Thursday, July 2, 2009

Amazon versus the States

The old saw is that nobody can avoid death or taxes, but there are some exceptions, at least to the taxes part of it. Amazon sells its books sales-tax-free in most states, primarily because they don't have any bricks-and-mortar presence in those states. The idea is that state taxes go to the support structures of the state (roads, police, etc.) and if a company doesn't use those services, why should they pay for them? The states, of course, take a different position entirely. You can draw your own conclusions: Forbes provides the background.

Forbes: Amazon's moves are the latest in a fight involving states trying to get out-of-state companies that perform commerce largely online with their residents but have little or no physical presence in the state to collect taxes. Governments could generate $3 billion in new revenues if Web retailers had to collect taxes on all sales to consumers, according to Forrester Research. More...

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