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Why Amazon Fights State Sales Tax, But Supports It Nationally 165

Posted by timothy
from the clashing-motives dept.
cagraham writes "The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that Amazon will begin charging customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin sales tax today, after fighting against it for years. Amazon now charges sales tax in 16 states, affecting roughly 163 million Americans. Yet despite Amazon's continued fight against sales tax on the state-level, they support a Senate bill that would allow all states to tax online retailers. It seems like a contradiction, but it's actually a calculated move to undercut rivals like eBay (who would have a far harder time dealing with sales tax laws), and even an unequal playing field (many states that tax Amazon don't tax other online retailers)."
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Why Amazon Fights State Sales Tax, But Supports It Nationally

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  • by gerardrj (207690) on Friday November 01, 2013 @07:57PM (#45307023) Journal

    Merchants collect sales taxes, the government charges the taxes.

    And the tax is really on the buyer in most states; that way the tax isn't a cost of doing business.

  • Re:For the record (Score:4, Interesting)

    by margeman2k3 (1933034) on Friday November 01, 2013 @09:53PM (#45308021)
    You think that's bad?
    I worked at a cafe in Ontario, and we had so many tax rules that the company writing our POS software couldn't even get it to work properly.

    It looked something like this:
    Non-food items are charged 13% tax
    Some non-food items are charged 5% tax
    Most food items are charged 13% tax
    Some food items are charged 5% tax
    Other food items are tax free
    If you spent less than $4 on certain food items, it was tax free
    If you were buying "bakery" items (bagels, etc), then they were tax free if you were buying at least 6, but the total had to be under $4, and you couldn't buy a drink with it.

    And this was just for a coffee shop.
    I can see why Amazon would be willing to charge X% nationally, as long as they don't need to deal with crap like that.

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