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  1. #1

    Internet Sales Tax

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/te...nate.html?_r=0
    http://www.marketplacefairness.org/

    Do you find that sales tax is a factor in making purchases?

    Personally, if I can find an item locally for approximately the same price as an online retailer, I will buy locally because of the instant gratification aspect, as well as the ease of return and not having to deal with the hassle of having an item shipped.

    I'm not sure how I feel about this, but they make good points. If the tax is already due, and people are simply ignoring it, providing tools to enable states to identify and collect revenue they are due makes sense. On the other hand, I think sales tax is stifling when combined with income tax. I'd much rather see no State income tax, and higher sales tax rates, so that the government is limited in it's spending based on the growth and economy.

  2. #2
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    I have no problem with it. I'm pretty sure I already pay tax on my internet purchases for the most part.
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  3. #3
    Not an American, but I didn't think the online retailers even did this to begin with. I know when I order stuff from Canadian retailers, they include the GST automatically. Also if I ship anything from the US, FedEx or UPS or whatever, bills the taxes and brokerage to me.
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    Scarab Lord Roose's Avatar
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    Our sales tax here is 9%. I admit that it does really factor in when buying something over a few hundred bucks. I am surprised more pressure is not put on internet sales tax because of the huge shift to online retail.

  5. #5
    I bought a TV for my office a few months ago, and found the exact same item from Amazon for almost $120 cheaper with free shipping.

    I won't lie, I got the item delivered, and returned the unopened one back to the brick and mortar retailer I bought it from, and got back the $120, and the ~$50 in sales tax.

    I do think they have a legitimate beef.

  6. #6
    The Insane Didactic's Avatar
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    There's a reason my WoW subscription costs 16.95 a month and not 15.00.

    I have no problem with sales taxes, personally. They're a relatively consistent and stable source of revenue.
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  7. #7
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    I should clarify I have no problem with a small sales tax with exemptions for things like food and other basic necessities. I'm NOT for replacing income taxes with sales tax, as sales tax is a far more regressive form of taxation.
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  8. #8
    Titan Wildtree's Avatar
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    That's a US thing.... Okay let me try to clear the situation.
    Been running online business for years..
    The law requires to collect sales tax only from instate customers, not out of state sales.
    And yes, it is a definite point of purchase for the customer.
    You buy online. You get it shipped anyway. Why would you pay more from one seller, when the other one sells it to you for the same price minus the sales tax?
    I oppose that idea. Anything else would be hypocrite.
    I live near the border of Iowa and Nebraska. The river builds the border between 450k ppl city Omaha, and 50k city Council Bluffs. There's heavy traffic back and forth every day. All retail transactions from those people are subject to the sales tax rule. If you buy out of state you can keep your receipt and turn it in for your tax returns for the out of state sales tax paid.
    The internet works just more efficient than a brick and mortar retail store. On the internet the check out can be automated and tax either applied or not according to the buyers residence. In the brick and mortar business, this would be a huge mess to do.
    Changing ONLY the internet sales tax handling is hypocrite...

    PS: To clarify what defines which tax to collect or not as an online business is the business's physical residence.
    The state that issued the business license is the state you do business in, and for that you collect the tax.
    Last edited by Wildtree; 2013-04-23 at 10:14 PM.
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    Elemental Lord Masark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TradewindNQ View Post
    Not an American, but I didn't think the online retailers even did this to begin with. I know when I order stuff from Canadian retailers, they include the GST automatically. Also if I ship anything from the US, FedEx or UPS or whatever, bills the taxes and brokerage to me.
    The USA does sales tax in a highly screwy manner.

    Unless they operate in the state, businesses can't be required to collect sales tax from a customer, per National Bellas Hess v. Illinois.

    Also, sales taxes can be levied at the state, county, and city level, resulting in an insane crazy quilt of literally thousands of tax jurisdictions, each with varying exemptions, and esoteric borders between them.

    Theoretically, if you guy stuff from out of state and get it shipped to you, you're supposed to enter it in on your state tax forms and pay a "use tax". But for obvious reasons, this is practically impossible to enforce and thus the vast majority of people don't bother.

