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Amazon now Charging Tax!


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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 8:31:53 PM PDT
If Amazon doesn't collect the tax and pay the state, who will the state go after -- you or Amazon? This is very straightforward here. Saying Amazon doesn't directly answer to the state regarding tax is like saying a retailer isn't financially liable for its wholesale cost because it's being passed onto the consumers; even if it is, there's an order of operations where the money changes hands.

If you are buying from a 3rd party seller, then Amazon is only the middleman -- Amazon will charge you and credit the 3rd party seller minus a cut. Amazon or the 3rd party seller doesn't charge you tax because the state doesn't charge Amazon or the 3rd party seller. But nice try with the red herring...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 8:33:48 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 9:46:28 PM PDT
bfore13 says:
"The states charge Amazon tax ... Amazon or the 3rd party seller doesn't charge you tax because the state doesn't charge Amazon or the 3rd party seller."

Two different posts with contradicting statements. If "the state expects to be able to collect a percentage of Amazon's sales from Amazon" then PA would charge Amazon 6% of all of my purchases regardless of whether it's Amazon directly or a 3rd party because that's the tax amount that PA is entitled to. I don't think PA would care that Amazon is only the middleman. By your logic, Amazon is forking over 6% of all my 3rd party purchases to PA since they're not collecting it from me. You really think Amazon is doing that?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 9:56:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2012 10:05:08 PM PDT
Now you're just being specious. When you buy from a 3rd party seller, the 3rd party seller is the seller to the state if he delivers it; it is not Amazon's sale, it is the 3rd party seller's sale. You are the 3rd party seller's customer, and the 3rd party seller is Amazon's customer. Amazon is only the facilitator; it collects a fee from the seller.

That's why they call them the "3rd party SELLER".

When you deposit money in a seller's Paypal account, the seller is responsible for taxes, not Paypal. When you buy something with a check, the store is responsible (the state charges the store) for charging you with taxes, not your bank or the store's bank. Catch the drift, amigo?

You need to pick up a dictionary -- you need it badly.

Charge - to impose financial burden
Seller - the party in a transaction who is selling something
Sales - the exchange of a commodity for money

What commodity is Amazon selling to you when you buy from a 3rd party seller? Nothing.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 8:10:44 AM PDT
bfore13 says:
Do you think the state gives a crap that it's a 3rd party who is the actual seller and not Amazon? The state is entitled to the tax money either way and if they're charging Amazon tax, as you claim, they're going to expect to get it whether Amazon collects it or not.

"Charge - to impose financial burden"

Regarding your claim that Amazon (not the state) is charging us the tax, how is Amazon imposing that burden? Are they determining the % that will be collected? No, the states do that. Is any of the tax money they collect going into their pockets? No, it gets forwarded to the state. Amazon is simply facilitating collection of the tax and only doing so when required. Amazon is simply the 3rd party in these sitations helping the state receive tax revenue they, in general, wouldn't otherwise receive.

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 10:51:22 AM PDT
Scooter says:
From a standpoint of the paying the tax itself I don't care if Amazon charges tax. I live in Arizona and we are supposed to delcare all internet purches that do charge tax and pay it and I am honest with my taxes. However what I am not for is if the overhead if dealing with collection and disribution of sales tax causes more overhead so prices go up.

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 1:01:56 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 1:31:45 PM PDT
"Do you think the state gives a crap that it's a 3rd party who is the actual seller and not Amazon?"

Yes, I do. Amazon (and eBay) are facilitators, they don't sell when you're buying from a 3rd party. The 3rd party charges the sales tax, not the facilitators. When you respond to a classifieds in the newspaper, the seller charges the sales tax, not the newspaper.

"The state is entitled to the tax money either way and if they're charging Amazon tax, as you claim, they're going to expect to get it whether Amazon collects it or not."

They're charging Amazon tax for sales from Amazon.

"Regarding your claim that Amazon (not the state) is charging us the tax, how is Amazon imposing that burden?"

By adding to your invoice.

"Are they determining the % that will be collected? No, the states do that. Is any of the tax money they collect going into their pockets? No, it gets forwarded to the state."

It doesn't matter; they are charging it. In turn, they are responsible to the state. How many letters have you gotten from the state after making a purchase from Amazon?

"Amazon is simply facilitating collection of the tax and only doing so when required."

Yes, simply, and they are able to do just that by charging you.

"Amazon is simply the 3rd party in these sitations helping the state receive tax revenue they, in general, wouldn't otherwise receive."

Amazon is the second party because you are buying directly from Amazon, not the state. A purchase from Amazon is a contract between you and Amazon. The state does not enter into the equation. When you return a purchase, Amazon refunds you, not the state. And if Amazon loses the product, they are responsible to reimburse you for the product price + tax. The state doesn't reimburse you.

The state is there to charge Amazon. Amazon doing business in that state is a contract between Amazon and the state.

The state only charges you sales tax by charging Amazon, and then Amazon charges you. Sort of like: If A leads to B, and B leads to C, then A leads to C.

You are missing a step.

