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Drawing of a cash register
The bill closing the online sales tax loophole has made it through four Senate votes with more than 60 supporters, so there isn't much drama attached to a final Senate vote that only requires 50 supporters, slated for Monday afternoon. But with that, attention has to turn to the House, where the bill faces more challenges.

Grover Norquist and other anti-tax absolutists oppose the bill, even though it doesn't raise taxes, but just requires online retailers with more than $1 million in annual sales to collect sales taxes that currently go mostly unpaid. Having online retailers collect sales taxes would be more fair to brick-and-mortar stores that currently face a price disadvantage since customers can save several percent by buying online; it would also restore billions of dollars a year in funding to state and local governments. And since poor people often don't have internet access or credit cards, closing this loophole would actually make taxation a little bit more progressive.

Needless to say, state and local funding and eliminating a loophole that disadvantages poor people are not likely to be House Republican priorities, and even as Walmart and Amazon support the bill in addition to a host of small business owners, groups wanting to keep the loophole intact are lined up yelling about how it will impose a burden on business, and trying to make the Senate votes seem ... not totally legitimate:

“There’s a lot of pressure from the state-level governors and lawmakers and those sort of folks to push this thing through and sometimes that runs up the vote total higher than you might” see on a purely partisan issue, [Americans for Prosperity policy director James] Valvo said.
You know, just running up the vote, like some of these votes somehow mean less than they should because governors and state legislators supported this. As if it's just that easy to get more than 60 Senate votes four times over.

While Republicans don't typically care about state and local revenue, though, they will be hearing from business owners in their districts, which is the argument that has a chance of getting through to them. That's probably why House Republican leadership isn't outright rejecting consideration of the bill. It won't be a quick process, though. This bill would start in the House Judiciary Committee, which will have its hands full as it's also taking the lead on immigration. Most of all, Republicans are going to have a tough time figuring out what to do on a bill that has substantial business support but also business opposition, and substantial business support specifically within many of their districts, but also opposition from groups, like Americans for Prosperity, to which House Republicans are traditionally obedient. So look for them to slow-walk this one while they try to figure out how much punishment they'll face from anti-tax extremists for passing it or from local business owners for not passing it.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They'll do the same thing they did with Obamacare (0+ / 0-)

    Make lots of sympathetic noises about getting it done while all the time doing absolutely nothing.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:13:12 AM PDT

  •  My hope is they deadlock on this in the House (6+ / 0-)

    so their ability to pass anything is maintained.  I want the Republican party to be so dysfunctional they get voted out in 2014 en masse and the only way to do that is for them to be incapable of getting anything done.  Well, of course, anything other than passing bills against women, Obamacare, and in favor of bad economics.  I hope they keep giving Democrats points to run on.  Because left to their own, I expect Democrats would self-destruct if given the chance themselves.

    •  The problem is that Democrats will have to do (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, bleeding blue

      something.

      The gun regulation votes were an excellent example of the right way to win voters:

      A series of votes on short, clearly understandable items.  There really isn't any mushmouthing a yea or nay vote on any of them.

      Do a lot of that, and Democrats could have a very sweet 2014. 2016 will be tough because it's so rare for one party to win 3 Presidential elections in a row.  It's only happened once since the 25th Amendment passed.

      Otherwise, the most visible politician in the country is a lame-duck Democrat.  If things don't get better in a big way -- enough to bring back a lot of those long-term unemployed -- 2016 could be ugly.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:03:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  2 sides (12+ / 0-)

    On balance I support the bill, but ... sales tax is regressive. So a loophole to avoid paying sales tax, on the whole, does more good for the poor than for the rich.

    Still, local retailers employ more people than catalog and Internet merchants. And dollars spent locally help the local economy far more. Plus states can use the revenue.

    Still, far better to eliminate sales taxes entirely and increase taxes on wealth, if and when that becomes possible.

    •  Sales Taxes Are Regressive And Should Go (0+ / 0-)

      In the real world, which of the following scenarios is likely to produce that outcome:

      1. Loopholes make sales tax harder to collect and thus pointless, or

      2. Republicans see the light and renounce the evil or regressive tax policies.

      On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

      by stevemb on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:37:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This affects the middle class the most, (20+ / 0-)

    I think. I really think it's wrong to try to paint this as some "rich v. poor" issue.  In reality, this won't affect the really really poor, nor the really really rich, but instead will fall  on the working class, and middle class people.  

    Really poor people don't do a lot of internet shopping.  Really rich people are probably already paying the tax, since they are likely to have accountants do their state taxes, and accountants are far more likely to have their clients pay the tax.  Accountants can't claim ignorance of the fact that they owe the tax. They all report that tax on state returns already for their rich clients, so their rich clients are already paying this tax, and won't be affected financially (except it's one less thing for their tax accountant to do).  

    In the interest of full disclosure, this won't be a "tax increase" on me, because (since I'm a lawyer) I know that I'm liable for the tax anyway, and every year I go through my credit card statements, and the couple of online accounts I use that don't collect taxes (like Amazon) to report these kinds of purchases and pay taxes on them.  

    This is going to raise a lot of money for states and localities.  And the vast, vast, vast majority of it is going to come from the middle class.  It may very well be the right thing to do, since these people are essentially breaking the law by not paying taxes on these purchases now, but I'm not sure the middle class generally is going to be happy about this.

  •  It's really not a loophole. (10+ / 0-)

    A tax loophole is a legal means of avoiding paying taxes.  Not paying sales tax due on online purchases isn't a loophole, it's tax evasion.
    It's like saying there's a "drunk driving loophole" because most of the time you can drive drunk without getting caught.

