Amazon might support an Internet sales tax
After being sheltered for so many years, the online retailer ironically may be backing a change for buyers.
The largely ceremonial budget passed by the U.S. Senate on Saturday included an amendment giving states more authority to collect sales taxes on Internet purchases.
The sales tax amendment, according to Hispanic Business, was really designed to test support for the "Marketplace Fairness Act," a bipartisan measure that has come to be known as the “Amazon tax.” The budget amendment passed by a vote of 75-24, signaling possible strong support should the act come up for a vote as a stand-alone law.
The Senate budget – including the sales tax amendment - has virtually no chance of adoption, thanks to the continuing showdown between the Democratic majority in the Senate and the Republican-controlled House. Nonetheless, many experts and analysts, including Forbes’ Robert Wood, believe we are moving closer to a day when sales tax will be collected on all online purchases – not just those in states where the seller has a physical presence.
One of the more curious developments in this ongoing debate is that Amazon (AMZN), the world’s largest online retailer, supports the notion that Internet sellers should be required to collect sales taxes – even in states where they don’t have a physical presence.
Curious, that is, until one digs a little deeper. As Bloomberg notes, Amazon is expanding its physical presence into more states and would be required to collect taxes in those jurisdictions anyway. This gives the company plenty of incentive to lobby for a law that would force competitors with smaller geographic footprints to play by the same rules.
All this leaves a dizzying “odd couple” juxtaposition of proponents and opponents of the law. Supporters include bricks-and-mortar retailers like Wal-Mart (WMT), Best Buy (BBY), Target (TGT) and Dollar General (DG), along with online retailer, Amazon.
Organizations like Americans for Tax Reform and Campaign for Liberty maintain passage of such legislation would constitute a new type of taxation -- allowing states to reach across their borders and force retailers to comply with complicated and expensive tax laws.
Not surprisingly, proponents of the “Marketplace Fairness Act” believe the measure levels the playing field, forcing all retailers to play by the same rules. The act, as currently written, includes an exception for smaller online companies with gross annual sales of less than $1 million.
The National Retail Federation, another supporter of the law, estimates state and local governments lose as much as $24 billion a year in taxes from non-taxed Internet purchases.
More from Benzinga
If they do this then they will lose costumers. I will shop some where else if they do decide to make us pay taxes on their site.
Thats why I quit buying from Amazon, I don't pay tax,there are plenty websites
wher you don't have to pay tax!
Some of you posters live in the land of make believe.... It was just a matter of time before they changed the law to require everyone to pay taxes. Even with taxes most items on Amazon are still cheaper then box stores like Best Buy where you have to pay taxes...
Don't get me wrong, I get tired of being taxed on everything also but I knew it was just a matter of time before our politicians went after the online market place. So this is no surprise to me...
Big business will do anything to screw a small company. Biggest problem for nickel dime merchants is record keeping for all little little $ 2 to $ 10 dollars sales. Sometime you need 10000 sales to make 30000 total sale.. That among generally add about 3000-6000 dollar income for the labor of packing and shipping. If record keeping has to be done for this and comply with all the regulations that will follow will end their businesses.
That will be gain for Amazon. Bezzo is not stupid. He beieves anything for a buck.
Good way will be exempting business with less than 100,000 sale. I believe all businesses with less than 100,000 dollar sales should be exempt for most of record keeping. Their indirect contribution to economy and their marginal improvement of income and quality of life are worth the value it create for the country.
quote: "The National Retail Federation, another supporter of the law, estimates state and local governments lose as much as $24 billion a year in taxes from non-taxed Internet purchases."
Understand thats 24 b comes out of your pocket, you pay this tax, it comes outa your pocket, nuf said?
Yes, it will force Amazon's competitors to charge sales tax, but it will ultimately hurt everyone, including Amazon since the consumers will be the ones who will forced to buy less. This is, of course, considering that most consumers won't spend more than what they make (which we should encourage people staying debt free).
In my opinion, this will hurt B&M stores the most since the stuff from Amazon and other retailers is probably not going to get cut from budgets. It'll be coffee runs, McDonald's, cable bills, and the like that consumers will cut out of their budget, all of which are local.
This is just collecting a tax that most folks are now evading. I'd rather the Fed's collected it and turn the dough over to the states with likely prosecution for goods sold to people who claim but do not actually live in states with no sales tax...NH, DE, etc. Perhaps if states collected the money they are losing to Internet sales, they could lower their rates by a point or two.
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
HP's lack of exposure to the rapidly expanding tablet and smartphone market doesn't bode well for long-term growth.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.