Jump to content



Photo

US Senate Shows Support for Internet Sales Taxes

usa internet sales cash-starved state government unworkably complicated companies move overseas

  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#16 Fezmid

Fezmid

    Neowinian

  • 1,218 posts
  • Joined: 08-October 10
  • Location: Twin Cities, USA

Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:49

People aren't paying the tax they're legally obligated to, which is wrong. It's also unfair to bricks and mortar retailers (which have to pay tax) and states (which are struggling to provides essential services). It's amazing that the current situation has been allowed to carry on as long as it has but it highlights the complexities and contradictions involved in the relationship between states and the federal government.

But what's the purpose of sales tax? It's to support LOCAL services and infrastructure. Why should a company out of state have to collect taxes for the local government, when they get no benefits from the local services and infrastructure? Amazon, for example, gets no benefit from local fire protection, local police protection, roads, etc. And they pay FedEx/UPS to deliver their packages, who ARE paying local taxes in the local areas. That's the reason out of state companies have never had to collect taxes.

Plus, it's a BS argument to say that it's not fair to brick and mortar retailers -- they have advantages that you can't get online, such as individualized service, the ability to touch/hold, the ability to get the product instantly, etc, etc. Plus, online retailers have to pay shipping (or consumers have to pay shipping), something you don't pay at a B&M. Yes, Amazon subsidizes that with Prime, but it's still an extra cost, and one could argue that isn't "fair" to online retailers.


#17 MDboyz

MDboyz

    Neowinian

  • 1,293 posts
  • Joined: 16-November 01

Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:56

Nice ... that is another way to encourage people to spend more to stimulate the economics ... oh wait ...
I thought the Govt should try to fix the economics, not to fuk it up more.

#18 ShareShiz

ShareShiz

    Neowinian

  • 981 posts
  • Joined: 21-June 11

Posted 24 March 2013 - 03:58

How can the US tax the WORLD WIDE WEB ???

#19 Growled

Growled

    Neowinian Senior

  • 41,508 posts
  • Joined: 17-December 08
  • Location: USA

Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:01

So our money hungry government is for a tax raising scheme? Who would you thunk it?

#20 Blackhearted

Blackhearted

    .....

  • 3,240 posts
  • Joined: 26-February 04
  • Location: Ohio
  • Phone: Samsung Galaxy S2 (VM)

Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:08

An estimated $20 billion in sales taxes go uncollected annually by out-of-state online merchants.


And yet far, far more than that goes uncollected from the rich people and big companies exploiting loopholes to get out of paying taxes. But i guess not paying a tax is only a problem if it's the normal people.

#21 Growled

Growled

    Neowinian Senior

  • 41,508 posts
  • Joined: 17-December 08
  • Location: USA

Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:10

And yet far, far more than that goes uncollected from the rich people and big companies exploiting loopholes to get out of paying taxes.


Exactly, but it's okay because those rich folks paid off the government for that privilege.

#22 theyarecomingforyou

theyarecomingforyou

    Tiger Trainer

  • 16,659 posts
  • Joined: 07-August 03
  • Location: Terra Prime Profession: Jaded Sceptic
  • OS: Windows 10 Preview
  • Phone: Galaxy Note 3 with Galaxy Gear

Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:45

But what's the purpose of sales tax? It's to support LOCAL services and infrastructure. Why should a company out of state have to collect taxes for the local government, when they get no benefits from the local services and infrastructure? Amazon, for example, gets no benefit from local fire protection, local police protection, roads, etc. And they pay FedEx/UPS to deliver their packages, who ARE paying local taxes in the local areas. That's the reason out of state companies have never had to collect taxes.


Taxes have to be collected to provide essential services - whether it's at the state or federal level is irrelevant. It makes sense that purchases made by residents of a state are taxed in that state.

I've never understood why Americans are so opposed to taxes. It's bizarre.

#23 Fezmid

Fezmid

    Neowinian

  • 1,218 posts
  • Joined: 08-October 10
  • Location: Twin Cities, USA

Posted 24 March 2013 - 13:16

Taxes have to be collected to provide essential services - whether it's at the state or federal level is irrelevant. It makes sense that purchases made by residents of a state are taxed in that state.

I've never understood why Americans are so opposed to taxes. It's bizarre.

