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Internet Sales Tax Vote This Week In US Senate 434

SonicSpike excerpts from CNet's coverage of the latest in the seemingly inevitable path toward consistently applied Internet sales taxes for U.S citizens: "Internet tax supporters are hoping that a vote in the U.S. Senate as early as today will finally give them enough political leverage to require Americans to pay sales taxes when shopping online. Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wy.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are expected to offer an amendment to a Democratic budget resolution this week that, by allowing states to 'collect taxes on remote sales,' is intended to usher in the first national Internet sales tax." There goes one of the best ways to vote with your dollars.
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Internet Sales Tax Vote This Week In US Senate

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  • by RabidReindeer ( 2625839 ) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @03:11PM (#43237799)

    If you'll check a history book, you'll find the rallying cry was not "No Taxation" but rather "No Taxation Without Representation". Huge difference.

    "Taxation without Representation is Tyranny" was the cry. Freedom, not freeloading.

  • Re:Typical (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 21, 2013 @03:11PM (#43237803)

    They haven't done the obvious. Cancel federal income tax and replace it with a sales tax. It'd be a whole lot easier to handle businesses than it would be individuals.

    In 2009, there were just under 6,000,000 active businesses.
    In 2009, there were 140,494,127 individual tax returns filed.

    The IRS employs about 93,000 employees and is expected to hire 16,500 more.

    By eliminating the individual filing requirement, you'd eliminate almost 96% of the returns.
    IRS agents have an average salary near $75,000 [].

    Let's say you applied 4 times the labor to each business return.
    Then only about 18,000 staff are required to handle the load.

    91,500 jobs would be cut for an annual savings of $6.8 billion.

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:04PM (#43238503)

    Um no. freeloaders have not come anywhere near 50% of the voters. The so called 47% contains large blocks of people who are not freeloaders.

    1. About 60% of those not paying federal income taxes pay other federal taxes such as SS and Medicare. Not to mention local taxes such as property taxes and sales taxes.

    2. Wealthy people whose income comes from tax free bonds pay no federal income taxes. However they pay other local taxes on property etc.

    3. About 20% of the 47% are retired elderly people who have paid a lifetime of SS and Medicare taxes.

    Finally a significant proportion of these people vote for Republicans. Various polls show that above 50% of the elderly vote Republican, and about 1/3 of the people who are exempt from federal income tax due to earning less than $24000 vote Republican.

    So basically the idea that a majority of 'freeloading' Americans are going to perpetuate their situation by en-masse voting for progressive candidates is ridiculous bullshit. There isn't any such majority of freeloaders in the first place, and secondly the voting pattern of low income people is not as monolithic as you propose.

  • by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @04:23PM (#43238741)

    Yeah, the Interstate Commerce Clause [].

    The constitution says that states can't interfere with cross border transactions as it is a power reserved for the federal government. It also prohibits the federal government from interfering with state affairs like revenue collection. This catch-22 is why the whole issue has been kicked down the road to this day.

    This isn't a new problem caused by the internet either. Old fashioned snail mail orders from out of state suppliers (think Sears and Roebuck in the 19th century) were also a thorn in some states sides which is why they expect citizens to declare "use" tax on what they imported from out of state.

  • Re:To be fair... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dnahelicase ( 1594971 ) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @05:23PM (#43239401)

    Use tax is arguably unconstitutional due to the interstate commerce clause, and that is why states do not enforce it. They can wield the moral force of "this is the law" to those that don't know better and get them to put it on their tax returns, but they won't go after those who don't pay because they're afraid to lose. The states' end game has been a federal authorization for the states to collect sales tax because it would put them on much more solid legal ground.

    You've clearly never been through a sales/use tax audit as a business.

    They do not feel like it's unconstitutional, and are not afraid to enforce it. it's not a "moral force" - it actually is the law. You cannot get out of state entities to collect sales taxes for you, but if they can show that you have nexus in a state, they can make you collect them. If you buy things from anywhere, in or out of state, as a purchaser you must pay use tax on it. It's not a suggestion for the ignorant - it is the law that you report your untaxed purchases.

    Technically you owe this on everything, even those things that have been taxed by other states - it's just that most states agree to reciprocity.

    There is very little gray area here. As an individual they probably won't go after you, but businesses that are supposed to collect sales tax (including those without a physical presence) and pay use tax - they go after you like wolves.

    A universal rule for everyone would be a dream for those that process sales taxes. It's ridiculous the amount of time that is spent figuring out which sales are taxable, what jurisdiction those are in (the state, county, city, LOST, misc taxes) and how to report and pay those.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam