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Firethorn (177587)
              Indeed, specifically in the case of the sales tax, import tarriffs:

              No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

              Basically, NY can't put a sales tax on o

      • Re:A few thoughts... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by maxume (22995) on Friday May 02, 2008 @06:07AM (#23272674)
        Shipping through customs is going to be a lot worse than most sales taxes.
      • by SkyDude (919251)
        Difficult to solve? How so?

        I've worked in a company that used to sell via the internet (and postal mail before that). It was never a big issue before the internet, but the states are imagining millions going uncollected and that gives the money-loving pols a severe case of agita. [medterms.com]

        From a programming perspective, how hard is it to examine a couple of fields - country, state and zip code. All of the tax data resides in a table. The table is populated from data supplied via a subscription service - like now. Tha
        • > From a programming perspective, how hard is it to examine a couple of fields - country, state and zip code. All of the tax data resides in a table.

          Not quite. Remember, zipcodes don't necessarily align with the boundaries of tax authorities. I live in the City of Pembroke Pines, Florida... but technically, my zipcode and official mailing address is the CIty of Hollywood, Florida. Someone going by zipcode would assume I'm within the jurisdiction of Hollywood, not Pembroke Pines.

          Wait. It gets worse. I can
          • by Detritus (11846)
            I used to have a Maryland address and a DC Zip Code. The local post office was located in DC. That confused many computer systems.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by d3ac0n (715594)

        This is also why it's going to be darn difficult to solve.


        Not difficult to solve at all. No taxation on goods sold over the internet. Done. See? Wasn't that easy?

      • by Lumpy (12016)
        This is also why it's going to be darn difficult to solve.

        no it's not. Step 1 - find and beat silly every person in charge of tax codes for that state. Lock them in a public stockade and sell rotten food to passers by to throw at the scumbags until they get the point.

        Step 2 - While the scumbags are under arrest, elect sane and honest representatives, repeal the stupid laws and enact sane laws.

        This is actually quite simple. Problem is in order to do it the tasks require getting people off their asses an
      • "Australian buyers"

        Until about a decade ago Australia was like the US, each state had a dart board to see how much sales tax was due on a purchase depending what it was that you were purchasing and random interstate companies were often dragged into court for "avoiding sales tax". This was eliminated in a deal between the states and the federal government and was replaced by an across the board 10% GST on all sales regardless of wether they are wholesale or retail.

        Companies get charged GST for all pur
    • >I don't think New York has the authority to
      >do this. But I sure would like to see the
      >supreme Court act.

      That seems iffy to me. Most of the goods I purchase at a store aren't from in state, but I still pay sales tax on them.

      Just because Amazon's store is online, doesn't mean that they shouldn't have to pay the same sales tax everyone else does.

      I live in Washington state, in Seattle, the same city where Amazon is based, and I already pay state sales taxes on Amazon goods.

      Maybe there is some legal lo
      • by Amouth (879122)
        the issue is (as larry put it) Taxation without repersentation.

        i live in NC.. if i sell something to someone next to me i have to charge my states sales tax.. that tax goes to fund my local/state government and provide me services such as police/fire/school/crap roads.. but if i sell to someone from NY over the phone (while they are in NY and i am in NC) then it is an interstate traffic.

        that person (from NY) is responsiable for paying his local sales tax - i am not responsiable for collecting it and then s
    • It would be easier just to allow the state the entity is shipping from to collect a sales tax, a closer parallel to the idea that you pay a sales tax to whatever state you (and the seller) are in when you purchase something in meatspace. Tracking sales taxes for all your buyers' states (and sometimes counties) is cumbersome, this is a far simplier option. And while it means NY doesn't get a sales tax immediately, it closes the loophole where no one pays a sales tax, a problem with all but a handful of state

      • That would still create problems.

        The state, in which the product originated (or where the business is headquartered), would want to collect sales tax.

        The state, in which the buyer is located, would want to collect sales tax on the item shipped to one of their residents.

