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Government The Internet Businesses The Almighty Buck

eBay Urges Customers To Oppose Washington Internet Tax (knkx.org) 71

An anonymous reader quotes a report from KNKX: If you live in Washington state, you might have gotten the email from eBay. It begins: "The Washington State Legislature is threatening to impose new Internet sales tax burdens on you." It goes on to urge the recipient to send a form letter to Washington lawmakers opposing "harmful tax laws." So what's this about? EBay's Brian Bieron said the company is alerting its customers to a proposal to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax from Washington residents. "It's the right of all of our users to know when new tax policies would impact their ability to sell online or shop online, we think that they want to know and they want to get involved," Bieron said. The fact eBay is emailing its customer base now indicates the company is concerned the internet tax bill will be part of a final budget deal in Olympia. Washington House Democrats and Senate Republicans are currently trying to hash out a compromise budget that fully fund schools. That agreement will likely include some additional sources of tax revenue. Of all the choices on the table, capturing sales tax from more online sales might prove the most palatable to tax-averse Republicans. House Democrats estimate the proposal could bring in an estimated $341 million over the next two years.

eBay Urges Customers To Oppose Washington Internet Tax

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    And stuck with 128K ISDN because these a-hole politicians can't get their act together.

    No way I'm paying any tax until they fix my fucking broadband.

    • And stuck with 128K ISDN because these a-hole politicians can't get their act together.

      No way I'm paying any tax until they fix my fucking broadband.

      Where are you in Seattle that you are stuck with 128K ISDN?

  • One eighty... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ichijo ( 607641 )

    Of all the choices on the table, capturing sales tax from more online sales might prove the most palatable to tax-averse Republicans.

    It is both ironic and saddening that Republicans support regressive taxes, which help keep the poor trapped in the cycle of poverty, because it was the Republicans who abolished slavery in the USA a century and a half ago.

  • I have no problem with tax on new items, as in the very first time an item has been sold. Sales tax on items that are used, that are being sold less than the original purchase price should not be able to be taxed again. The government already got their cut the first time, they shouldn't be able to get a cut every time the item changes hands.
    • by kqs ( 1038910 )

      Why not? So I shouldn't be taxed if I buy a house? I mean, it's used.

      I don't actually mind if your plan is "remove sales tax on used items and raise other taxes enough to make up the difference", though I guarantee that that loophole will be exploited.

      • by boskone ( 234014 )

        on that vein... we don't pay sales tax on houses in WA. do most states charge that???

        we do have a 1.78% excise tax on sale of real estate, charged to the seller, but we don't apply the 10.5% sales tax to homes (cars we do though)

  • The least distorting tax is a small tax, and the smallest tax is a broad tax. I'm in favour of taxing everything by a mostly equal, small amount. Less discretion, less political dickering.

    People do realize that the taxation system is a waterbed ...

    Don't they?

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday June 15, 2017 @10:53PM (#54630479)
    Sales tax is a regressive tax that disproportionately hurts working families. Raise capital gains and top margin rates instead. Folks who spend their entire earnings getting by shouldn't be looked at as walking dollar signs.
  • "We at eBay would like to continue to have an advantage over Washington based retailers who are required to charge sales tax. We are concerned that if we are required to charge sales tax that our customers will no longer have a financial incentive to use our service. We don't care at all about "extra taxes" being placed on consumers or small businesses. We just want to be able to undercut any business that can't get out of sales tax. Please write your congressman so that we can continue to make a lot of mon

  • The federal government needs to implement a 10% tax on all out-of-state/nation sales, BUT have the shipping company collect it. Then 10% of that goes to shipping company, 70-80% goes to the state where sold to, and 10% to the feds to pay down debt. Note that states would have to agree to this.
    • Note that states would have to agree to this.

      Technically only a majority of the representatives in Congress would have to agree. Even if none of the representatives from a particular state agreed to it.

      A national sales tax is a big hammer, and it would probably solve the immediate problems. But it creates new problems of its own, and there is concerns that a new tax would negatively impact the economy. And more importantly to Congress is that it would impact the next election. Nobody wants to go into an election being that guy that made the new tax th

  • by lunatick ( 32698 ) on Friday June 16, 2017 @10:13AM (#54632705) Homepage

    States do not have the right to tax interstate commerce. That is right out of the constitution just like the feds can't tax intrastate commerce. The exception is as others have stated is the Nexus rule. I should not have to collect/pay taxes for a jurisdiction that is thousands of miles away from my only location. As for Ebay. technically they don't sell anything, they provide a platform for others to sell. Their interest is in having to create code that would collect tax for the 1151 different tax jurisdictions that make up this nation. If the Washington law passes and holds up in court (which it won't) it would be a nightmare for Ebay to set this up for their sellers. They already allow their sellers to collect sales tax for where they are located.

    It creates a ridiculous amount of paperwork for a business.
    I am located in NYS I collect sales tax based on the tax jurisdiction where I am located. It takes me about 10 min a quarter to do the paperwork. There are about 50 different sales tax rated in NY. Imagine if I had to collect different rates based on where the buyer resides, fill out 50 collection forms a quarter and write 50 checks to them. While there is software to collect tax so you just have to punch in the numbers on the form it still takes about 10 min. Now multiply that by 1151 tax jurisdictions nationwide. It would take a business 11510 min/ 192 hours / 8 days / 24 8 hour shifts just to fill out all the paperwork for collection of sales tax. That's 5 weeks of work for 1 person and would go beyond the last day to submit the forms in most places (they give you about 1 month).

    No business will stand for this, there will be massive lawsuits which will waste millions of taxpayer funds to shoot down a law that is known to be unconstitutional. If it was legal it would have been done years ago. Ebay's interest again is in not having to spend the money for a lawsuit for this.

    • by hackel ( 10452 )

      You're an idiot. This can all be automated. You don't have to even spend 10 minutes at it. Sounds like you're just a cheap-ass who refuses to pay for a proper accounting system. Your inconvenience is hardly justification for people dodging their tax obligations.

      • by lunatick ( 32698 )

        I am sure you have a ton of experience filling out the forms and know exactly how much an accounting system costs. If you had read you would have seen that I have software that keeps track of how much I have to pay. NYS won't just accept the software though. You have to fill out the forms either online or on paper and submit the forms.
        And as others have said, Washington state taxpayers are supposed to pay their own taxes and submit it, why should I do the work of Washington state to police their citize

  • They can't pass a tax that tells me what to do, I don't live there. Are they stupid or something?
  • They aren't trying to impose a NEW tax. They are talking about passing regulations to require retailers to enforce the sales taxes that are *already* in place! Honestly, they should be going after consumers who aren't paying these taxes themselves each year as they are required to do. They are criminals and owe the government tons of back-taxes and interest on all of their untaxed out-of-state purchases.

    eBay is such a vile and disgusting company for doing this. I hope their downward spiral continues unt

  • Quill v North Dakota [wikipedia.org] is still good law. So all Washington is doing is setting itself up for losing lawsuits.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe

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