Feeds

Amazon affiliates nixed in two more states

Rhode Island removed, Hawaii punched

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Amazon.com is tearing out two more stars on the American flag to avoid collecting taxes.

The online retailer has dumped marketing affiliates in Hawaii and Rhode Island in protest of the states passing laws that would force Amazon to collect sales taxes from locals.

Amazon's affiliate program pays commissions to website owners who direct buyers to Amazon products. Normally, a store is required to collect a state sales tax only if it has a physical presence in the area. But strapped for cash, many states have followed New York's lead in passing legislation that counts affiliates as near enough to a physical presence to require the tax collection on purchases originating there.

After New York state passed the online levy scheme in 2008, Amazon sued, ,and now begrudgingly plays the tax man.

However, when North Carolina drafted a similar bill this week, Amazon simply pulled the plug on all affiliates located in the state.

Now that Rhode Island and Hawaii are also following suit, Amazon is crossing them out of the program as well. The retailer calls the state laws "unconstitutional," arguing the affiliates program doesn't amount to a physical presence.

Overstock.com took a harder line with New York and began pulling affiliates immediately after the court decision. It's now nixed their program in Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Hawaii too.

The state-by-state showdown could become a much bigger issue now that California is near to joining the sales tax collection drive. Amazon has already hinted its finger is on the trigger. So how about it Golden State, do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.