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 1:53:50 PM PDT
Georgedc says:
There is no reason to pay CA state tax on amazon purchases when there are no amazon warehouses in CA. Buy from third party sellers located outside CA or use the "FULLFILLED BY AMAZON" from 3rd parties for Free Super Shipping without paying any state taxes.

I have no problem paying state taxes on purchases from businesses located in CA, but there are no Amazon warehouses nor storefronts in CA. I've never had something shipped to me from CA on an amazon purchase ever. AVOID Amazon-CA state taxes for fairness and liberty!

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 7:21:33 PM PDT
James S. Layton wrote ".. when George Washington set up the tax system .."

George Washington didn't set up the tax system (actually British taxation caused settlers to destroy several shiploads of tea due to levied taxes.) Some of the first taxes implemented where just prior to 1800 and was only an estate tax, later abolished and re-implemented at times, only in an effort to finance wars. The first income taxes were not implemented until the early 1900's .. taxes on corporations first and then with the ratification if the 16th Amendment first allowing Congress to levy taxes. (There was an income tax implemented around the time of the civil war to help fund it .. but it was later abolished after the war.)

The founders knew the dangers of a large federal government and only state governments were given the power to tax .. then the state governments would be required to turn over some tax revenues to the federal government.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 8:10:24 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 8:53:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012 8:57:01 PM PDT
C. Barbus,

Let's walk through this step by step. In my "mathematical analogy", the verb is to "charge". A is the state. B is Amazon. And C is the consumer.

Since you have accepted that, then you surely accept one of its terms, specifically that "B leads to C"; or, if you prefer, Amazon charges the consumer. Are you still going to stubbornly deny this even though you have accepted it, though perhaps not consciously?

The difference between my view and yours is that not only do I see the entire chain, I identify all the players and relationships between the players within that chain, whereas the only thing you see is "State --------- ??????? -------- Consumer."

I know what that "???????" is. Dare to ask me?

------------------------
Put another way...
If I give you a quarter, and you give Georgedc a quarter, then is that the same as I give Georgedc a quarter? In the bigger picture perhaps, but like I said, you are missing a step. The truth is Georgedc never deals with me in this scenario, he deals with you. You deal with me. Your conclusion is like reading the first and last page of a book and then thinking that you've read the whole book.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 9:20:42 PM PDT
Doh! I just misread your post.

My point was:
1. If A must lead to B.
2. And B must lead to C.
3 Then A must lead to C.

Both valid and sound.

Your point being:
1. If A must lead to C.
2. ???
3. Then B must lead to C.

Both invalid and unsound. You completely switched my logic around and reversed cause and effect.

This is what's really happening:
State: "Amazon, we are hereby holding you financially responsible for our sales tax rate on your sales to consumers from our state. You will be responsible for collecting this from the consumers."

Amazon: "Consumers, we will now be charging you your state's sales tax rate so we could pay it to the state. You will be held financially responsible for the tax in addition to your purchase cost by our shopping cart system."

C. Barbus: "Because the state is ultimately charging sales tax to the consumer, therefore Amazon isn't charging sales tax, they are only collecting sales tax by holding the consumer financially responsible as a facilitator for the state."

Jonathan A. Chang: "Since Amazon is holding the consumer financially responsible -- regardless of being a facilitator for the state -- Amazon is, _by definition_, charging the consumer for sales tax.

"In other words: yes, the state is charging the consumer, but the state is charging the consumer by charging Amazon to charge the consumer."

C. Barbus: "Non non non.... Je t'aime Amazon. Iz ze best!"

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 10:01:30 PM PDT
My point is that your very first assertion is flawed. The whole point of state income tax is that the tax is collected from the consumer by the state. Amazon would not collect the taxes unless the state charged them. This is proven over and over again in states where Amazon goods are delivered where Amazon does not have a presence.

And by the definitions that you present, Amazon is not imposing the financial burden of the tax, the state is.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012 11:02:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012 11:12:57 PM PDT
I love this, you're getting better and better: " Amazon would not collect the taxes unless the STATE CHARGED THEM." (emphasis mine)

By the definition I presented (i.e. charge -- to impose financial burden), Amazon is imposing financial burden on you, on behalf of the state perhaps, but still they are the second-party actor in your transaction. When you buy a product from Amazon, it is Amazon's responsibility --not the state's -- to collect the tax amount from you. That collection is your financial burden. Amazon owns its shopping cart system -- not the state -- and it automatically calculates tax depending on the state.

I'm getting tired repeating straight-up fact, so I'll just do this one more time:

Let X be a specific amount.
Let A, B, C, and D be people involved in transactions.

If A collected X from B, and B collected X from C, and C collected X from D, it could be ultimately said that A collected X from either B, C, or D; however, that doesn't negate the fact that at some point, C collected X from D. (I know this makes your head spin C. Barbus, but bear with me.)

That is that A collected X from D, and C collected X from D -- are not mutually exclusive!

