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US internet sale tax is coming!

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by serhan, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC
    From 1001 Noisy cameras, vote to proceed is 74-20:

    Attention Shoppers: National Internet Sales Tax for the US is coming [update: vote to proceed is 74-20] - 1001 Noisy Cameras

     
  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I like paying as little tax as the next guy, but the loopholes to avoid paying LEGITIMATE taxes (as defined by the laws of the local states and the US federal government) are large.

    When one buys a product in the US over state lines, if one doesn't pay sales tax, they are (by law) obliged to pay a use tax. Before the internet, no one knew what a use tax was unless it apllied to them. Now it applies to nearly everyone and everyone thinks they are exempt.

    The bottom line is if you buy a product from another state and enjoy a sales tax free purchase, you are expected to pay a use tax at the end of the year. My mother was a tax preparer and I have always kept up with this stuff.

    No politics in the conversation as per usual rules. Rant all you want, but no politics.
     
  3. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    I agree with you, Luke, although I, too, prefer to pay as little tax as possible (naturally). I had to bite that particular bullet a few years ago when Newegg built a warehouse here in NJ, and at some point this year Amazon is scheduled to begin collecting sales tax as there is a distribution center currently under construction.

    I suppose quibbles could be made about paying a state sales tax on a transaction that does not occur within the state to which the tax is due, but oh well...
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I may spend heavily when I see something I like, but I'm a THRIFTY sob at my core. The wealthy never get that way by SPENDING money. But buying gear in other states to avoid sales tax i tax evasion....maybe legal, but......
     
  5. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    In NJ there are some places designated as "Urban Enterprise Zones", where the state 7% sales tax is halved to 3.5%. A few of these zones are near to NYC, so some New Yorkers will travel to take advantage of lowered taxes (NYC's total sales tax is near 9%, IIRC).
     
  6. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    That's it, I'm done buying cameras.
     
  7. spinyman

    spinyman SC Veteran

    223
    Dec 21, 2011
    Valley Center,Ca.
    David
    I've been paying sales tax on Amazon purchases since last year. I really can make no argument for not paying them.
     
  8. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I keep forgetting you lot pay your tax per state. Over here, its a nationwide thing, and so is built into the prices (at 10% grr). If we buy from overseas (HK, USA, UK etc) we are only charged if the item we are bringing in costs more than $AU1,000. So I never do.
     
  9. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    But there needs to be reasonable contacts between the seller and the state of the purchaser. What we are going to see is smaller shops get squeezed out because they are not going to logistically be able to keep up with thousands of different tax rates and codes for all the states, counties, municipalities, cites, etc. Shops would now be required to act as tax collectors for all these entities. A county tax entity here in Texas would now be able to audit a store in Maine. Big shops like it because they already have a physical presence in most states, and those states are already on top of them to collect taxes even for internet sales. The stores located in states with no sales tax for strategical reasons will now lose their strategical advantage as well. In my opinion, bad move for everyone -- except big stores and states getting more $$. I better buy all I can right now!! :)
     
  10. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran

    618
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Imagine the accounting nightmare that this will bring the affected businesses! How much is it going to cost to revamp their systems to keep track of all the tax rates? I imagine prices going up in the affected stores just to keep on top of the new expenses.
     
  11. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    21% y'all. stop moaning already!:tongue:

    The administrative side for the sellers shouldn't be too difficult, just make a table with a sales tax percentage for each state / locality (I'm sure you'll be able to buy such a list from commercial parties for a reasonable price), look at the shipping address, and apply appropriate tax %. If it's a company with >1million revenue, that shouldn't be too hard. In Europe, the obligation for mail-order sellers to apply the tax rate of the user's country only apply when those "distance sales" exceed a certain threshold per country (for example, a company in another EU member state only has to start applying the Dutch sales tax rate if their shippings to the Netherlands are over 100.000 euros a year).
     
  12. Djarum

    Djarum SC All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Jason
    Generally speaking, I don't mind paying sales tax. Here its 8 percent between state, county, and city. The issue I have is that most of the county and city portion goes toward giving businesses property tax breaks and other tax breaks in attempts to bring jobs and other businesses. This sounds like a good idea, and for the most part is. The problem here is that the city and county will be getting sales tax for essentially doing nothing. They'll be inclined less to bring in new businesses since they will be gaining revenue. Sales tax is also used to maintain basic business infrastructure, which includes road maintainance, public parking, and secruity. The local government essentially is getting something for free. Depending on what I order online, I already pay it. We are supposed to pay state sales tax on our state income tax form.

    Sales tax here though is a much more effecient use of tax dollars. The impact generally can be seen more readily through new schools and infrastructure. I'd much prefer to pay local property and sales tax than federal income tax.
     
  13. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    In my opinion, the overall effect on business/economy will be a negative one. Customers like myself will spend less and the cost of business is going to go up. When Amazon started collecting sales tax here in Texas after it opened warehouses/distribution centers locally, I pretty much stopped buying any items directly from Amazon, and bought only from the third party retailers in Amazon (that were eligible for Prime). Amazon's loss is BH's and Adorama's gain. Hence, Amazon now is one of the big proponents of the "marketplace fairness act." I always chuckle when I hear or read the word "fairness" in conjunction with legislation! :)
     
  14. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I don't believe for one moment that you will stop buying cameras if you have to pay sales tax. (said in Leonard Nimoy's voice) Armando not buying cameras is highly illogical.
     
  15. ean10775

    ean10775 SC Regular

    159
    Feb 25, 2013
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I just realized that while I do make many purchases from sites like Amazon or B&H, I've paid tax on every camera and just about every lens I've bought as those purchases have been made at either my local shop or manufacturer run webstores like Canon or Olympus that charge sales tax. So the state got nearly $100 tax on my X100S, but did indeed miss out on the $2.75 it would have received from my purchase of an aftermarket hood and batteries from Amazon.
     
  16. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    :laugh1:

    Given a certain budget requirement for the government, a sales tax is actually one of the most efficient ways of reaching that budget, doing the least amount of damage to the economy (inheritance and gift taxes are even more efficient, as are lump sum taxes like the "poll tax" that ended Margaret Thatcher's run as PM, but that's another discussion).
     
  17. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    This may actually encourage to buy more locally, as Amazon and B&H will no longer have the advantage of no tax.

    But as I said, I'm not buying any more camera gear, so the point is moot.
     
  18. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Oh yeah? I'll prove you wrong mister! :rolleyes:

    At least I fess up immediately when I get a new toy! :wink:
     
  19. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    I generally think sales tax is a good idea, because it taxes based on usage/purchase. So everyone has a skin in the game. Don't want to pay more taxes, then don't buy the taxable goods. Imagine if we (USA) could replace the income tax with sales tax? No more dreading April 15. Or 14. Or whatever that day is/was. It sure would leave a lot of accountants, tax lawyers, IRS people unemployed though. They can all go work on making and designing better cameras. They can't be worse than Marc Newson! :rolleyes:
     
  20. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    The problem with sales tax replacing all other forms of taxation is that, as generally recognized, it is a very regressive form of taxation, meaning lower income people end up paying a larger percentage of their overall income through sales tax. Maybe one can avoid buying discretionary items like cameras (not that it's a choice for me!), but not buying taxable pots and pans, toilet paper, pens, paper, and books for school, or (in some places) food and clothing, flashlights, car batteries, and all the other ordinary daily stuff, is more problematic. And of course sales taxes would go up hugely if all other kinds of taxes stopped being collected.

    That said, there is no way to tax people in a way that is going to make them jump with joy.