    This wasn't a major issue when in-person sales constituted the vast majority of sales, but now that internet sales are getting more common, the states/cities are losing out on large portions of their tax revenue, especially in states that don't have an income tax. So, they're getting Congress to grant them the power to require out-of-state companies to collect the tax.
    Last edited by Masark; 2013-04-23 at 10:17 PM.
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  10. #10
    My business only has to charge sales tax to people in the same state, but we ship to all 50 and Canada..Just so people who aren't American or don't run a business can know why this is an issue
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    Titan Wildtree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Masark View Post
    The USA does sales tax in a highly screwy manner.

    Unless they operate in the state, businesses can't be required to collect sales tax from a customer, per National Bellas Hess v. Illinois.

    Also, sales taxes can be levied at the state, county, and city level, resulting in an insane crazy quilt of literally thousands of tax jurisdictions, each with varying exemptions, and esoteric borders between them.
    There would be a way around the situation...
    Federal Sales Tax, fixed for all sales. The fed govt then contributes parts down to the states, and they to the communities.
    But it makes zero sense to tax all internet sales, yet on the same token all brick and mortar purchases are still subject to a sales tax refund for a out of state buyer.
    Tax every sale, and be done with it.... Fair game for all. Or leave it as it is.
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  12. #12
    The Lightbringer Deadvolcanoes's Avatar
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    I guess it sucks for people that live in non-sales tax states?

    I like buying stuff online, and I do it quite a bit. The lack if sales tax wasn't much of a factor, I just like having things shipped right to my door.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Wildtree View Post
    There would be a way around the situation...
    Federal Sales Tax, fixed for all sales. The fed govt then contributes parts down to the states, and they to the communities.
    But it makes zero sense to tax all internet sales, yet on the same token all brick and mortar purchases are still subject to a sales tax refund for a out of state buyer.
    Tax every sale, and be done with it.... Fair game for all. Or leave it as it is.
    Yeah but then there's places like Cook County...holy fuck. Easily the worst part about going to Chicago.
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  14. #14
    Titan Wildtree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TradewindNQ View Post
    Not an American, but I didn't think the online retailers even did this to begin with. I know when I order stuff from Canadian retailers, they include the GST automatically. Also if I ship anything from the US, FedEx or UPS or whatever, bills the taxes and brokerage to me.
    We shipped world wide.
    During the checkout you are informed that any applicable taxes etc. for your transaction in your country are your sole responsibility.
    I only charge for the goods and the shipping costs. And I certainly refused any customers request to declare less package value as there was. Such requests happened, seldom though.
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  15. #15
    So long as it just requires me to pay my state's sales tax for online purchases, and not anything extra, that's fine.
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    This is frankly, really god damn fucking stupid.
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  16. #16
    It should be taxed, sure it is nice to not have to pay it but it really should be taxed like all other purchases you do in life.

  17. #17
    Stood in the Fire
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    OK. So let's say it passes that online companies have to collect sales taxes for the state where the order originated. Now any business person in his right mind then incorporates his business in Canada, The Cayman Islands, Monaco, I don't know .. anywhere but the US. Now they don't have to collect state sales tax any more. In actuality now they don't even have to pay US income taxes.

    The Law of Uninteded Consequences will bite you in the ass every time.

  18. #18
    The Insane Reeve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thwart View Post
    OK. So let's say it passes that online companies have to collect sales taxes for the state where the order originated. Now any business person in his right mind then incorporates his business in Canada, The Cayman Islands, Monaco, I don't know .. anywhere but the US. Now they don't have to collect state sales tax any more. In actuality now they don't even have to pay US income taxes.

    The Law of Uninteded Consequences will bite you in the ass every time.
    Companies in other countries don't get to circumvent sales taxes just because they're based in other countries.
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  19. #19
    The Insane smrund's Avatar
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    I really have no issue with internet sales tax. It shouldn't be difficult to calculate how much the tax on the product is in the place you're shipping it too.
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    Elemental Lord Masark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smrund View Post
    It shouldn't be difficult to calculate how much the tax on the product is in the place you're shipping it too.
    It's not exactly trivial, given the above mentioned insane crazy quit of tax jurisdictions.

    However, there are services available to deal with this for you.
    Warning : Above post may contain snark and/or sarcasm. Try reparsing with the /s argument before replying.
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