We're not opposed to paying taxes in general, we're just weary of the government and opposed to taxes that are nothing more than a money grab by the government. Like in this case.

Like I said, the point of a sales tax is for LOCAL infrastructure support. So why should a company pay all that money to collect taxes for a government that doesn't actually do anything for them? For example, many areas charge extra sales tax as a way to help pay for a local stadium. Why should Amazon have to pay to keep track of the hundreds (or thousands) of different sales tax laws in order to help pay for a stadium or the roads around the stadium? It doesn't make sense. And if you say it's unfair that online retailers don't have to collect sales tax, wouldn't the opposite be true too? It's unfair that online retailers have to keep track of EVERY different sales tax in the country, where the brick and mortar only has to keep track of a single sales tax.

If you want an idea of how confusing it is, check out the Wikipedia page and look at all of the exceptions, differences, etc, all over the place:
http://en.wikipedia....e_United_States

And maybe you missed the point where the Supreme Court of the United States ruled it unconstitutional for states to require businesses outside of the state to collect taxes. That'd be another reason we're opposed to it - because it's (currently) illegal. ;)

#24 theyarecomingforyou

theyarecomingforyou

    Tiger Trainer

  • 16,659 posts
  • Joined: 07-August 03
  • Location: Terra Prime Profession: Jaded Sceptic
  • OS: Windows 10 Preview
  • Phone: Galaxy Note 3 with Galaxy Gear

Posted 24 March 2013 - 14:17

We're not opposed to paying taxes in general, we're just weary of the government and opposed to taxes that are nothing more than a money grab by the government. Like in this case.


States are struggling to provide essential services yet collecting taxes is just a "money grab"? I don't follow the logic.

Like I said, the point of a sales tax is for LOCAL infrastructure support. So why should a company pay all that money to collect taxes for a government that doesn't actually do anything for them?


The money is coming from the resident of a state to pay for services that they use. It's really simple.

For example, many areas charge extra sales tax as a way to help pay for a local stadium. Why should Amazon have to pay to keep track of the hundreds (or thousands) of different sales tax laws in order to help pay for a stadium or the roads around the stadium?


Because the stadium isn't for Amazon - it's for the residents of the state. It's not Amazon paying the tax, it's the consumer; Amazon simply collects the tax revenue and delivers it to the appropriate department.

And if you say it's unfair that online retailers don't have to collect sales tax, wouldn't the opposite be true too? It's unfair that online retailers have to keep track of EVERY different sales tax in the country, where the brick and mortar only has to keep track of a single sales tax.


The system should be fair, so they should both pay state and/or federal taxes.

And maybe you missed the point where the Supreme Court of the United States ruled it unconstitutional for states to require businesses outside of the state to collect taxes. That'd be another reason we're opposed to it - because it's (currently) illegal. ;)


The US Constitution is constantly ignored or redefined, so that alone is not a defence. The real issue is whether it is appropriate and beneficial for society and given how states are struggling to provide the services that people demand it's clear that something needs to be done. If the US Constitution isn't serving the best interests of US citizens then it should be amended so that it is, just like it has been many times before.

#25 remixedcat

remixedcat

    meow!

  • 10,072 posts
  • Joined: 28-December 10
  • Location: Vmware ESXi and Hyper-V happy clouds
  • OS: Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Phone: I use telepathy and cat meows to communicate

Posted 24 March 2013 - 15:04

Mabye if they didn't give the billionaires such huge tax breaks then they would have more money to spend on state services instead of trying to collect more from people that can barely afford to make ends meet.

#26 COKid

COKid

    Neowinian Senior

  • 3,064 posts
  • Joined: 07-April 10
  • Location: Loveland, CO

Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:30

Update:
By Associated Press,
Monday, April 22, 8:19 PM

WASHINGTON — States could force Internet retailers to collect sales taxes under a bill that overwhelmingly passed a test vote in the Senate Monday.

Under current law, states can only require stores to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state. As a result, many online sales are essentially tax-free, giving Internet retailers a big advantage over brick-and-mortar stores.

The bill would allow states to require online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet. The sales taxes would be sent to the states where shoppers live.

The Senate voted 74 to 20 to begin debating the bill. If that level of support continues, the Senate could pass the bill as early as this week.

