questionsamazon will collect sales tax in texas. how about…

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I don't want to see taxes added to online sites like Woot or Amazon, but I do think it's probably appropriate. Sometimes the only reason I buy from Amazon versus a local store is because of sales tax. I think it gives Amazon an unfair advantage over brick & mortar stores or sites like bestbuy.com which has a local presence so must charge tax on their online sales (note that I am not really a Best Buy fan, it is just an example).

I don't want to pay more, but it will be nice to see some companies not be disadvantaged because of the law.

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I have heard that you are suppose to manually file some sort of sales tax with your state on purchases where it was not collected. So, if we were all purely honest and diligent Citizens, sites like Amazon collecting tax would only make our lives easier. I'm guessing that few, if any, will see it this way...

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@notanaardvark: "I also don't mind some taxes because I count on the infrastructure they support."

Congratulations! you win today's gold star from my husband (the amateur economist) for recognizing how that works. He gets a little ranty when he reads comments [elsewhere, not here] from folks who complain about taxes in the same paragraph they're also complaining about lousy roads and bridges.

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I'm in NY and pay 8.875% sales tax on many web purchases, including most from Amazon and woot (NY's sales tax rules are rather complicated and many items are exempt, eg. most clothing sold by woot). In fact, my only emails to service@woot.com (two of them) have been about sales tax that shouldn't have been charged.

On all purchases from woot over $40 (not $30), the taxsucks code saves me $5.44, even on items that don't have salestax added.

There are online vendors (eg. Newegg) that don't charge tax here, but many companies do have a business presence in NY State so I am rarely surprised when sales tax is charged.

As more companies charge tax, my cost will likely go up but I won't change my buying habits. When comparing prices, I already count shipping and tax because my final cost is what matters (a vendor that doesn't charge sales tax is effectively offering an extra 8% discount).

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I think the state comptroller is grasping at straws, trying to get a quarter billion dollars in back taxes from Amazon. It'll likely continue to be a bit of a mess until the lawmakers figure out how to properly deal with online purchases and the varying tax laws.

I don't have a problem paying tax on my Amazon purchases. The free ride had to end sometime.

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@wnyx585am: Yeah, most states have a use tax, but who seriously keeps track of all the purchases that should be taxed? I know I don't. I imagine very few people actually report it.

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As noted above...

Well if I read every line of my state tax prep, there is a section in Ohio tax code called the use tax, and its the point where if everyone is being completely honest they would total all their online purchased and then charge the .0675% and pay taxes for your online or out of state purchases. So for honest people they are already paying tax for online purchases in Ohio.

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@pinchecat: well I think they go where they get a good tax break, access to infrastructure, skilled labor pool. Heck the number of customers might have lured them there so they could ship out to them faster. I know my recent amazon woots have gotten to me before wootbot emails me my shipping number. Those seem to ship out from indiana

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A few years back, the NY State tax return added a line for unpaid sales and use tax. While I'm sure that most people simply put zero, I've always paid the suggested amount for my income bracket.

I use Quicken to track and categorize most of my spending and it is fairly easy to pull up a report of what I spent out of state and did not pay sales/use taxes on. I did this the first few years that NY State's returns had the sales tax line item and their suggested amount was close to what I would have owed, though slightly less. As my online purchasing has only increased since then, I've continued to pay the suggested amount and I don't worry about it any longer.

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Not here yet, although our AG is apparently trying to force them to collect. And it probably won't affect my buying habits too much.

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@baqui63: Oops - Thanks for the correction on the code. Sounds like you really have to pay attention to keep up with the numbers.

@rprebel & @okham I also don't mind some taxes because I count on the infrastructure they support.

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I am not taxed on Amazon purchases (yet), but I would still purchase anyways.

The nearest Walmart is about a 12 mile round-trip and the nearest Best Buy is about the same. I don't have the time to make a trip out there so I depend on Amazon to get items quickly.

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What I found annoying was when I lived in California and my local tax rate was lower than the state-wide rate for online purchases from California based retailers and I got charged the higher "state" rate.

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Here is another discussion on tax.

http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/ea2247bd-ee3f-42ad-bbda-e377a3161193/does-woot-charge-sales-tax#11

There have been other questions/discussions on tax collection. My state has a use tax and one is supposed to file a form when purchasing an item from out of state on which no tax has been collected.

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@magic cave: We have lousy roads and bridges because the infrastructure stole the money. Here in LA you can tell we're ramping up for elections- they're fixing stuff. This time next year, and for 3 years- nada.
Our "conservative" Governator saved the road tax money for a couple years, then "repurposed" most of it; some to the general fund and some to repay other diversions. We'd call it check kiting. Pete Wilson did the same.
Ol Gov Brown came home and found the ex had run up the credit cards to appear successful, and ran out when the bills came due. Over due, I mean. There isn't enough to pay the expenses the ex signed up for; that's not counting the previous shopping trips.

