Feeds

Amazon sues New York over Amazon Tax

No respect for genius

Reducing security risks from open source software

Amazon has sued New York over an ingenious new law that would force the mega online retailer to collect taxes it doesn't like collecting.

Last week, New York Governor David Paterson rubber stamped a $122bn state budget that enshrines what everyone is calling The Amazon Tax. Paterson and his state legislature have decreed that Amazon and other online retailers must collect New York sales tax even if they don't maintain warehouses or offices in the state.

Thanks to a pre-Internet-revolution Supreme Court case involving a mail order catalog business, American e-tailers are required to collect sales tax only if they have a "physical presence" in the state where a customer resides. Otherwise, federal law says, the customer must declare the purchase on his next tax return.

Of course, few customers remember to do so. If remember is the right word.

With their new law, Paterson and company argue that "affiliate marketers" count as a physical presence. You know, affiliate marketers - independent web sites that drive traffic to Amazon and other e-tailers in exchange for a cut of their profits.

Like we said: ingenious. New York expects to collect an additional $50m through the new law.

But Amazon doesn't like The Amazon Tax. It would hurt the bottom line. If Amazon customers can't, um, save on sales tax, they may go elsewhere. So the world's largest retailer has promptly sued the Empire State. Thanks to Wired, you can view the suit here (PDF).

Amazon is adamant that The Amazon Tax is constitutionally unsound. The company argues that the new statute is "overly broad and vague" and that it violates the equal protection clauses in both the New York and US Constitutions by intentionally targeting Amazon.

We say that New York has a right to its tax money. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.