Supporters say the bill is about fairness for businesses and lost revenue for states. Opponents say it would impose complicated regulations on retailers and doesn’t have enough protections for small businesses. Businesses with less than $1 million a year in online sales would be exempt.

“I believe it is important to level the playing field for all retailers,” said Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., the bill’s main sponsor. “We should not be subsidizing some taxpayers at the expense of others.”

In many states, shoppers are required to pay unpaid sales tax when they file their state income tax returns. However, states complain that few people comply.

“I do know about three people that comply with that,” Enzi said.

President Barack Obama supports the bill, but its fate is uncertain in the House, where some Republicans regard it as a tax increase. Heritage Action for America, the activist arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation, opposes the bill and will count the vote in its legislative scorecard.

Many of the nation’s governors — Republicans and Democrats — have been lobbying the federal government for years for the authority to collect sales taxes from online sales, said Dan Crippen, executive director of the National Governors Association. Those efforts intensified when state tax revenues took hit from the recession and the slow economic recovery.

“It’s a matter of equity for businesses,” Crippen said. “It’s a matter of revenue for states.”

The bill pits brick-and-mortar stores like Wal-Mart against online services such as eBay. The National Retail federation supports it. And Amazon.com, which initially fought efforts in some states to make it collect sales taxes, supports it, too.

“Amazon.com has long supported a simplified nationwide approach that is evenhandedly applied and applicable to all but the smallest volume sellers,” Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global public policy said in a recent letter to senators.

On the other side, eBay has been rallying customers to oppose the bill.

“I hope you agree that imposing unnecessary tax burdens on small online businesses is a bad idea,” eBay president and CEO John Donahoe said in a letter to customers. “Join us in letting your Members of Congress know they should protect small online businesses, not potentially put them out of business.”

The bill is also opposed by senators from states that have no sales tax, including Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

“Supporters of this online sales tax bill are trying to muscle it through before senators find out how disastrous it would be for businesses in their states,” Ayotte said. “I will fight this power grab every step of the way to protect small online businesses in New Hampshire and across the nation.”

Baucus said the bill would require relatively small Internet retailers to comply with sales tax laws in thousands of jurisdictions.

“This legislation doesn’t help businesses expand and grow and hire more employees,” Baucus said. “Instead, it forces small businesses to hire expensive lawyers and accountants to deal with the burdensome paperwork and added complexity of tax rules and filings across multiple states.”

But Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the bill requires participating states to make it relatively easy for Internet retailers to comply. States must provide free computer software to help retailers calculate sales taxes, based on where shoppers live. States must also establish a single entity to receive Internet sales tax revenue, so retailers don’t have to send them to individual counties or cities.

“We’re way beyond the quill pen and leger days,” Durbin said. “Thanks to computers and thanks to software it is not that complex.”

http://www.washingto...c4b4_story.html

"Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., the bill’s main sponsor..."

A Republican? Raising our taxes? Damn those tax-and-spend conservatives!!! :angry:

#27 Enron

Enron

    Windows for Workgroups

  • 10,052 posts
  • Joined: 30-May 11
  • OS: Windows 8.1 U1
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 900

Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:36

What happens if I start buying all my stuff from online merchants from outside of the US?

#28 vetneufuse

neufuse

    Neowinian Senior

  • 16,986 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 04

Posted 23 April 2013 - 12:30

What happens if I start buying all my stuff from online merchants from outside of the US?


Same thing as always, they won't charge you a tax, as this only applies to USA based companies... but you would still owe your state taxes as you are REQUIRED to report them on your state taxes if your state collects sales taxes

#29 fusi0n

fusi0n

    Don't call it a come back

  • 3,881 posts
  • Joined: 08-July 04
  • OS: OSX 10.9\Windows 10\Ubuntu
  • Phone: LG G3

Posted 23 April 2013 - 12:47

Someone needs to stop this.

#30 vetneufuse

neufuse

    Neowinian Senior

  • 16,986 posts
  • Joined: 16-February 04

Posted 23 April 2013 - 14:25

Someone needs to stop this.


Why? Don't like paying a tax that you are required to tell the state about to start with?.... if your state collects sales tax and you don't pay it to the state at tax time, you are technically defrauding the state