    •  The loophole is on the business side (6+ / 0-)

      and it is a legal loophole. It's a loophole that allows companies to get out of collecting taxes.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:06:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Evasion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo

      Much in the law has some element of intent.  If I am going twenty miles an hour through a school zone and some kids runs in front of me, i hit him, and dies, I am likely going to have broken no laws.  Yes, someone dies, but murder requires intent.  Likewise if I am cleaning my gun and it discharges and the neighbor is shot and dies, a crime may have been committed, but intent to murder is going to be difficult to prove.  Many people who are murderers are likely set free because they were cleaning their gun.

      So what is the intent of evasion.  If I am corporate presence on some Caribbean island, and I pay everything on my business Amex that is funded through that corporation, is that evasion?  If I drive into a neighboring state with no sales tax or lower sales tax, and buy some stuff, is that evasion?  If a state has a law against sodomy, and I perform cunningless, should I turn myself in, or spend the rest of my life running from the law.

      The reality is that use tax was never enforced and the burden on mail order businesses was too extreme to collect the tax.  Local firms were able to keep customers due the freight costs and the lack of standardizations and services.   Companies like Amazon were able to thrive and divert tax dollars because, frankly, they did a better job than Walmart at getting quality products to customers.  So now everyone is talking about the use tax, and asking retailers to collect it, mostly because it is technically feasible, though legally complicated.  Firms with a presence in a state are now collecting tax, and I don't see how a state is going to go after a mom and pop retailer in another state.  It will cost too much.  Just like prosecuting the person who has offshore accounts.

      And really the issue is quite overstated.  Most of the loss of revenue is a result of the bad economy.  In Texas 2012 sales tax revenue is up 12%, and texas only began collecting sales tax from Amazon in 2013.  This is a recovering economy, and and unemployment rate of 6.4%, no increased taxes on the middle class.

      •  There's a story there.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Losty
        In Texas 2012 sales tax revenue is up 12%, and texas only began collecting sales tax from Amazon in 2013.
        (After a battle and a  big Perry gift to Amazon)

        Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

        by DRo on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:21:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Small brick and mortar businesses support the (6+ / 0-)

    bill, but small Internet businesses don't.

    I think a compromise might be to raise the current $1 small business exclusion in the Senate bill to something larger, like $10 million. I think there is bi-partisan support for Amazon to collect local and state sales taxes, but this legislation would be a burden to small internet businesses.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:32:06 AM PDT

    •  I don't consider million in revenue from Internet (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rtaylor352, TexasTom

      Sales to be that small of a business. Of course, I guess that depends on what you sell.

      If you sell private jets, you wouldn't have to sell many to get to a million in sales.

      •  I don't know the distribution of Internet sales (0+ / 0-)

        Are 80% of all internet sales from Amazon and other large companies? I don't know. However, if it is the case that the big players control the market it would be nice to have them carry this burden. An internet company with a $1 million in sales might support two or three employees and be break even. Adding this administrative burden I think would be unfortunate.

        People don't close sales for business jets over the internet although they are very heavily advertised using blast emails.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:44:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why even exempt... (0+ / 0-)

      ...businesses w/less than $1M in sales? At least my state doesn't exempt such businesses within the state from collecting sales tax, why should such internet businesses be exempt?

      The one exemption I might make is on sales done via phone or mail (or similar) rather than the internet IF that item is not available for internet sale through that business or an affiliate AND the business has less than some percentage of sales out of state. This would allow a business to sell spare parts etc to a past "in state" customer who had moved.

      "Internet businesses" choose to make money via the internet, I don't see why they should be exempt from bothering to subscribe to a service that, given a shipping address, computes the sales tax, "bills" the retailer periodically, and remits the taxes at the proper time to the proper governments. It just isn't that hard (and will likely get even easier once this bill passes).

      •  The reason is... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        ...that a small brick and mortar business is collecting sales tax at a single rate and remitting the money to a single location.

        In contrast, a small online business would have to deal with hundreds of different rates for different locations (because the sales tax often varies within a state), and would have to make payments to something like 45 different states (excluding the ones that don't have a sales tax).

        That really is a much bigger administrative burden.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:01:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sure 3rd party... (0+ / 0-)

          ...solutions are (and more will be) available.

          Rather like 3rd party credit card processing -- although it should be cheaper (the software is simple, there's little financial risk to the third party, and the infrastructure required by the third party is not complex). I just don't see the burden as being as bad as dealing with FedEx or UPS or USPS and keeping all the "estimated shipping" stuff up to date for all forms of shipping and customer destinations.

          If reaching customers in other states is useful to one's business model, paying a few cents per transaction to a 3rd party "tax administrator" is a reasonable cost. If that burden isn't acceptable, the small internet retailer can refuse to ship outside their state -- even with that, in most cases, they would still have much more "reach" than a small brick and mortar store and hence an advantage (to say nothing of the cost savings of not maintaining a retail store).

  •  How many people buy online solely because (8+ / 0-)

    they don't have to pay sales tax? I don't. I do it for the convenience, and a lot of times, the price on Amazon would still be cheaper than a brick and mortar store once you add on sales tax.

     Also, this is only to collect state tax. There's still local taxes that wouldn't be collected online (and those can vary from street to street and completely impractical for an online retailer to calculate and charge). For example, when I bought my MacBook online from Apple, they charged me state sales tax (due to their presence in my state) but no local tax, so the tax I paid was about half of what it would be if I went to the Apple Store and bought it. On an expensive laptop, that's not chump change.

    This will help narrow the gap between the 0% sales tax online retailers charge and the sometimes 9% local retailers charge, but it's not going to close it, and I'm not sure that this will be the huge win local retailers think it will be.

    I know it's not a tax hike since you're supposed to be paying this tax, it's more of a tax enforcement. But it still seems like it would hurt the middle class the most. Poor people aren't buying much online. Rich people are buying stuff online but probably have an accountant that makes sure they pay it to avoid the embarrassment and hassle of an audit. Then there's us middle class folk who buy stuff online and don't pay it. Not technically a tax hike, but will sure seem like one.

