Amazon Sales Tax?

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I heard about NY state now requiring Amazon to submit sales tax to them. I think that is so sad. It's one of the great pleasures of buying items online! Free shipping, often prices cheaper than the store on items because they don't have the store overhead and also no sales tax!

But my friend in KS said that her latest order was subject to sales tax. News to me so I looked it up.

It lists NY as being newly charged (so glad Amazon is contesting this decision) but it lists a few other states as being charged sales tax on their items, wondering how long this has been?

In times where we need to shop around for the best price and we already pay a lot in taxes I find this difficult to swallow.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=468512

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Some of it will depend on what the company is that's actually sending you the product--they're always required to collect sales tax if you live in a state where that company has operations. And not everything that you buy on Amazon is actually being sold by Amazon, there are lots of other companies that list things there so if the company who's actually selling the thing is in your state you will have to pay sales tax. That's nothing new, that's been going on as long as I've been buying things online (which is quite a few years). I would guess that's what happened to your friend from Kansas.

For things that you buy from a company which is not in your state, they have not in the past been required to collect the sales tax, but at least some states have laws that you're supposed to keep track of how much sales tax you would have paid on those items that you get from out of state sellers and then pay that as part of your taxes at the end of the year. I don't know how many states have that rule, I know CA and OH both do but I'm sure there are a number of others as well. I'm also not sure how well enforced the rule is (or how easy it would be to enforce). My guess is a lot of the states who have those rules realize that they're very hard to enforce, and in today's economy where they're looking at less $$ coming in they're looking for ways to get that sales tax money that they technically should be getting anyway...and the easiest way for them to get it is to make the companies who are selling things collect it.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I have mixed feelings about this topic. I purchase from catalogue and online sources that do not have locations in TX and they do not charge sales tax. Others that do have outlets or retail stores in state will charge sales tax on the purchase.

My thought is that after having lived in two other states that have a personal income tax, I appreciate the fact that Texas does not! This state is funded by property taxes and sales tax collections. It puts it in a different perspective for me. And I really feel the sales tax is the fairest tax by taxing only the consumer.

Now, if this affected the federal income tax, I might feel differently... LOL

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Ecrane, good point. I try not to shop through outside vendors on Amazon, I'm mostly buying books from there but you are right---if you buy from Target through the site then yeah, sales tax.

Pod, I wasn't born here but got here as fast as I could! :)

You know I've bought from a sales consultant in Texas for the Creative Memories company (scrapbooking) and it's funny here and in other states never was charged sales tax. It's on the form but only one person has ever charged me that, and in Texas, so I think perhaps the laws and rules are challenging to figure out.

Funny to on Amazon, a lot of times my things will be said to be shipping from their Dallas warehouse. So IN Texas but still no tax. And yet I"ll order church resources through my church and since they to may have a distribution center in my state they DO charge sales tax but Amazon doesn't.

So confusing!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

More than confusing. We do retail sales and I deal with the sales tax collected on a monthly basis.

I would have thought the church to be tax exempt for everything. I guess not?

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Well they can buy things tax exempt but if they sell you supplies for things you want then you pay sales tax.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

From a tax standpoint, I'm not sure what sort of operations a company has to have in your state in order for them to be required to collect sales tax...my guess is if all they have is a distribution center that may not count. Definitely having a retail outlet counts, but I'm not sure what else.

Smaller sellers who sell things online or do the things like Creative Memories may not always know (or follow) the rules on collecting sales tax--I know when I've looked at things on Etsy some sellers mention collecting sales tax from the state they live in but some don't. I expect the people who sell more seriously and have officially incorporated their business are better about it than others since it's easier for the state to track them down if they don't pay up on the sales tax they're supposed to be collecting.

Shenandoah Valley, VA

A distribution center does count, at least I know it does in Virginia. Of course the laws on sales tax collection vary by state.

I've always had Amazon collect sales tax and I have no idea what facilities they would have in Virginia. The one that aggravates me is QVC shopping channel. As far as I know, they have nothing in Virginia and not only do they charge tax on the item, they charge tax on the shipping charge which is ridiculous.

