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Kindle Books and Sales Tax


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Initial post: Nov 12, 2011 9:09:59 AM PST
deannah says:
Sorry if this topic has been addressed, but didn't find it with a search. Anyone else noticed being charged sales tax on some book purchases? I have been charged on only 3 books that I've noticed. The Jeff Bezos book and Jeff Ashton's Imperfect Justice, that were both pre-ordered. I just purchased the Stephen King book, 11/22/63 and was also charged tax on it.

I've not been charged any tax on books previously. Anyone know or seen any info on this? TIA for info.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2011 9:22:39 AM PST
JES says:
You are charged sales tax on ebooks if the publisher has a physical presence in your state.

Posted on Nov 12, 2011 9:53:24 AM PST
deannah says:
@J. Sheppeck, thank you for that info. I live in Idaho and can't imagine a publisher having a presence in this state. Confused as well, as I was charged tax on the Kindle version of Imperfect Justice, but not the hardcover one. Not complaining at all, just curious.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2011 9:54:47 AM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
With the Kindle books you are buying from the publisher and not Amazon itself.

Posted on Nov 12, 2011 10:08:27 AM PST
Fud53 says:
Amazon charges sales tax now in Maine because Maine has a sales tax. I didn't get charged that tax for many years. About two years ago they started taxing all book purchases using Maine's 5 percent if the address is in Maine. What ya gonna do? :-)

So my guess is that if a state that has a sales tax decides it wants to collect it from Amazon then Amazon charges the sales tax.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2011 10:10:52 AM PST
K. Rowley says:
"I live in Idaho and can't imagine a publisher having a presence in this state. Confused as well, as I was charged tax on the Kindle version of Imperfect Justice, but not the hardcover one. Not complaining at all, just curious."

Not sure which "Imperfect Justice" you bought (there are a couple of Kindle books with that title).. But you might notice on the product page for that Kindle book that there is a notice under the price that states:

"Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers"
This price was set by the publisher

What that means is the publisher is selling you that book through the Amazon web site. If that publisher's company has any sort of business/office/agent in your state then they have to collect your state's sales tax for that purchace. Buying a physical paper-based book (or even a kindle one) from Amazon itself - then they (amazon) doesn't have to bother with collecting the sales tax that you own on that particular purchace - you still owe it, they are just leaving it up to you to get it to your state.. (course we both know how likely that is going to happen & how unlikely it is that the state is going to be knocking on your door for it since Amazon doesn't report sales to the states).

Posted on Nov 12, 2011 10:29:41 AM PST
CBRetriever says:
you're lucky - it could be the 19.6% VAT I pay

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2011 10:48:35 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2011 10:51:55 AM PST
Logician says:
Wrong. Sales tax is only collected if the seller has a presence in the state where the purchaser resides. The Big 6 are considered to have a presence in practically every state. Amazon is considered to have a presence in only a handful of states. Some states have tried to make the case that affiliates constitute a presence so Amazon cancels those programs in those states so they don't have to collect the sales tax.

There was the whole big blowout about the California law that was all over the news (and the boards). But I guess that would require one to pay attention instead of making wildly inaccurate guesses.

If anyone wants to know the details of Amazon's various sales tax policies, go to: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=468512&qid=1321123479&sr=1-1

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2011 10:53:23 AM PST
Hi Deannah,

Just about every e-book I purchase from the "Big Six" publishers, I get taxed added, like you did on the new Stephen King book. (I bought that one, too) I'm in Arizona. As long as the tax is going to MY state, I don't care. :)

Posted on Nov 12, 2011 11:24:32 AM PST
deannah says:
Thanks all for your responses. Thank you, Logician for the link. It was very helpful and think I understand now. It was just confusing as I've ordered a great deal of various products from Amazon over the years and had never been charged sales tax. Once again .. thank you.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Nov 12, 2011
Latest post:  Nov 12, 2011

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