    "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

    by yg17 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:51:45 AM PDT

    •  my sales tax is so high that for me, yes it's a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, PatriciaVa

      consideration
      if the shipping is free - I'm saving money

      the solution is to lower the tax, not bring the hammer down

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:52:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and the problem with this argument is that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fearisthemindkiller, PatriciaVa

      people will definitely buy something, just choose between retailers. Why isn't anyone considering the possibility that this will depress sales? It will make me less likely to buy something altogether. Yeah, that's great for business. Middle class and poor always gets stuck with regressive taxes while the rich get off scott free.

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:56:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I do consider the tax. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eyesbright, mmacdDE, Dr Swig Mcjigger

      I look at the bottom line that includes tax and shipping.  I've seen great deals on price and get annoyed when it takes a lot of work to get shipping costs (This usually means there  is a problem with the costs).

      You really don't know what an item costs 'til you look at the final cost.

      Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

      by DRo on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:02:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Customers consider anything that saves them $ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, VClib

      I have an online shop and I am incorporated in NY and I don't charge NYers additional sales tax because I don't want to lose the NY business.  It's too important a market.  Instead I pay the tax from my margin.  

      We have the elite, smart people on our side.

      by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:08:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But you do pay the tax (0+ / 0-)

        You just have it already figured into the price.

        This wouldn't really change anything for you unless you have a lot of sales to people in other states.

        •  I do most business out of state. (0+ / 0-)

          I would not be able to pay the tax for customers in all the states.  Prices would go up and sales will go down, or margins on the goods themselves will have to be dropped even lower to keep the final price point where it needs to be.

          But hey, I feel great about it because at least we don't have to raise the marginal tax rates on wealthy people.  We can just balance the States books by making goods and services we all use more expensive for us.  Yay, progressive victory.

          We have the elite, smart people on our side.

          by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:55:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You do that much in sales? (0+ / 0-)

            It wouldn't be that hard to charge the sales tax if required, and it wouldn't change the price you charged for your goods.

            If you sold in a store you would charge sales tax, and people would expect to pay it. This isn't any different.

            •  Yes and no (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib

              If the final total is too expensive, customers will abandon a sale.  You can actually track what % of your customers abandon as sale after each step in a check out process -- each page where you have to click continue, you lose more and more sales.  What worries me is giving people another reason at the point of sale to abandon the purchase, and popping up an up charge like sales tax that is not expected, is a disincentive to make the final click to complete the sale.

              My experience with online customers is that most of them are very fickle, especially new customers who are looking for any and all reasons not to trust you before giving you their card info.

              And no I don't think that those folks are going to run off and buy the same thing from their local mom and pop.  I think the sale is just lost, or it goes to one of the Big Guys.

              We have the elite, smart people on our side.

              by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:31:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Display sales tax (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dr Swig Mcjigger

                You should be able to display sales tax in the cart throughout the process if you have the customer's zip code already or do a regional lookup on their IP address and base the tax rate on that (with a little asterisk).

                +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

                by cybersaur on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:41:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Something's not right... (0+ / 0-)

      ...if Apple isn't charging you the full state plus local tax rate on your purchases.

      I've never bought anything from Apple -- either online or at one of their stores, but have bought online from Amazon, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble.  In all cases, they charge me the full 8.25% sales tax that applies to where I live.  That's 6.25% state tax, plus 2% local for city and mass transit.  

      I fail to understand any valid reason why Apple would not have to do the same thing as those other retailers.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:04:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  shouldn't mayors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, DRo

    and governors pressures the crap out of representatives to support this. business owners as well i would think.  

    The Senate has no guts. The House has no brains.

    by gossamer1234 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:32:45 PM PDT

    •  Why don't mayors and governors raise taxes.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, fearisthemindkiller

      ...on the most affluent?

      Why did Dems in the state of Minnesota target the working and middle-class (via an increase in the sales and gambling taxes) as they sought funding for a new stadium for the Vikings?

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:37:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the big "argument" (4+ / 0-)

        against it i've seen is that it's a burden.  that's total baloney.  for those that do a $million in business.  how hard would that be?  should be fairly simple to implement something on a website that has a record of the sales tax for whatever the zipcode for the billing or shipping address is.  that sales tax that's added should be put into a separate account. and then paid off whenever it's supposed to paid off.  it may cost them a LITTLE bit more, but they've been getting off tax free for like 20 years now haven't they?

        this is a no-brainer.  local business suffer.  from losing business to cheaper online retailers. the states miss out on sales tax revenue as a result.  why should the state of South Dakota help out a business in North Carolina when that business contributes NOTHING to their state?

        The Senate has no guts. The House has no brains.

        by gossamer1234 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:44:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright, Dr Swig Mcjigger

          Supporters say the bill makes 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.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

          Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

          by DRo on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:46:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Single entity, But rates vary by address.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fearisthemindkiller, VClib

            For State, County, transit Authority, Amusement district, etc..

            This will be One Large Pain, Count on it..

            •  Everything that can go wrong, will (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Losty

              Thankfully we will have software to fix everything, because everyone knows that software is infallible, compatible with every accounting system that business use, never breaks or requires support, and will plug into existing online checkout software with no bugs... ever.

              We have the elite, smart people on our side.

              by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:37:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  By this logic (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DRo

                We should basically take no steps on anything every again.

              •  So internet retailers are using 2-entry ledgers? (0+ / 0-)

                Most of internet businesses are all electronic, they don't have double entry accounting ledgers. Of course software has problems, but that's not a reason NOT to do a very simple thing.

                Can taxing rules be complex, sure, but if you're in business, then get down to running your business and stop complaining.

                As for the technical aspects, just about every online checkout software I've seen can deal with sales tax, many are using the Amazon infrastructure, that'll handle it trivially, same with GoDaddy, eBay, and several open source shopping carts.

            •  If it is that complicated... (0+ / 0-)

              ...subscription services will abound that do the computation for the retailer based on shipping address. A pretty simple API and it shouldn't cost too much per transaction as the cost of maintaining the database will be amortized over many sales and many retailers.

          •  must supply software (0+ / 0-)
            States must provide free computer software to help retailers calculate sales taxes, based on where shoppers live.
            They shouldn't leave it to the states to design software. The very last thing you want to deal with is 50 different version of over-legislated lunacy written in 68 different computer languages.
            A single open source standard would be best.

            +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

            by cybersaur on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:46:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  DRo - there are thousands of individual sales (0+ / 0-)

            tax rates. Here in California we have hundreds as each city and county can levy sales taxes.

            I favor this tax for retailers like Amazon but would like to see the House raise the small business exception to $10 million. I don't think that will cost much in lost tax revenue and those over $10 million will have the staff and resources to comply.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:45:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Will it Increase or Decrease Income Inequality? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DRo

          That's the litmus test that Dems should apply to any legislation impacting tax policy.

          Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

          by PatriciaVa on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:47:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Internet business are local businesses. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Losty, indie17, bryduck

          They just use the internet as the means to reach their customers, vs walk bys or signage.  But they are as much a part of local communities as Brick and Mortar.

          And its not the business "getting by tax free" it is the customers.  The customers are going to pay the tax, the business just collect it.

          Also ignored is business will pay tax on items they buy from other business online, stuff like office supplies, paper, software etc.   Those goods they have all been buying tax free and going to be taxed, raising costs of operation which are going to be passed on to customers.

          I'm not against all taxes, I'm against dumb taxes.

          Can we get a tax on financial transactions?  No, because those effect rich people exclusively.  Instead we get greater enforcement on online sales taxes so that items people and business buy every day in order to function become more expensive.

          We have the elite, smart people on our side.

          by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:17:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Will this actually help the physical stores? (4+ / 0-)

    Are people actually buying online to avoid taxes, or because the lower price, better selection, and convenience makes it a habit?

    I live in Canada and for my online purchases I already pay taxes.  That accounts for about zero percent of my online buying decision.  Usually the only thing I buy in stores are food/household goods, impulse items, and things I really need to see firsthand to decide if I like it or because I don't know it that well.

    For example, I'll go to a store to buy clothes or a shrub for the garden.  But a book or a Blu-Ray?  Amazon is fine, and actually preferable.

    •  I'm like you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybersaur

      Shoes, no way will I buy online, I have to try them on. Some clothes I can buy online, if I know the retailer and the size I take.

      Anything special or expensive, and I have to try it on. Electronics I might buy online, depends on what it is. Books, I don't have much choice, we don't have a real bookstore less than 40 miles away.

      I live in a state with no sales tax, so that doesn't enter into it. Shipping does, however. A lot.

      And there are times when I buy more than I initially planned to, just to get free shipping, because the shipping was about as much as the other items.

  •  Threshold Should Be Higher Than $1M (5+ / 0-)

    That could be a two man company, it could be a company with $20,000 in profits.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:40:43 PM PDT

    •  I gross 1 Mil (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Losty, indie17

      have 2 FT, 2 PT employees and post 15K a year profit after expenses.  Some years I have run a loss with 1 mil gross.

      We have the elite, smart people on our side.

      by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:20:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Get ready for another one after this bill.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indie17, fearisthemindkiller

        Again, Hitting Mom and Pop..

        How many accountants will you have to add on take care of 9600+ Taxing entities?

        How much time will that take?

        How much money will you have to spend on the extra accountancy?

        How much will that have to cut into your business, profit, and time?

        •  A Fair Bill Would Treat Everyone The Same... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fearisthemindkiller

          ...i.e. both online and physical-pickup stores pay the sales tax rate of the spot where the store manager's butt is parked. That way, everyone has to deal with one set of rules.

          If this encourages the more mobile online businesses to gravitate to jurisdictions without sales taxes, good -- when a body politic rejects a toxic policy such as regressive taxation, it should be rewarded.

          On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

          by stevemb on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:43:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As I hinted below (0+ / 0-)

          I think the answer is to split online branch into a separate entity.  I do over a million gross but most of it is not online.  Then I can just deal with the tax for NY state like I do currently.

          We have the elite, smart people on our side.

          by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:50:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Marginal Sales Tax Over $1M Would Make Sense (0+ / 0-)

        Pay sales tax on sales above $1M only.

        Otherwise a company might say "Well November was pretty good and we've grossed $995,000, so we are laying you off until January. Happy Holidays!"

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:37:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not quite like that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE

          There won't be an advantage ever to doing less in sales.  

          There might be an advantage for companies that only do a % of their sales online to split the online company into a separate entity.  Mom and Pop shops that do 1 million in sales but only 10 to 15% of that is online might be better off incorporating the online shop separately to avoid the reporting requirements.

          We have the elite, smart people on our side.

          by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:46:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  How about same protection for workers? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa, eXtina, Dr Swig Mcjigger

    The bill protects the brick and mortar shops from having to compete against products that avoid taxes.  American workers have to compete against foreign labor who product is imported tax free. If a tax can be added to out of state items then add a tax to out of country items.

    •  Why is it understood that Republicans (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, Dr Swig Mcjigger, Eyesbright

      in the House don't care about state and local revenue?  I thought they were all states righters who want to starve the federal government but support their districts and localities.  Do they want to starve every level of government so everyone can just go off and live in caves with their guns?  I don't understand these people, I swear I don't, but then I don't think they have a coherent philosophy to understand.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:59:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  House GOP don't care (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe
        Why is it understood that Republicans in the House don't care about state and local revenue?
        Because taxes.

        +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

        by cybersaur on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:01:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But no taxes on internet purchases (0+ / 0-)

          is hurting the small businesses in their district.  See what I mean?  Their "beliefs" (if they're anything more than simple reactions) are so inconsistent they're impossible to understand

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:12:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  More taxes for the middle class and the poor! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roycej, stevemb, Matt Z

    YAY! for screwing the middle class again!

    while the rich and corporations get to avoid paying their fair share in any way possible

    this is pennies compared to what they owe (or should)

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:49:28 PM PDT

    •  These taxes are ALREADY due, just because (0+ / 0-)

      they can be evaded, doesn't mean that they shouldn't be paid. And how is paying your taxes screwing the middle class?

