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NY Times, LA Times Call for Amazon Tax Collection

theodp (442580) writes | more than 4 years ago

Government 1

theodp (442580) writes "Recalling that CEO Jeff Bezos originally explored placing on an Indian Reservation near San Francisco to "have access to talent without all the tax consequences," the NY Times argues it's time to put an end to the e-tailer's 'entity isolation' tax-avoidance games. The LA Times chimes in, saying Amazon's claims that collecting sales tax constitute an undue burden are 'worth a horselaugh', noting that Amazon boasts it has no problem keeping track of millions of unique products."

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It's Beyond Time to Even the Field (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30567218)

Let's face it. There was never any difference between Amazon and mail order catalogs. It was just bigger and used that new fangled Internet. It was always a weak argument that these catalog houses needed a special tax break. Amazon was founded in 1994, at the very beginning of the dot-com boom. This was a time, when everyone and everything was going to be online, and Amazon quickly distinguished itself from people like,, and by actually turning a profit right when the bubble burst in 2001 -- exactly as planned [] .

The whole point of not collecting sales tax was that "'e-tailing' is so new. We need to encourage it, but not 'burdening' them with sales tax." "e-tailing" has been established. That was always a weak argument. No one says, "Gee, I'd like to start a company, but I have to collect sales tax, so I guess not." The other argument was that it was "too complicated" to collect sales tax. That also was weak. It's a database lookup. Catalog businesses have always provided a table to their customers. It's simply disenenous to believe that the same system that can calculate ground shipping rates, can't also lookup a tax rate.

Don't for once thing that this tax loophole isn't being taken advantage by the big guys. Walmart and Barnes and Noble both have "independent" shell companies [] for their online presence to argue that they don't have a presence in a state, but then you can return the stuff you bought online to the "independent and legally distinct" (yet identically named) brick and mortar.

Yeah, I like getting tax free stuff as well, but I'd rather have my state work.

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