Should we have to pay sales tax online?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by InsanelyApple, Apr 29, 2011.

?

Should we?

  1. No Way, Josè!

    51.7%
  2. Yes, we should.

    40.0%
  3. Other (which I will tell what other means below)

    8.3%
  1. InsanelyApple macrumors 6502

    InsanelyApple

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #1
    I was reading on how some Senators (both Democrat & Republicans) are trying to get people to pay sales tax on items purchased online. So what do you think. Should we pay sales tax online? I think no. How about you?
     
  2. Cap41 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    #2
    i bought an Imac from Apple on line. it came from California. I couldnt figure out why I piad Ontario sales tax
     
  3. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #3
    You are already legally required to pay sales tax for online purchases, however online retailers are only required to collect it if they have a physical presence in your state. You are supposed to report the rest on your annual tax return (although most people don't).
     
  4. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

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    Location:
    Away from you
    #4
    I don't want to pay taxes on online purchases, but I would like to hear the argument against doing so. I don't understand what the justification would be.
     
  5. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #5
    You only have to report use taxes if it is required by your state; there is no federal mandate to report sales taxes.

    On a personal level I'm sure I would love no sales taxes, but for the long term I don't think it's tenable. We need to have some sales taxes collected. It may be time to think about making sales taxes more dynamic (say optimized to help reduce burdens on the poor), but we do need them.

    Alas the only way to collect the taxes directly from online retailers is to get Congress to pass a law on it because Supreme Court precedent clearly states that a physical presence is required for states to mandate the collection of sales taxes. A statute would allow states to collect these taxes though, and I think that's the best solution for states.
     
  6. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #6
    yep the online to dodge sales tax bit help really only the people better off as we tend to be able to afford to use the internet to buy the things we want/need.

    To be fair the sales tax dodge by buying over the net is really been hurting states. Legally require it should be what is done.


    Justifcation is you are supposed to pretty much pay sales tax on anything you buy to your home state unless you physically buy it out of state (aka you drive there and pick it up yourself and in that case you should pay that states sales tax)
    It pretty much screwing the states out of a lot of revenue.
     
  7. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    Oct 8, 2008
    #7
    Walmart, Target, and other large retailers are pushing for this and backing the Main Street Fairness Act. They claim it's to help small businesses but it's really a fight against Amazon and other large online stores. It'll help Walmart and other giant chain stores.
     
  8. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    May 21, 2007
    #8
    Even then, Walmart and Target have a huge disadvantage compared to Amazon and the like because they maintain physical stores, handle cash, and have to move inventory many more times before it ends up in the hands of the consumer. For most electronics and durable goods, Amazon is cheaper than Walmart or Target even before sales taxes are factored in.

    The only thing keeping those departments afloat right now is older people who don't use the internet to shop. I can't imagine what these stores will do in 20 (or fewer) years when internet penetration will essentially be 100%. I suspect we may see a return of the catalog store, which will allow department stores to offer a wide selection of products without having to maintain inventory across hundreds of locations.
     
  9. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    Oct 8, 2008
    #9
    I guess that's progress? Walmart essentially ran out the mom and pop stores and started the overseas manufacturing trend. Now Amazon is hitting the Walmarts and Targets. But the affiliate laws will benefit Walmart.com's affiliates program when Amazon pulls its affiliates to avoid taxes in states with those laws.
     
  10. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    May 21, 2007
    #10
    My suspicion is that if there is a clear legal answer as to whether or not states can mandate online sales taxes (which would probably come from a federal statute), most states will enact such legislation and Amazon would be forced to collect the taxes and compete head on with Walmart. I don't think Amazon will pull its affiliates because some states are simply too big to lose.

    I still think that Amazon would come out ahead in such a battle in a few years because their ability to keep prices low stems from their catalog nature. In fact, they are spending a little more money right now in order to do an end-run around state sales tax laws.

    I would say that it is progress in the end because Walmart really offers nothing more than low prices and long lines (oh, and unhelpful workers). Amazon gives you all of that plus lower prices and no money wasted on gas.

    We really took a hit when expertise was lost in the retail sector. At one time, shop owners knew their stuff, and patronizing their business meant keeping a local expert (on just about anything) around. A lot of this knowledge has been permanently lost and consumers now have to rely on the capricious word of the internet.
     
  11. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #11
  12. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #12
    Even with sales tax, I bet you'll find that a lot of electronics and other items (maybe not Macs since those prices are pretty much set) are cheaper online even after sales tax is factored in.

    Take a look at prices of computer components on NewEgg and then look up the same component at MicroCenter or Best Buy, the B&M store is going to be more expensive. NewEgg's price, plus tax, plus shipping will still be cheaper than the price at the B&M store (which you also have to pay tax on).

    I'm willing to pay a small premium for instant gratification, but when the difference between online and in store is so great, it's not worth it and I'll be patient while it's shipped.
     
  13. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    May 21, 2007
    #13
    No, but I suspect this is largely Amazon trying to call a lone state's bluff. Like I said, if all 50 states (or even a large number of them) were to do this, I think Amazon would come back to the affiliate program. Right now this is Amazon trying to make a point and trying to maximize on states' fears of losing businesses.
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #14
    Wouldn't it be a federal sales tax since the purchase is being made out of state?
     
  15. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #15
    I was just reading that Amazon also closed its affiliate programs in Colorado, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. And has threatened to cutoff affiliates in California and a distribution center in Texas. California Senator Runner saying that it is a threat to California jobs, which would offset the gain in taxes.

    I'm still trying to figure out the pros and cons.
     
  16. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    Feb 7, 2002
    #16
    Apple charges sales tax wherever they have a business presence, which is practically everywhere.
     
  17. InsanelyApple thread starter macrumors 6502

    InsanelyApple

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    Oct 26, 2010
    #17
    Yeah, you all are talking about Amazon, and I have to say that they are the reason I made this thread.
     
  18. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #18
    No, the state is assessing its own sales taxes against local affiliates that go through Amazon to sell their goods.

    I must admit, that is a rather surprising number of closures. But there is a limit to how far Amazon can take this policy. If they end the affiliate program in every state that has this policy, sooner or later there will be very few affiliate programs left and other business will step up and work with those affiliates.

    I'm not basing this on any hard data, but I suspect that those states might have a relatively small number of affiliates; I still wonder if Amazon would be willing to go so far with a large state like California or Texas. I also wonder if they are willing to play this game of chicken if states that share borders simultaneously act this way. So far all of the affected states don't share a border, making it easier to maintain efficient processing. I don't know how Amazon would shift their strategy if clusters of states were to do this.

    I'm not one to favor ad hominem logical fallacies, but the fact that the current Republican caucus in the state is very much against any new taxes, I won't take Runner's figures to the bank. 10,000 affiliates (Wikipedia figure) seems like a large number to sacrifice. It might cost Amazon product availability to carry out this threat.

    I'm not sure if he's referring to Ontario, Canada, or Ontario, CA. If it's CA, then state sales taxes make sense. If it's Canada, then I think I'm misunderstanding what Cap41 means.
     
  19. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #19
    Eh, I would rather not from a personal perspective (who wants to pay more taxes?) but it kinda makes sense. Though I am curious how consumers on the whole would react as I think a fair number of internet users like the non-tax thing a lot.

    Then you also have the issue of things like iTunes and apps you buy online, if you are taxing Amazon wouldn't you somewhat be obligated to tax those purchases as well? Otherwise Amazon can just start shipping internationally and then the same exact customer base is available for both services.
     
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #20
    states are starting to crack down hard on Amazon. I have to pay sales tax to Amazon here in Texas. Texas and several other states are not letting Amazon get away with saying the wear houses are part of Amazon LLC (or something like that) and therefor Amazon does not have a physical presents in said state.

    So Amazon is required to collect sales tax in more locations.

    Also requiring sales tax to be collect does help out small mom and pop stores in each respect states because people in state will buy from them since they have to pay sales tax any ways. This helps out more stores in the big states rather than the small states as they loose a lot of business in state to people going out of state.

    I say the instate stores will get a much larger boost in sales than what they out of state stores would lose.
    Remember the out of state stores would have the sell divided up different ways so damage will not be noticeable.
     
  21. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Up the irons
    #21
    I ordered two books in the past week and Amazon didn't collect sales tax. But yes, this legislature may need to collect sales taxes if we have any hope of balancing our state budget.
     
  22. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #22
    well I be. It is so hit and miss with Amazon. I just looked at my last 2 orders and no sales tax but all my digital orders (kindle and MP3) have sales tax.

    I do think that they need to start collecting sales tax. Also I think Texas could call Amazon's bluff. It is just way to big in terms of both population and size for them to relocated everything out of state.
     
  23. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    Feb 7, 2002
    #23
    I'm not sure either but Apple probably has presence is all of Canada so it's not unreasonable to assume that tax will be collected somewhere down the line.
     
  24. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    Location:
    Up the irons
    #24
    Let's start with some rather than none. Do you think Amazon would agree to a 2% sales tax for online purchases in Texas?
     
  25. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

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    Location:
    Norman, OK
    #25
    I think how it is now (if there is a brick and mortar location or a distribution plant) is fine. Otherwise there is not much incentive to buy online.
     

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