      Yes, the tax code should be fixed so that businesses and the wealthy pay their fair share, but it isn't helping society to reward businesses with more sales and at the same time starve local governments of their due tax revenue and the start wondering why all the local stores are closing.

  •  This is a win-win for Republicans.... (3+ / 0-)

    .....it is significant that the only legislation that will allow to pass (and they will allow it to pass) is legislation taxing people in a way that is visceral and apparent. They will allow just enough Republicans to vote for this so that they can make this a predominately Democratic party branded piece of legislation. Then, those that didn't vote for it (the most vulnerable) will run on it.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:49:30 PM PDT

  •  Remember the yacht tax (0+ / 0-)

    As any conservative will tell you, back in 1990 Bush played with taxation.  He raised the tax on luxuries like Yachts and other luxury items.  As conservatives will also tell, the 90's were hellish as a result. Yacht builders and jewelers were out of work.  Massive amounts of revenue was lost.  Unemployment soared.  The deficit was so high the country was on the verge of economic disaster.  Only another bush, with tax cuts saved us by cutting the deficit to nothing.

    So why given this popular conservative storyline would any republican in the house vote to raise taxes?  This would certainly cause people to cut back on spending, and like the Yacht tax, is not going raise nearly as much money as anticipated.  I might buy a big screen TV online because is cheaper, but now I won't.  I will wait for a local firm to put in on sale, reducing the tax collected, reducing the profit, and likely reducing the wages.

    Furthermore, the one thing that republicans have going for them is the pledge not raise taxes.  if they do, they wil be like Bush I.  'Read my lips.  I am a hypocritical POS liar.'

  •  Yet another pro big business, anti-consumer bill? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fearisthemindkiller, Losty

    I just can't shake the feeling that this bill is really aimed at helping the Best Buys of this world to compete.

    Mom and pop shops don't compete on price as it is, so a few pennies on the dollar won't make much of a difference, especially considering the need to wait for goods, pay shipping and such.

    This strikes me as a sop to the kind of whining I hear for car dealsers and gas stations in Cook County every time they rais e the sales tax.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon May 06, 2013 at 01:58:46 PM PDT

    •  Best Buy has many locations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE

      What are you even talking about?  BestBuy.com likely charges taxes for all states - if they have operations in a state, they have to charge taxes.  The only really major companies that would be "helped" by this loophole are Amazon and eBay - and I really don't think you can consider them some sort of evil corporation that is taking out local retailers - if anything, they help small businesses by allowing them to sell their products to a larger market.

      This has nothing to do with Mom and Pop shops vs big corporations and stop pretending it is.

      •  Amazon has decimated the book industry. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo, Dr Swig Mcjigger

        They sell at prices that smaller businesses cannot match.    They are almost the definition of aggressive corporate big business.

        We have the elite, smart people on our side.

        by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:23:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kinda sorta somewhat. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          azBos11

          Sure didn't do Borders any favors and I think Barnes and Noble is feeling the heat.

          On the other hand, we have a local book store in town that's doing quite well.

          But --- hmmmm.

          Before Amazon decimated the book industry, Borders and Barnes and Noble were killing local booksellers who couldn't find unique value proposition.

          Kind of poetic justice that Amazon is killing the big boxes.
          And that other giant stores like Wal-Mart and Costco are killing the big boxes.

          But there is more going on than that --

          The biggest way that Amazon is killing book stores is not with ink and paper, but with books on the Kindle. Cheaper AND more convenient. Not like reading paper, which old fogies like me love, but pretty slick.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:46:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Amazon & books (0+ / 0-)

          Books is a good example, but I still don't buy it.

            Barnes & Noble was killing local bookstores far longer than Amazon has.  I don't see why people are complaining now that Amazon is killing Barnes & Noble (which is really where the impact is).  I also do not believe that a small local bookstore is somehow inherently better than Amazon.  Amazon employs many people and likely gives them far better pay and benefits than the local bookstore.  Amazon also sells a ton more than books - and many of the things they sell on there are really small businesses and individuals selling things.  This is also about far more than Amazon - there are a ton of online retailers - and the internet does help smaller businesses sell their products to a wider audience.

          My main point is just that I don't think this is about big vs small, and bringing that argument up is just silly.  I don't think there is any real advantage felt by not charging taxes online (in states depending on where the company has offices and where the buyer is shipping).  I think it is the fair thing to do to require ALL online businesses to charge taxes - it was just a silly loophole to begin with.  I just don't think that it has anything to do with big vs small, good vs evil, or any sort of advantage.  But I also think that if we are going to require Amazon to do it, then we should require everyone to do it.

          •  I have experience with this (0+ / 0-)

            Amazon is extremely aggressive with their pricing on books.  The intention is to drive down the margins for smaller book sellers who have the fight in them to compete with Amazon.  This effects retail sales and wholesale sales.  It's felt through the whole supply chain which is larger than the stores themselves, which are just end points anyway.  

            Of course, Amazon does it because they want to control as much of supply chain as possible, and that is certainly their right to try.  Where we differ is you see this as a good thing providing good jobs.  I don't agree, but I don't have time right now to research this and make my points with anyone other than anecdote.

            Lastly, all online business already charge sales tax on items sold in their state. What this bill does is just expand enforcement of taxes that are currently not collected because the customer lives in a different state.  It's basically empowering states that do not have an existing relationship with a business to demand they collect tax on orders shipped in their jurisdiction.  