I think the real reason for some of these online shops is they are having items drop shipped from vendors all over.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I don't think, with Amazon, it matters if your state has a distribution center. What irks me is I think it is a state choosing to impose their sales tax on any items that are bought anywhere but then shipped to that state.

Tax on shipping that really stinks.

Shenandoah Valley, VA

All of the sales tax laws vary from state to state. In Virginia, they're not supposed to charge tax unless they have some kind of entity in the state. And they're certainly not supposed to charge tax on shipping charges.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I suspect NY is probably one of the states that expects people to keep track of their out of state purchases and pay the sales tax as part of their taxes every year, but since they know compliance on that is very low they're looking for a better way to guarantee that they get their sales tax revenue. If they're successful in this, then I expect other states with those same laws will probably try doing the same thing. But hopefully the states whose laws don't already require you to pay sales tax on out of state purchases will keep things the way they are.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

And, I agree ~ tax on shipping really stinks!

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

ecrane i don't know seems some states have lots of charges others don't and yet ppl still live there. boggls me but who knows.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I live in one of the states that has lots of charges--our state income tax is high, our sales tax is high (and just got higher as of today), etc...but there's a lot here to make up for it. At least to me it's worth paying a bit more for the beautiful scenery and great weather!

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

ah true! i'd not looked at your location. from what i've seen (never been there) yes cali seems to be one of the most beautiful scenic places the USA has :) i couldn't handle the cost myself though.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Except for the wildfires, earthquakes and mudslides, ecrane???

Taxes here in NJ are crazy also, they do charge tax on the shipping charges here too.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Bummer flowerjen.

Yes if we're talking about safe places to live I like to tease DH, a native Texan (we suffer from hurricanes here) that yes I grew up in Michigan and virtually our worst scare was a snowstorm. No biggie. Everything closes down so it's not bad. Trucks come by and plow it. No tornatoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, etc. I just like to tease though, gets his goat. I also tell him these huge animal sized bugs Texas has is new to me because yeah up in Michigan we had no bugs at all hehe.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

At least not fireants! And that's saying something!

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

and snakes? do you have scorpions?

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Yes we have snakes. But so did Michigan. I actually saw more garden snakes in Michigan than I've seen snakes in Texas and I've traveled and lived both west, north and east in Texas. I've never seen one in my my yard.

Scorpions, yes but not often at all. Where I live in Houston I've never seen one. They prefer desert climates and sandy soil. A bit north of us is more sandy soil so we had them there when lived there but they prefer to stay hidden.

So yeah those are our problems but they aren't wide-spread like the good old fireant. And they cause less damage than our hurricanes. Phooey.

Why would I live here? I love the climate! Give me hot over cold anytime. BUT I used to think people who lived in coastal cities were just nuts. Now I can say financially it was better for us. DH doubled our income by moving from another Texas city to Houston and housing is still dirt cheap compared to the national average. 5 bed/3 bath 2,400' Colonial on 9000 sq foot city lot for $150K inspired the move.

Sheesh am I OT in my own thread or what hahaha.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

You're the only person besides myself who professes to love the Houston climate :-)

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Tir ~ I need to enlighten your husband about those northern wood ticks, blood sucking leeches, gigantic mosquitos, viscious no-see-ums. LOL

DD calls some of our huge TX bugs "prehistoric" as they look so primitive. And I totally agree with you on the fireants. I am afraid they are on the way north too. Have you run into those crazy ants Houston has? They mentioned them on Texas State News the other morning.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I heard about the crazy ants! But haven't noticed them per say.

HAHAHA on enlightening him :) Noooo we didn't have ticks where I'm from ;) And mosquitoes? Whew, you just have to go to the gulf coast, step out any time of day and you'll be eaten alive. I only survived my 6 month lease and I was out of there!

Dutch, of those who don't care for Texas heat I say they can always move! :)

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