Group seeks Amazon boycott over sales tax fight

A coalition of nonprofit groups is calling on customers of Amazon.com Inc. to cancel their accounts unless the Internet retailer stops resisting a California law that requires more online retailers to charge a state sales tax.

The nonprofits along with several state lawmakers Monday called on Amazon to "stop cheating California" by trying to repeal the law through a ballot referendum.

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Surely theres another answer

And that is to change the law to take out the requirement to have any sort of physical business in the state and change it to if you sell to a resident of that state?

OK

So I live in state X and I drive to state Y. In state Y I buy something. I pay tax in state Y and then they collect a tax for states X? The store is selling to a resident of state X so they need to collect the tax. What language are you going to use in your statute so that you do not have double collection?

Answer

You live in State X and buy something from Amazon who are based in State Y. They charge you State X tax for your purchase and then send you your book in the post.
The difference is that they know you live in State X.

I'm talking about online selling as that is something I know about and is what we are talking about with Amazon.

I have no idea how you American's deal with your state taxes in person :) I'm not talking about real shops, just online.

It varies

Online stores that also have physical presence in states--e.g., Land's End or OfficeDepot or...--charge sales tax for the zip code to which the sale is going. Somehow, this doesn't represent a crippling problem for them.

Theoretically, citizens are supposed to pay uncharged sales taxes as use taxes. Almost nobody does this.

Realistically, Amazon's trying to retain an unfair advantage over bricks-and-mortar retailers, and is willing to pay $millions to get its initiative on the California ballot. It's gotten difficult to walk into Safeway because the signature-gatherers are remarkably pushy. I'm guessing they're getting a full $5 per bounty, er, signature, although I can't prove that.

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