            My gripe with it is twofold 1) I don't feel most small businesses are well equipped to deal with the increasing bureaucratic demands that his legislation places on them.  2) I don't think States should be looking to increasing sales tax revenues to balance their books, and choosing to add additional enforcement mechanisms to collect these taxes when they won't consider increasing marginal sales taxes on wealth.    I believe this tax is another means to pull money upward from the poor and middle class while letting the wealthy off the hook.

            We have the elite, smart people on our side.

            by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:10:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Amazon is predatory (0+ / 0-)

          At least as much as Walmart is. The lose money on the Kindle, but it serves as a loss leader.

      •  Yes, exactly. And this is a sop to folks like (0+ / 0-)

        Best Buy, who have mismanaged their way into trouble.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:36:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder how it will work... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ant, Matt Z

    Will this mean that I, a citizen of MA, will only have to collect tax if the buyer is from MA? Or will I have to collect taxes from each person according to their tax rate i their state and then pass it on to their state?
    I haven't heard how the bill is going to work.
    Not only that, but I sell on ebay. I sell things that have already had tax collected on them in their original sale.
    Will this affect the average ebayer?

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:03:52 PM PDT

    •  It only affects businesses... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that make >$1m in annual revenue.

      If you're pulling that in on ebay, you're probably not the average ebayer.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:17:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure how it works for used items (0+ / 0-)

      but for the first part of your post you would have to calculate the tax for each buyer based upon their state residency and collect the tax.

      •  Um, State, County, Municipality, School district.. (0+ / 0-)

        Transit authority, Amumement district, etc..

        Not JUST state, and by Address..

        •  It's whatever tax... (0+ / 0-)

          you pay in a brick and mortar store in the locality.  I live in New York City and the sales tax is 8.65% so that's what an internet retailer would charge me.

          •  Not "locality", Specific Shipping Address. (0+ / 0-)

            Oddly enough, UPS doesn't ship to a town, it ships to an address..

            And addresses around the country have 9600+ Sales Tax jusistictions, and can be a part of any combination of those

            State
            County
            City
            Water District
            School District
            transit District
            And the List goes On, And On, And On

            About how many households/addresses are there in America? How many separate sales taxes are you apart of?

            And, Does it include resale exemptions standard in many states, and that would mean every company has to fill out 46 resale certificates, and separate out wholesale and retail.. adding ANOTHER layer on Top of the 9600 layers added to every online seller (Wait until they drop that 1M, "Fairness, Ye know.. ")

            Terrible..

          •  8.875 according to NYC Finance.. So that's wrong.. (0+ / 0-)

            Enjoy your audit..

            Oh, Unless you're buiyng clothes of 101 or more, then it's only 8.5

            Or, Parking, But I'll go ahead and assume that's physical location, but FYI that's 10.375 in NYC, and 8% more in Manhattan..

            Link

    •  Every Single State, Every Single County... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevemb

      Every Single School district that has sales Tax,

      Every single Municipality that has sales Tax.

      Every Single Transit Authority that has sales tax

      Every Single Waterway District that has sales tax

      Every Single Amusement district that has sales tax.

      Every Single Entity in the country that levies a sales tax..

      9600 Plus, and growing..

      •  Uh, no (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger, Pizzapotamus

        This bill only requires that the state sales tax be collected, that the state provide the software or an easy way to calculate it, and it only applies if you have sales over 1 mil.

        So not even 50 tax rates ( some states don't have sales tax), and only a small percentage of online retailers would even be affected.

        •  From the text. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stevemb

          (1) enacts legislation to exercise the authority granted by this Act--
          (A) specifying the tax or taxes to which such authority and the minimum simplification requirements in paragraph (2) shall apply;

          So, they have to list the state sales tax,

          AND EVERY OTHER LOCAL TAX, and maybe the census tract they apply to.. or list every address, or every postal code.. as some split counties, cities, etc.

          So, they just have to list that the transit board has a .0125 tax in County X, and a .015 in County Y, except for town Z, that is exempt.

          Or where the school districts splits, that could be .0125 or .02, but what house that district ends on? Who knows? Do YOU??

          •  But the States are responsible for giving you (0+ / 0-)

            the software that calculates the amounts due. YOU don't have to calculate rates for 9600 localities, you MAY have to categorize your product due to the variance in what is taxable in various locations. But you ARE in business, you DO know what you're selling, right? If you don't, you're engaging in a hobby and won't have enough sales to be impacted by the law.

    •  If you are selling something, then the tax is due, (0+ / 0-)

      even if "they have already had tax collected on them." (I'm really not sure what you're talking about there.)

      If you sell wholesale, then in most localities, no sales tax applied to the sale, you'd be taxed by your local taxing authority on your gross-receipts, and you'd collect a tax-id from the wholesale-purchaser.

      If you are selling goods (new or used) to an end consumer you need to collect any sales taxes due, because you are ... (wait for it) MAKING A SALE.

  •  Higher prices mean more sales? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fearisthemindkiller, bryduck

    Really? I know this is actually just collecting taxes owed, but it amounts to a nearly ten percent price increase for buyers.

    Sorry, but I'm on a budget and if everything I buy online is going to cost more, I'll have to buy less.

    •  If it passes, it's projected to raise 240B over 10 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo

      ...years, or 24B a year.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:15:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa, roycej

        you're hurting businesses in the process.

      •  Did those projections assume (0+ / 0-)

        a constant purchasing habit, or take into account the 10% reduction in purchasing that will probably occur? People don't buy necessities online (for the most part, since necessities by definition are needed more immediately), they buy "luxury" items. If the luxuries I buy cost me more $, I am forced to buy fewer of them, not pay more for those I buy . . .

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:40:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I really don't think this will help... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fearisthemindkiller, bryduck

    ...brick and mortar stores.  I do most of my shopping online out of convenience and if I need something right away I'll go to a local store.  Also, it's almost a guarantee that the prices online will be cheaper which means a lower tax paid on an item and lower overall cost.  This still leaves brick and mortar stores at a disadvantage.  The only real benefit is more revenue to the state.