        Ideally, I feel property taxes should deal with the origination, whereas sales tax should deal with the destination of a product.

        Also, in some states, if a buyer purchases something, and no sales tax is collected, sales tax is still due, and
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arminw (717974)
      ...But I sure would like to see the supreme Court act....

      They did, years ago, in the days of mail order. They decided that a seller has to have a physical presence in a given state, before that state can force them to become a tax collector for them. The Internet is nothing more than a hi-tech, more convenient mail order system.
  • It was already a law that residents had to pay sales tax on out of state items. But with no real way for the state to enforce it, most taxpayers are not going to bother.

    Also, per resident this is a very small amount, which makes it almost silly to bother reporting on your state tax return. According to the first article, " The provision is meant to contribute about $50 million to the $122 billion budget [nytimes.com]" In 2006, the population of NY state was 19,306,183 [census.gov]. By those numbers, each resident would be paying an
    • Technically it the USE portion of the sales-use taxes that would be collected by Amazon, so here's a delema, My mother in NY loves books so I buy her one for her birthday from California and have Amazon ship it to her in NY, so who pays the use tax to NY?
    • You're really confused, buyers pay the tax at the time of purchase. It is tacked on to their final sum based off of either their billing or shipping address. You don't have to keep track of what you bought and claim that at the end of the year, unless you're a non-profit or buying things for business use.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ioldanach (88584)

        You don't have to keep track of what you bought and claim that at the end of the year, unless you're a non-profit or buying things for business use.

        Yes, you do have to keep track of all purchases you made that you didn't pay sales tax on, in particular because the transaction occurred outside the state.

        From New York State Resident Income Tax Return IT-150 & IT-201 Instructions [state.ny.us] (Page 66)

        When do you owe New York State and local sales or use tax?

        When you make a purchase of taxable property or services

  • Just another unconstitutional NY state grab for out-of-state businesses' $ to get more coke and "entertainment" money. Apparently prices are going up there, too. If NY "wins" anything, it will be interesting to see if AMZN shows them the doghouse.
    • by guruevi (827432)
      Hey, hookers cost money, Spitzer spent over $15,000 on one, $1000/hour, who do you think is going to pay for that?
  • This is simply a jurisdiction (State, County or City) trying to make tax collection easier for themselves. I don't know of any jurisdiction with a Sales Tax that doesn't already have a corresponding Use tax, which is intended to tax anything that was purchased from out of Jurisdiction. Unfortunately, collecting that Use tax is difficult with the number of possible filers and the jurisdiction's desire to verify that the filers aren't under-reporting. Generally, they have dealt with this by going after bus
  • It's called the Constitution of the United States.

    In section 10...

    No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

    And when we look back to section 9..

  • by Eevee (535658) on Friday May 02, 2008 @06:38AM (#23272810)

    The new law is based on a novel definition of what constitutes a presence in the state: It includes any Web site based in the state that earns a referral fee for sending customers to an online retailer.

    It's not novel. In Zippo v. Zippo 952 F. Supp. 1119, the Court found Pennsylvania had jurisdiction over Zippo.com, a California-based company, over the fact it engaged in electronic commerce with 3,000 individuals and 7 ISPs located in Pennsylvania. In this case, Amazon is engaged in electronic commerce with numerous companies, via the referral fee, based out of New York--thus New York should have the same jurisdiction rights as Pennsylvania did.

    • Are you sure the case you mention didn't have anything to do with the fact that Zippo lighters are made in Pennsylvania - hence giving them a physical presence in the state?
      • Actually, that's the point. Zippo Manufacturing, the ones who make the lighters, is located in Pennsylvania. Zippo.com, a totally unrelated firm that among other things provided news feeds, is located in California. The lighter company wanted to bring the trademark case to Pennsyvania for state law trademark dilution under 54 Pa.C.S.A. 1124. Naturally, the internet company wanted that dismissed for for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue.

