Amazon.com dumps North Carolina affiliates
Says ta-ta in anticipation of taxes
Amazon.com was willing to blink for New York state's online taxing plan, but it's not putting up with North Carolina.
The online retailer said it's dumping all its North Carolina-based business associates in anticipation of the state passing a law that forces it to collect sales tax on locals.
Amazon emailed its North Carolina associates late Friday informing them the "unconstitutional tax collection scheme expected to be passed any day now," gives the company "little choice but to end its relationships." The program pays commissions to web site owners who direct buyers to Amazon products.
The disputed tax legislation, drafted to help fill North Carolina's budget gap, would require online retailers with a physical presence in the state to collect sales tax on purchases originating there - same as a regular brick-and-mortar store. Customers are already supposed to pay a tax for online purchases on their own, however unsurprisingly, this isn't widely done.
"In the event that North Carolina repeals this tax collection scheme, we would certainly be happy to re-open our associates program to North Carolina residents," the email said.
When New York state passed a similar bill in 2008, Amazon and Overstock.com sued the state and lost. The companies claimed just having affiliates in the area wasn't sufficient enough to be considered having a physical presence in the state.
Overstock ended up nixing its affiliates in New York state, while Amazon begrudgingly started collecting sales tax.
With other US states eyeballing identical online tax proposals to aid their empty coffers, Amazon is clearly drawing its line in the sand on this one. ®
Insane US tax structure
I agree that it is not fair for Amazon (or any other Internet seller) to have to collect all the taxes for all the tax jurisdictions in the US, However, it is equally not fair for bricks and mortar to have to do so when Amazon or any other internet seller does not.
Perhaps Internet sellers in the US should have to collect the State sales tax (based on shipping address) plus 1% to be distributed amongst the various tax jurisdictions within the state.
Perhaps it would be even fairer to ditch consumption taxes entirely (except for sins such as booze and tobacco) and rely entirely on income taxes.
The same could apply when people are receiving goods from overseas sellers, except that it would be US Customs (or whatever it is called these days) doing the collecting for the vairous jurisdictions
For some reason I find it amusing that Americans are so screwed up on taxes when they have no power to vote on them.
Tea party, anyone?
How about all of the US states stopped behaving like children?
Either they are independent of the Federal Gov or they are not.