    •  Forcing them to collect sales tax (0+ / 0-)

      will eat away at the online price advantage.

      •  They just add it to the bill (0+ / 0-)

        No cost involved.

        Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

        by DRo on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:27:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It would... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE

        but they still can't compete will online prices.  Today I made a large purchase on a website and they did collect the tax for my state (New York) but the price was still $100 cheaper than buying in a brick and mortar.  And as an added convenience they provide free shipping on orders over a certain amount.

        •  They can beat online prices in many occasions (0+ / 0-)

          It's not as if internet purchases are inherently cheaper on all items. Often internet purchases are more expensive when you factor in shipping. Adding taxes, if you weren't paying them before will increase it further.

          •  It occasionally happens when a store... (0+ / 0-)

            is having some sort of sale but for the most part online prices are almost always cheaper.  Internet shopping also offers more choices and more convenience and a lot of websites nowadays offer free shipping.  Only on rare occasions do I go to a brick and mortar store if I need something in a hurry.

      •  No it won't (0+ / 0-)

        First of all, whether you pay taxes for online stuff depends on what site it is, what states they are located in and what state you live in.  Secondly, I doubt anyone is really calculating tax savings into the price - both online and in-store don't show you the taxes until you are checking out.

      •  Obviously peole consider price when shopping onlin (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, bryduck

        but its not the only consideration.  I buy things online because I cannot find them in my local area.  Many people do that, or because they only option locally is Walmart.

        the notion that if people are buying online instead of Brick and Morter, only out of price consideration due to taxes is foolish.  What's going to happen 9 times out of 10 is that the customer will either pay the tax online and write it off, or they are going to not make the purchase because of the sale.  The idea that customers are going to go "oh crap I have to pay tax online now I'm gonna go drive down to my local Mom and Pop instead" is fantasy.

        This bill is about State gov raising revenue by taking more money from poor and middle class folks rather than increasing taxes on income.  That's all this is.  

        We have the elite, smart people on our side.

        by fearisthemindkiller on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:29:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In store vs. internet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Ant, stevemb

    A few years ago, I was shopping for a new gas stove top.  I'd done huge amounts of research and been fascinated by one that had five burners cleverly arranged on a 30" top, plus other new technology.  Because the maker was in Vermont, I searched and successfully found a local store who supposedly carried that brand.

    When my husband and I visited that store, I mentioned to the salesperson that I was looking for that brand because I'd found it online and felt it was superior to every other brand I'd researched.  Instead of him focusing on selling it to me, his only comment was a barely concealed sneer of "so you're gonna buy it online to save the sales tax."  Wait, what?  The store's price was $50.00 higher but an item like this is heavy and the shipping cost could have been substantial.  I fully intended to buy it that day at that store.  

    It turned out that they only had one (admittedly a relatively unknown brand) in stock and it was the wrong size so I couldn't buy it there.  Instead, I left the store with an annoyed feeling that I'd been viewed as somehow dishonest for wanting to see an item that they wrongly assumed I'd buy online after seeing it.  

    After that, I began to notice mentions of people doing just that and gained some understanding of why the salesperson had made that assumption, even though he was wrong.  Frankly, I, too, view it as borderline dishonest or, at least, unethical even though, from what I've read, it's a widespread practice.

    Oh, and that stove top?  It turned out that the only place within a 100-mile radius that I could find the size I needed was directly from the maker; I had no choice but to buy it online and, as it turned out, the shipping was free.

    To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

    by Eyesbright on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:12:11 PM PDT

    •  Stores like Best Buy get a lot of people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger, mmacdDE, VClib

      who come in to look at the stuff they have, and then go home and order it online.  There are jokes around the internet that brick and mortar stores are just the live displays for internet retailers.  

      It may have seemed a bit snide to you when you talked to the sales person, but I'll venture that he's had a lot of instances where he spent a lot of time explaining features to customers and/or showing them merchandise, only to  have them say, "thank you," and go home and order on line.  He definitely should have handled the situation differently.  On the other hand, especially if he's on commission, I can understand his frustration with acting as a display for online merchants.  

      •  See, I'm often just the opposite. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        I do research online, but if they have the item at a reasonable cost in a local store, I'll often go and buy it there, rather than order it.

        I want to see it, yes, but I want it now, not in a week from now, and I want to know that it works, that it hasn't been damaged in shipping, and if I have a problem I can take it back and talk to a person.

        I don't have a problem paying a little more for that, if I have to.

  •  Different consumers (0+ / 0-)

    I'm really not buying this claim that the sales tax loophole is some sort advantage over local stores.  First of all, who is calculating the taxes into the prices and comparing online to offline?  That is definitely done on any sort of large scale - sure, there might be a couple people that calculate every savings and comparison that extreme (see: extreme couponing), but certainly nothing significant.  Online stores and brick & mortar stores usually don't show you taxes until checkout, so you tend to just assume both will charge that.  

    Plus, the consumers of online retail vs brick & mortar are different.  People do not choose online retail because they might be able to get around taxes (on a small selection of sites depending on which state you are shipping to), they choose online because they want a larger selection, want a better price (again, I don't think anyone calculates tax into that), or just prefer going online instead of travelling out to a store.  The only shopping I do that isn't online is grocery shopping.  I just prefer online.

    And as someone who prefers online retail (and full disclosure, works for an online retailer), I'll continue to do all of my shopping online - I already pay taxes online for almost everything I buy since the stores I shop online at also have locations in my state.  I also don't think online retailers really care that much.  If they don't need to collect the taxes, then they won't, but it won't make much of a difference at all to do it.

    •  Nothing to do with small vs big (0+ / 0-)

      Just want to re-itterate since it is kind of important and I didn't mention it above - This has nothing to do with Mom and Pop shops vs big corporations and stop pretending it is.  Many small businesses actually sell their goods online and the biggest names in online retail actually get most of their revenue through helping small businesses sell items online.  