With that said, these 2 assertions operate fundamentally on different levels (though they are both valid). That A collected X from D is abstract or indirect, and that C collected X from D is direct. *[1]

If each person relinquished X because they were asked to directly by the collector, then this statement would be synonymous by definition to saying the collector charged X to that person, as such that: "A asked B to relinquish X" and "A imposed X as a burden on B" and "A charged X to B" are synonymous. *[2]

If B charged X to C because A asked him to, it doesn't change the fact that B charged X to C. True by tautology. *[3] Synonymously, if A charged B with the task to collect X from C, then B has the financial responsibility to collect X from C. In order to do so, B must charge C. Because in order to collect something from somebody, one of these must occur:
1. He gives it to you willingly without being asked.
2. You steal it without his knowledge.
3. You charge him, and he agrees to give it to you.

Collection and charging have a symbiotic relationship, they are not mutually exclusive.

Now back to the situation at hand.

Amazon asks consumer to pay a little extra in the form of sales tax. FACT. (Whether they were asked to by the state is immaterial at this point, by [3].)

The consumer deals directly with Amazon, and never with the state. FACT, by [1].

Therefore, Amazon imposes the financial burden on the consumer in exchange for desired product. A valid deduction.

You only need to accept the legitimacy of the prior statements, and then consider the state's role, and realize that there is no contradiction. Amazon charges the consumer, directly. The state charges Amazon, directly. The state charges the consumer, indirectly. FACT, by [2].

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 11:14:04 PM PDT
D. Spino says:
Ridiculous. Internet taxes should be cheaper since companies like Amazon also need to eat the shipping prices....We have to pay 10 percent here....a video game suddenly pushes 65-70 dollars....And yet our government is still out of money somehow.....

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 5:09:41 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2012 11:42:43 AM PST
MikeT says:
James S. Layton,
Your arguments and conclusions are just silly.
1. Income tax is unrelated to sales/consumption tax.
2. All of the following would be considered "double taxation" under your argument.
--- Income Taxes: Federal, State, Local/Municipal, FICA (technically a "payroll" tax, but is based on income)
--- Sales/Use tax
--- Gasoline tax (fed, state, local)
--- licensing (fishing, building permits, motor vehicle registration, etc..)
--- property tax
--- Inheritance, asset, commercial activity taxes
--- Excise & Surtax taxes: FCC tax (phone, cell, internet, cable TV, Sat TV), hotel bed, rental car, airline ticket
--- "Sin" taxes (booze, tobacco, soda, etc..)
--- numerous other taxes
3. Just how is the govt to generate income "once it gets on it's feet" without imposing a tax... somewhere.... some how?

I'm with you on the general idea that we are getting over taxed and nickle & dimed to death. :)
But to claim (or even think) that such taxes are "double taxation" is rather silly and surely would have been successfully challenged in the courts if it had any validity.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 5:18:49 AM PST
MikeT says:
" D. Spino says: Ridiculous. Internet taxes should be cheaper since companies like Amazon also need to eat the shipping prices....We have to pay 10 percent here....a video game suddenly pushes 65-70 dollars....And yet our government is still out of money somehow..... "

Because the problem is govt spending, not govt income/revenue. Give the govt 100 trillion more dollars and they will find somewhere to spend it. Likely borrow more on top of that. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 7:35:28 AM PST
"We get a charge from it. "

I see! George Washington, a taxation history lesson, more applied logic, Jonathan Chang's taxation theorem. Personally, I feel that the variable A is an oversimplification, since the State is composed of various entities not involved in taxation. The formula would be more accurate with two new variables, Congress - A (congress) and Revenue Department - A(revenue). Feel free to weight each variable with exponents. Hope that helps ;~)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 9:32:38 AM PST
JVAN says:
Many of Amazon's A2Z Development Centers are in CA. That's why Amazon is "collecting" sales tax for CA purchases. It's not whether they have a warehouse, it's whether or not they have a business office there; regardless of whether or not it houses goods for sale.

A2Z Development Centers:
Charleston, SC - learn more
Cupertino,CA (dba:Lab126) - learn more
Orange County, CA - learn more
San Francisco, CA - learn more
San Luis Obispo, CA (dba:ZME) - learn more

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 10:49:12 AM PST
Can you now explain to me the difference between heating an oven to 350 degrees and pre-heating an oven to 350 degrees?

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 10:56:18 AM PST
Remember, Amazon only collects state sales tax. Any local or additional sales tax is not added to the order.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 1:25:35 PM PST
On top of introducing the controversial "collection versus charge" riot, you now add a cooking analogy? Really? Do we need to further stir the "Chang" pot?

You are a hopeless instigator.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 2:32:04 PM PST
Georgedc says:
yes, Amazon is building warehouses in california now because they were forced to collect CA tax for out of state purchases by their california customers. These CA warehouses won't be finished till later next year and we californians should NOT be charged state taxes until the CA warehouses are operational for us. Isn't that fair?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012 3:21:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2012 3:28:10 PM PST
As already explained, it's not just about warehouses. There have been Amazon subsidiaries in California for years in Cupertino, L.A., San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Palo Alto, and several other locations.

Regardless, according to California tax code, you were responsible for use tax on your Amazon purchases this entire time. If you can't stop whining and obey the laws of the land, maybe you ought to relocate.
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