It was almost funny. Where'd the road money go?- to the crippled kids fund. Well, where'd that money go?- to the hospitals to help pay for illegal alien healthcare. Well, where did the hospital money go?- to the committee overseeing the road budget.

The money we "saved"? Paid for a tax break for the rich.

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@pinchecat: Mainly because - and I'm just going out on a limb here - Texas is freaking huge and has a lot of Amazon customers. It is so much cheaper to ship the items from a central location within the state than in a completely different state.

Also, Amazon wasn't the one who initiated paying sales tax it was the Texas government

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No sales tax collected here in NJ although you're supposed to pay anyway. Goes for pretty much any state - you owe use tax even though sales tax isn't collected.

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Amazon found NY a long time ago. Or, more likely, NY found Amazon.

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I live in WA state and I pay 8.6-8.9% tax on Amazon and woot and local purchases. I just get a warm fuzzy feeling when I order from Newegg and don't get charged tax.

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We (Texans) already pay sales tax on Woot no matter the purchase amount because Woot has a presence here. We don't pay sales tax on Overstock.com, for example, because they're in Utah. The way I understand the law, if we make an online purchase from an "out of state" company we don't pay sales tax. If we buy from a company in our state, we pay the tax just as if we'd walked into a store.

That said, if Amazon is going to have a distribution center here, it might change the way I shop with them. If it's something I can easily walk into a store and get, I will. If not, then at least (in theory) I'll get it quicker. I'm thinking I'd better hurry up and order that Kindle Fire soon, though, before this goes into effect so I can save that $16.41. ;-)

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@shinespark Texas does not have a State Tax Return. How do you propose that sales tax for online purchases be reported?

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@debbsc67: It looks like TX has a special form to allow for collection of this tax. Just like all the other states, they want their share.

http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/01-156.pdf

While Amazon and TX were reaching an agreement on this, the IL courts said the tax on Amazon was unconstitutional, so for now we are happily not paying sales tax (except, of course, on the "sales and use tax" line on our tax returns).

Here is a Forbes article updating this topic printed today:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2012/04/28/tax-alamo-amazon-strikes-texas-tax-deal-while-illinois-tax-goes-down/

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It will impact my Amazon purchases, as I live in Texas. It will increase the cost of Amazon products by 8.25%, which may make their items no longer competitive with items from other states. I wont automatically ditch Amazon, but i will factor the extra cost when buying. Now, if the costs are the same, I'll buy from Amazon and pay the tax, as I am (at least in theory) a beneficiary of the sales tax. However, if it's something I can get locally for a similar price, I'll support my local brick and mortar stores and buy it here if I have to pay tax anyway.

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I understand the need for taxes and online retailers should probably all be collecting sales tax and giving it to their state for being able to conduct business there and support the local economy, BUT I have been a contactor inside many of my state's agencies and seen rampant waste of funds in each one so I'm reluctant to want to give my hard earned money to someone who is just going to p*ss it away.

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@pinchecat: You're supposed to be paying the sales tax anyway, whether or not Amazon charges it.

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No Amazon sales tax charged in AR yet.

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Looks like I'll be finishing up my christmas shopping before July 1st this year.

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@lynnaux: Interesting. But, you must report it within 20 days of the item's arrival in the state? Yeah, that's gonna happen.

Seriously, I've never heard of a single person filing such a form. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. The form seems more geared towards a business, not an individual, anyway.

I don't see this being used by anyone any time soon. It'd would be fairly difficult to enforce or monitor. I can certainly say that I'm honestly not going to be filling out one of these forms and sending in a paltry little sum every time a make a purchase online. In a lot of cases, it would probably cost more to process the check than it'd be worth. My last purchase would result in a $2.89 check. Does anyone seriously think anyone's going to want to waste the cost of postage on top of that? Insanity.

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@debbsc67: The only time I saw this enforced was when IL audited a FL jeweler. The audit revealed a purchase my boss made and showed that there was no sales tax paid on the items. (It was a substantial purchase, so there was incentive for IL to chase after the money.) After that incident, it became my job to file the reports as needed. So I tracked large purchases and followed the IL 30 day rule, when necessary, and filed the reports, when these purchases were over $600. Granted, I only knew about the large purchases he made out of state (art, cars, jewelry), and never filed on the everyday online purchases he and his family made.

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@popham05: your geography skills are weak. DFW is little more than 50 miles from the OK state line. your case about "a lot of amazon customers" residing in texas only furthers my point about catering to them by not setting up shop here (in turn charging them sales tax).

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stupid ass company will lose much of my business that's for sure. why on earth would they put a distribution center in the northern half of texas rather than further north in oklahoma where there's likely < 50% of the # of texas customers?