  •  The purpose of taxation is to keep the (0+ / 0-)

    currency moving through the economy. Think of it as recycling, which is more efficient than making new.

    What's a dollar worth? Nothing, unless it is spent. For that matter, dollars are merely certified IOUs. A certified debt is like a certified letter. The certification is a testament that a debt is real and that a letter was sent. Or we could say that a dollar is a witness to an obligation, much as a minister is a witness to a marriage contract.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon May 06, 2013 at 02:25:39 PM PDT

  •  ...sigh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo

    I support it, it's the right thing to do, but I really like the no-sales taxes on the internet.

  •  Hopefully the house will do what they do best, Not (0+ / 0-)

    Only they can save us from this monstrosity now..

    See Fear Is The Mind Killer's comments here, 1 M Gross, 15K profit, and who knows how much the extra accountants to take care of the 9,600 taxing juristictions by address will impact him.

    Who knows if they even put the reseller's exemption in the d**m bill, and do you turn that into the state, or the jusistiction as like now?

    What if you have 900K retail and 100K wholesale? that's 1M gross, do you pay?? we don't know..

  •  Basically if it causes a war or hurts middle class (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa

    The Senate passes at Breakneck Speed.

    See this, AUMF, Bill to fix the FAA sequestration at Washington, DC..

  •  An incredibly bad bill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevemb

    It's ludicrous to ask online retailers to collect sales taxes for 50 different states, particularly when phone and mail orders will not be required to do so.

    Sales tax on Internet purchases should be paid in the state where the retailer is located, not in the purchaser's state. It's a sales tax, not a purchase tax. True, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Commerce Clause prevents the federal government from requiring a sales tax on interstate sales, but I don't see anything in those rulings that would prevent it from defining where the point of sale is for purposes of determining where sales tax may be collected.

    Requiring that the sales tax be collected at the state the goods are shipped from would be much simpler and would also have the desirable effect of encouraging states to be less reliant on the sales tax, which is highly regressive.

    •  Isn't part of the bill (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, mmacdDE, Pizzapotamus

      To make the tax information more readily accessible too?

      I'm not sure if you've heard of the internet or computers, but they make it pretty handle things like 50 different tax codes.

      Also, while having taxes at point of sale might make some sense, that isn't what is happening.  They are currently collecting taxes based on where you are shipping to.  So if an online retailer is based in CA and you are shipping to NY, you won't pay CA taxes - you don't pay any taxes (and with this law you would pay CA taxes).  So, if you are arguing for online retailers to always be required to charge taxes but based on where they are located, then that gets very complicated than it sounds.  What if the corporate office is in one state, the customer service in another, and the warehouse it is shipping from in another?  Which one gets the taxes?  I think it should be based on where you are shipping to.  That way it does not create a competitive advantage between different states and taxes.  If you charge taxes based on the state that the company is based in, then you would end up creating an environment where those businesses would relocate to states with lower (or no) sales taxes

      •  Ugh that should be NY not CA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo

        This:

        (and with this law you would pay CA taxes).  

        should be this:

        (and with this law you would pay NY taxes).

      •  nope (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevemb

        Makes no sense. Much easier to collect based on where the company is based, or if it has operations in more than one state, where its shipped from. Simple. Don't have to worry about customer service offices, mail drop addresses or bogus local offices designed to evade taxes.

        Also, the Internet and computers do not make it particularly easy to handle taxes for 50 different states you're shipping to, because they have to track and document it all. Much easier just to track the whole thing for one state.

        The key point is that sales taxes are tied to the seller, not the purchaser. If you live on one side of the state line, give Johnny five bucks and tell him to run to the store 200 yards away in the next state to buy some  to pick up some milk (assuming food products are taxable in that jurisdiction), where does he pay the tax? At the store, of course. The Internet merely plays Johnny's role.

  •  Dumb (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Voltage Spike, Matt Z, stevemb

    Yes, let's ignore the  regresiveness of a sales tax, and realize that their will be nothing but adds next years, about how the Dems, raised taxes on the stuff you buy on the computer, that you used to get for free. Whether its right or wrong, it is what is going to happen.

    Sales taxes, are nothing more of a way of placing the greater burden on the poor.  

    CARBON TAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    •  Sales tax is terribly regressive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      and it's a burden to people who are trying to eek out a living in this economy by building an online business.

      I'm seriously already looking at relocating my online business offshore. It's so freakin' easy to do.

  •  tx (0+ / 0-)

    Have fun paying 8.5% on everything when they all move to my neck of the woods.

  •  Bill just passed. /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:34:00 PM PDT

  •  Sales taxes are the most regressive. (0+ / 0-)

    So why would any progressive support them?
    God it sucks to have to depend on conservatives to block what liberals should be blocking instead of cheering.

    The modern Democrat is one who promotes old GOP ideas and calls them progressive in comparison to new GOP ideas.

    by masswaster on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:44:12 PM PDT

  •  I'm not ok with this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, stevemb

    It's going to hurt low margin online businesses.
    Making businesses collect tax for a 1000+ local tax districts is a real burden.

    I operate a small online business as my livelihood. It will suck big time being subject to audits from South Bumfork, TX.  Either that, or I guess I could just give up my independence and sell everything through Amazon and lose 1/3 of business to their fees.

    Gee... now its clear to me why Amazon is in favor of this.

    •  Now, Now, Now... (0+ / 0-)

      ...I'm sure this bill won't subject you to harassing audits from South Bumfork TX or Dumbfrack LA or Hedupass AL...

      ...unless of course your online business sells anti-Amerikan literature or EVILution propaganda or dirty adult novelties or something like that....

      On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

      by stevemb on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:30:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Effect Of The $1,000,000 Rule (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry; we reached $999,999 in sales on May 3. Please select one of the following options:

    ( ) Cancel Order

    ( ) Save Order to be re-submitted on 01 Jan 2014

    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

    by stevemb on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:36:19 AM PDT

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