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Amazon Pushes For National Internet Sales Tax 392

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
SonicSpike writes "The Governor of Tennessee struck a deal with Amazon.com to allow their operations to move to TN in exchange for Amazon.com not having to collect TN sales tax for the next 2 years. However the Governor noted in his press conference that he is working with Amazon.com to push the US federal government to impose a national Internet sales tax."

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Amazon Pushes For National Internet Sales Tax

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  • by million_monkeys (2480792) on Monday October 10, 2011 @09:10AM (#37661206)
    The complaints of online businesses are that each state has it's own laws and it requires too much work to comply with 50 different sets of laws. It seems a simpler solution would be a national tax policy instituted at the federal level with a single set of rules. In order to not infringe on state's rights, allow states the option of using this policy or sticking with their own. If they choose this policy, online retailers will be required to charge tax as appropriate and send it to the state. Retailers won't have to deal with the hassle of tracking numerous different laws and won't have to worry about shutting down their business presence in entire states. If the state chooses not to adopt this policy, they can continue with their current system and rely on people to pay the sales tax with their annual income taxes. Seems like this would work for everyone.
  • by realxmp (518717) on Monday October 10, 2011 @09:15AM (#37661260)
    Amazon doesn't care where the money goes, nor do they really care about the rate. A federal tax could quite easily be collected and kept by the states. The reason they want a federal pre-emption is simply the abundance of rules and regulations that must be obeyed for each different area's individual sales tax. For new enterprise, having to obey one set of rules for collection of sales tax nationwide would represent an amazing saving on accountants bills.
  • by mjr167 (2477430) on Monday October 10, 2011 @09:45AM (#37661602)
    Stores don't pay sales tax... customers do. The stores occasionaly are nice enough to collect the tax from the customer for the state. You are still responsible for paying your sales tax even if the store does not collect it. Just like if you run a cash only buisness with no paper records you are still responsible for reporting all your income to the IRS to pay your taxes. If you chose to commit tax evasion, it is your own damn fault and not the responsibility of the retailer.
  • by argStyopa (232550) on Monday October 10, 2011 @10:12AM (#37662094) Journal

    I know it's crazy to so much of the leftward-leaning slashdot crowd, but is it so crazy to ask WHY a tax would be justified before implementing ANOTHER method of the government intruding into the otherwise-private transactions between people?

    (And please note: our elected representatives being too stupid for several decades to balance a checkbook and spend less than they have available ISN'T ipso facto a valid reason to take more money from the public.)

    To lay it out clearly:
    - in terms of hard infrastructure, everything has already been paid for. There's no 'state-provided' street or sidewalk on which this business is taking place, nor a state-built thoroughfare upon which a consumer has to travel to visit a store. Yes, the US gov't invented the internet, but for at least the last dozen years every iota of bandwith on which our (consumer's) signals travel is paid for commercially, and the costs passed down to either we the consumers (through our ISPs) or the businesses (through their providers)
    - whatever actual physical location a business has somewhere, the services that they consume (fire, police, etc.) from the government are already paid for in their property taxes. Self-evidently there's no need for police services for the sorts of store loss-prevention actions (shoplifters, etc) for internet stores.
    - I don't see the government providing any specific security for internet transactions; there's no government-security function backing https, nor any other transaction security system with an official imprimatur. I'm fine with this, by the way, I'm just saying that one of the legitimate reasons we pay taxes is the security and stable society under which the transaction is able to occur. This isn't present, as far as I can tell, on the internet.
    - sure there are some internet investigations going on but I see these as other issues - I don't see a lot of prosecutions for internet fraud (could just be my ignorance), certainly nothing to justify the massive amount of cash that would be garnered from a broadly-asserted internet sales tax.

    In short, simply because the government needs money, and can take it, doesn't mean we need to tolerate it blithely like sheep.

  • by faedle (114018) on Monday October 10, 2011 @10:13AM (#37662124) Homepage Journal

    Except there are states that don't. We like our "no sales tax" in Oregon. Screw you, Tennessee.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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