Taxing (or not) Internet Purchases


#1

I recently received an update from my Congresscritter who has proudly sent a bill to Congress to tax internet purchases.
Huh? I thought this guy called himself a conservative.

Here’s what he said, however. He thought it unfair that businesses who sell products to people from out of state have to bear the burden of the tax, themselves.

Do they?
That doesn’t make sense to me.
And I think the guy’s screwed up in the head.
I’ve never paid a sale’s tax when making catalogue orders over the years if I purchased from a company outside my s
tate.
Why should the internet be different?

Or, has LLBean been bearing the burden of the sales tax every time I bought a sweater or blazer from their company?

Really, I don’t know.


#2

Or what state’s jurisdiction would these purchases be taxed? No, it doesn’t make much sense. Online purchases shouldn’t be taxed. Online stores exist outside of any state’s jurisdiction to do so, heck even the nation’s. After all, is Amazon an American store, even if people in Britain can purchase there?

The United States seems to want to control everything about the Internet and legislate it, forgetting that the Internet is an international phenomenon.


#3

Why should internet sellers have a competitive advantage over bricks and mortar stores that are obliged to collect sales tax?


#4

Why should I pay a state tax on something not bought in my state?


#5

Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax. Does that mean we should disadvantage online stores by forcing them to charge some arbitrary sales tax?


#6

How can you claim to be a Conservative when you advocate government intervention in the free market? There will come a time when most products will be purchased online and not in the store? Why are you trying to punish private enterprise?


#7

How can you claim to be a Conservative . . .

This is getting old. I know the big sport around here is to label my opinions, but here all I did was ask a question!

Seravee, why is the advocacy of tax fairness “punishing private enterprise”? A conservative approach to taxation seeks, primarily, to raise revenue for the legitimate purposes of government without otherwise favoring some taxpayers over others, or effecting “social policy” by means of tax policy. At this point in time, internet sellers have a crucial advantage over bricks and morter sellers that strikes me as completely arbitrary. Why is it “conservative” to support arbitrary taxation?


#8

Under proposals I have seen, the internet seller would charge a sales or use tax equal to the sales tax imposed by the state to which the item will be delivered. So, internet sales to Oregon consumers would have the same tax impact as bricks and mortar sales to Oregon consumers (in that case, no sales tax collected in either case).


#9

So you are going to make a private company collect a tax on its customers who aren’t even doing business in that state? I am being charged X%(my state sales tax) for a product that was purchased in cyberspace? So it is really a internet sales tax masquerading as a state sales tax?


#10

What’s wrong with that? Why should the internet seller have an arbitrary advantage over a bricks and mortar seller? And if you think that some sellers should have arbitrary advantages, how is that “conservative”?


#11

Who gets the taxes, the purchaser’s state or the seller’s state?


#12

holy sheep:Thud: Whats wrong with forcing a private business to collect a state sales tax on a transaction made on the Internet where no entity has ownership to enforce rules or any kind of taxation?

I’m going to let you figure that one out Jazz.


#13

In my view, it should be the consumer’s state. The idea is to have the internet seller and the bricks and mortar seller, from the standpoint of the consumer, be able to compete on an equal footing, at least with respect to the tax aspects of a transaction. The internet seller may have certain natural advantages, but why compound those advantages with purely arbitrary ones?


#14

If I read Amazons site correctly the purchasers state does.


#15

It seems to me what’s bugging you is the question of taxes in general. Yes, Virginia, there are certain legitmate purposes of government for which taxation is appropriate. All I’m saying is that, to a conservative, taxation should be fair and not arbitrary. Why should internet sellers receive an unfair advantage? How is that conservative?


#16

That sounds like a huge burden to small internet business that sell to a bunch of states


#17

What is fair about charging a tax for something bought on the internet where no has ownership? Am I able to charge those around me for breathing the air that pass through my private property. Can I claim ownership of the gentlewoman crops on the other side of me cause water runoff happens to drain in her fields off my land? Whats fair is charging them taxes on physical property(i.e buildings) that they own. Charging me for buy a computer in the virtual world is ridiculous and unfair.

On the flip side my states sales tax is low. If they were charging a local sales tax I would be pissed.


#18

I get the fairness thing but no one was ever up in arms about out of state catalogues not having to pay sales tax. The only reason its an issue is because the internet is big business. If it was really about fairness this would have been a law a long time ago, the states see money and they want it.


#19

[quote=“Jazzhead, post:15, topic:37778”]
It seems to me what’s bugging you is the question of taxes in general. Yes, Virginia, there are certain legitmate purposes of government for which taxation is appropriate. All I’m saying is that, to a conservative, taxation should be fair and not arbitrary. Why should internet sellers receive an unfair advantage? How is that conservative?
[/quote]You cannot regulate winners and losers. What advantages do brick and mortar stores have? What perils do they face, that internet businesses do not. What perils do internet stores face, that B&M stores do not.
They are not trying to be fair. They are trying to raise revenue, to continue their drunken sailor spending spree. As you usually do, you took the liberal side. No surprise.


#20

In no other business is the purchaser’s state relevant. If I go to a McDonald’s in California, I get charged the California tax, because that McDonalds is stationed in California and is under California’s jurisdiction. I am not charged Colorado tax simply because I am a resident of Colorado. What if I am a resident of Colorado, but am in California, and buy online off Amazon? Do I get charged California state sales tax, because I am currently in California? Do I get charged Colorado sales tax, because I’m a resident of Colorado?

If the business has no physical presence in a certain state, why should it have to be charging that state’s sales tax? They, or the consumer, is essentially paying a tax that has no jurisdiction over the store even though I have made the choice to purchase from a store that isn’t in my state. It just makes no sense at all.