States are trying hard to find a way to get Internet sellers to collect sales taxes. The latest is New York demanding that Amazon should do it because although Amazon may not have a physical presence in New York, they do have Amazon Affiliates. I think that's a weak argument, but I understand New York's desire to collect the taxes.
Although there are a few crazy people like me who will self-report out of state purchases and pay the sales tax, most people don't. Some don't understand that it isn't that the tax isn't owed, it's just that the out of state retailer isn't required to collect it. Some do understand but just don't care. Consequently, states lose a lot of tax revenue.
I sell all over the country. I certainly don't want to have to deal with fifty different states with fifty different laws. I don't want file fifty different forms - filing Massachusetts is annoying enough.
But I see nothing wrong with being required to report the sale.
Let the state collect whatever taxes are due directly from my customer. Let them argue over what is taxable and what is not - why should that be my problem?
And of course let the state figure out how to parse what I send them. We could all agree on a suggested format, but basically if I wanted to send a text email saying I sold Joe Citizen at such and such address one of my widgets on the fourteenth of last month for $200.00, then I've done my part - if they can't figure out how to get that into their computers, it's their problem, not mine.
States do have computers, right?
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2012-07-12 Anthony Lawrence
As an experimental psychologist, I have been trained not to believe anything unless it can be demonstrated in the laboratory on rats or sophomores. (Steven Pinker)