        My fault, though. Should have kept better notes, it's a

  • Since when are resellers classified as an official presence by the vendor inside a state?
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday May 02, 2008 @06:52AM (#23272876) Journal
    NY could easily pass delivery tax and make UPS and Fed-ed collect the tax for them.

    However much I dislike the taxes, I hate discrimination and government loading the dice and making the playing field slanted. The brick-and-mortar companies in New York are obligated to collect sales tax for NY. That includes you corner diner and the mom-and-pop store selling used books. There was a time when compiling 50 state sales tax codes or even 25000 local county tax codes and making businesses outside complying with these code was technologically impossible. But now that excuse is not valid anymore.

    If Amazon does not have to collect the tax, none of the local businesses should have to collect the tax. If the local businesses must, then Amazon must too. It is a question of Government not playing favorites and creating walled gardens. It is not really a question of whether or not the the sales tax is fair or unfair. But I am not sure most people will see the distinction.

    • by schwit1 (797399)
      "NY could easily pass delivery tax and make UPS and Fed-ed collect the tax for them."


      Based upon the value of what? Are you saying Fedex or UPS should know what's in the package?

      • by jamesh (87723)

        Based upon the value of what? Are you saying Fedex or UPS should know what's in the package?

        That's an easy one. Either the package clearly states the price of the package, and the tax that applies (and the sender gets in _big_ trouble if the information is incorrect), or some silly flat tax applies, eg the greater of $50/kg or $5/1000 cubic cm.

        Of course having the value of the package clearly obvious on the outside makes it easier for the thieves to select the best packages to steal... oh yeah... and all th

        • or some silly flat tax applies, eg the greater of $50/kg or $5/1000 cubic cm.

          Ha! Your non-American, tax loving, status has been exposed!

          Still, $50/kg? The USPS will deliver a 2.2 pound package cross country for $8.95 ($2.81 if you use media rate) and you want to slap $50 on that? Man, the price of books definitely just grew out of reach for most people. Ditto for sending something like a hard drive out for warranty repair.

          As I mentioned last time this tax came up, NY is already getting their use tax out of us via our state income taxes, so this is just another grab to tax the

  • Affiliates are just advertising venues who get paid on commissions. NYC is the center of magazine publishing. They're the old school version of affiliates. If everyone who advertises in a magazine creates a point of presence in NYC, oo boy, the magazines will be upset.
  • Amazon disagrees that it should be required to collect such tax without a physical presence in the state.

    Perhaps it's time to think about a uniform VAT for online sales. That would eliminate the need for online retailers to calculate and collect a sales tax for every individual state and could be applied to overseas online sales.

    Saddling an online retailer with 50 different collection accounts and a patchwork of taxable items is just wrong. Exempt food, apply a uniform VAT, form a quasi-government co

  • I'm not sure why this is such a big problem. Being in Canada, I'm already used to being taxed for everything I purchase online. Either it gets collected at the vendor side (especially if it's in the country), or it gets collected at customs.

    I recently had a weird experience when I purchased a Verisign SSL cert. Being a US company, they did not have an option for me to pay in Canadian dollars (fine). What threw me off, and my company's Finance department, is that said US company charging me in US dollars c
  • by BASICman (799037)
    It wounds like there's alot of greed flowing around here... you alls wants no taxes, and the "evil" state is going to end the party.

    Frankly, New York State is in the hole. Most of its industry went overseas within the last two decades (no more glass from Corning, film from Rochester, shoes from Binghamton, etc.) and at times it seems like the entire economy of the state has shifted to New York City. Much of that work (and a nice chunk of the state's revenues) comes from the financial sector. Which is now in
  • Loophole (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jaime2 (824950) on Friday May 02, 2008 @05:41PM (#23280534)
    Just buy everything with PayPal and have it shipped to yourself as a gift from a fictitious address outside of New York. If they solve this, then any non-New York resident could tax-bomb any New York resident by gift shipping all of their stuff to their own houses using a New York address as the giver.

That does not compute.

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