Governments & Online Sales (Virtual and Real) Tax Soon? - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:14 PM
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Exclamation Governments & Online Sales (Virtual and Real) Tax Soon?

This might be better in pricing, but the mods can move it if they like.

I know New York is looking to tax online sales, of real world goods at least. Yesterday I found out the governor of Wisconsin (where my home is) has it in the budget to tax online sales, including ebooks, music, and movies downloaded from the Intarwebs. Chime in if you know for sure if your state is or is not planning to do this.

Please don't let this devolve into how "hard" it is to do tax stuff. I've heard that boring diatribe before (and it's intellectually dishonest to say the least). I'm more interested in whether or not the state you are in is considering it to "balance the budget."

---Edit

-List of States confirmed Yes by HDD users (2/20)

New York
Florida
Wisconsin

-List of states confirmed No by HDD users (2/20)

California

Last edited by Inglix the Mad; 02-20-2009 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:23 PM
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No doubt all online purchases will get taxed eventually.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:25 PM
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Ironically California, the state deepest in the hole, doesn't have it as part of the budget being signed today to tax online sales or digital downloads. I wonder if that has anything to do with the state housing so many entertainment companies, as there are already going to be tax incentives given to in-state filming for tv shows and movies to keep production in the state.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:44 PM
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Florida Bill Would Tax Internet Sales

Quote:
Feb 13, 2009, By Wayne Hanson

"My legislation simply provides a mechanism to uphold current law and collect revenue due to the state." -- Florida Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (pictured)

According to Florida Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, Florida should begin collecting taxes on Internet purchases to offset budget shortages. Rehwinkel Vasilinda earlier this week filed the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax legislation (HB 329) and sent letters to members of Congress and President-elect Barack Obama urging them to pass federal legislation that will enable states to collect Internet sales taxes. In the letter, she urged them not to be "bullied by bloggers seeking to distort the truth."

A post on Rehwinkel Vasilinda's Web site claims Florida is losing anywhere from two to four billion dollars a year because of uncollected sales taxes on Internet purchases.

"I believe that with adversity comes opportunity and we should look for ways that will help Florida out of this financial crisis" said Rehwinkel Vasilinda. "My legislation simply provides a mechanism to uphold current law and collect revenue due to the state."

Amazon.com Sues New York State

A bigger issue is: will the laws change to require online retailers to deal with hundreds of state and local taxation issues and regulations? The Supreme Court's Quill Decision set a standard that in order for a state to require a business to collect sales taxes, the business must maintain a physical presence in that state. New York is one of a number of states disputing that. Amazon.com, for example sued New York following passage of a state law that seeks to extend the definition of "physical presence." According to the new law, any Web site in the state that makes commissions by referring customers to an out-of-state sales site would constitute such a presence. Amazon and many other online retailers advertise using links on Web sites.

The American Booksellers Association (ABA) Web site calls for "e-fairness" through equitable enforcement of existing state tax laws. "Tax laws in the 45 states that collect sales tax stipulate that when a retailer has any physical presence in the state," says the ABA, "whether it be a retail store, warehouse, office or sales agent, the company must collect and remit sales tax on purchases made by customers in those states." By such reasoning, the ABA appears to consider any online link to a site as a "sales agent."

The ABA goes on to say that taxing local bookstores while online sales sites are not taxed is unfair, as local customers can then shop online tax free. "As a result," says the ABA, "in-state retailers lose business and the states lose much-needed tax revenue."

In the meantime, Amazon placed a statement on its Web site that says: "Amazon.com LLC will begin collecting sales tax on items shipped to destinations within the state of New York as New York has enacted a new law requiring out-of-state sellers to collect and remit sales tax based on advertising. Amazon has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of this provision. However, as required by the law, we must still begin collecting New York sales tax."
http://www.govtech.com/gt/619174
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:06 PM
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Surefire way to get people back out to the big box stores....why pay for shipping AND tax?
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:21 PM
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I think this will be coming to most states as they try and balance budgets. I know Utah is looking to raise taxes in a variety of ways, including on food.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post
Surefire way to get people back out to the big box stores....why pay for shipping AND tax?
Who pays for shipping? With a little patience and a little planning, Amazon is always free.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by space-monkey View Post
Who pays for shipping? With a little patience and a little planning, Amazon is always free.
Meh, another year or so and the box stores will be as cheap as Amazon on D&D titles. After that, if you're paying for tax in either case, it's just individual choice.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inglix the Mad View Post
Yesterday I found out the governor of Wisconsin (where my home is) has it in the budget to tax online sales, including ebooks, music, and movies downloaded from the Intarwebs.
Wisconsin has taxed internet sales, along with mail-order sales for many, many years, but it was on the "honor" system (unless the seller had a physical presence in the state, in which case it was to be collected at the time of the sale). Take another look at your state tax form.

Taxing a non-tangible item seems like new territory, though.

And yes, as the economy tightens, governments will find more and more ways of parting people with their money for the public "good."

To say any more would be close to violating the rules of this forum.

Scott
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRW1000 View Post
Wisconsin has taxed internet sales, along with mail-order sales for many, many years, but it was on the "honor" system (unless the seller had a physical presence in the state, in which case it was to be collected at the time of the sale). Take another look at your state tax form.

Taxing a non-tangible item seems like new territory, though.

And yes, as the economy tightens, governments will find more and more ways of parting people with their money for the public "good."

To say any more would be close to violating the rules of this forum.

Scott
Yes, "Use Tax" which hardly anyone bothers with. This simply closes a loophole and, honestly, I thought it'd come sooner.

As far as taxing a "non-tangible" item, not really. Tommy did it by saying the Internet was taxable. At that time Wisconsin was pretty much the only state taxing that. Yay Tommy Thompson? People get taxed for VoD. People get taxed for other "services" all the time. What makes iTunes so special it should escape?

Realistically anyone whom has shopped on the Internet knew, at least intellectually, this was coming. The tax free ride couldn't last forever. With billions of dollars changing hands, the physical stores complaining about the inequity (and they were right to complain) this will leave the Newegg's and Amazon's and iTunes of the net with a shopping convenience factor.

Well at least it won't be hard to implement. Well, no harder than the last portal I made. That had to sort, quickly, between different plans, provider networks, lcoations, blah blah blah, for the end user while keeping track of 14 states regulations. Fortunately, it's all tabled. That means easy upkeep and implementation.

Do I like it? No. Did I think it was inevitable? Yes. Anyone that doesn't believe in the foolishness of Rand or Marx (great in theory, pathetic in real life like most philosophy) knows better.
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