August 30, 2014, 10:23:10 PM

Author Topic: Boo Amazon!!!  (Read 8402 times)

Jim O

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2013, 11:19:34 AM »
Sales tax, while difficult to digest, makes sense:
It brings the local stores to a level field of play.
And it pays for a lot of things we enjoy.
And it avoids the relying on customers honestly paying the 'use tax' (which, if you had paid all this while, you wouldn't even complain about this sales tax being levied).
I hate it as much as the next person, but I support it all the same.  ::)

This response is not just to you but to everyone who has ASSumed that I haven't paid use taxes.

I know I said I wasn't going to respond, but I will make one last response. How do you know that I haven't paid "use tax"? The use tax is paid the following April, when I file my tax returns. The sales tax is paid the month before the state even gets it. So Amazon gets to sit on the money for an average of about 33-34 days in my state. I know because I do the same in the retail businesses I own. I pay the previous month's sales tax around the 18th of the month following the month for which I am paying. Since sales tend to be more or less uniform throughout the month, the "average" sale is made around the 15th of the month which is typically 33-34 days from the 18th of the following month. Amazon, by virtue of this decision, is actually making substantial gains. In addition to holding the money, my state, and probably many others, pays them for their trouble for holding the money. Yes, that's right. If I pay a use tax, the state gets 100% of the money whereas if Amazon collects it, they keep a couple percent of it as well "for their trouble". It's a good deal for Amazon. I'd rather pay it when I want, not when I must.

Now to the question of whether I pay use tax. You bet I do. And I pay every year hence in the form of "personal property" tax levied by my local jurisdiction. Of course the latter is only on business property.

While I do not derive the majority of my income (by any means) from photography, I do derive some. I report every penny. I also use photographic equipment in other ventures. I do depreciate photographic gear which I use for business, and for those items I either buy locally, or pay the use tax. On the other hand, I do macro photography just for fun. Believe it or not, I still use an old 50mm f/2.5 compact macro and life size converter that I've had for nearly 20 years. I don't declare that in my "personal property" return because I do not use it for business. I am considering getting the 65 MP-E, again just for fun. If I buy one second hand on eBay I might well "forget" to pay the use tax, but I also will not depreciate it, though I could because I have a photography business and in the long run use tax plus depreciation would be a better deal for me tax wise. If I did pay the use tax, my local jurisdiction would ASSume it's for business and force me to pay the personal property tax on it, which would be unfair since I would not use it in any way for my business or to generate income. Nevertheless, they would see it and tax me.

The MacBook Pro and Thunderbolt display that I very recently bought, I bought at the local Apple store and paid sales tax. I could have gotten them at Amazon, but I am happy that Apple has a store in a local mall, and so I patronize it. There are only seven Apple stores in my state, three or four of which are in northern Virginia. The next one nearest to me if this one were to close (hardly likely I know) is 100 miles away in Richmond.

If I look through my Amazon purchases for the last 12-24 months, most are small and inconsequential. I don't think the state cares about them. And if once in a while I purchase a "bigger ticket" item and "forget" to mention it, well again, I ask, do you all turn yourself in for speeding? Rolling a stop sign or a right on red? Driving when you've had two drinks in the last hour? Those are all things that can kill people. So while you are all judging me, kindly look in the mirror.

Oh, and I am quite certain that at least one of you has also "forgotten" to pay use tax on an item or two. In fact I'd wager on it. As I said earlier in this thread: pot, kettle, black?

Edit: I was inaccurate. Five of the seven Apple Stores in my state are in northern Virginia, one is in Richmond, and one is local to me, in Norfolk.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 11:48:05 AM by Jim O »
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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2013, 11:19:34 AM »

Valvebounce

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2013, 08:24:08 PM »
Six percent? Is that all? Try paying 20% on purchases and 60% on fuel

And don't forget the 20% value added tax (hah) on the 60% fuel duty yes we pay tax on taxes! :o
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FTb-n

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2013, 10:05:52 PM »
Those products just arrive in your mailbox by magic? They don't travel over the highways or land at an airport? They don't get delivered by someone driving on your street?

And, it's not just for infrastructure. That sales tax pays for the fire trucks that come to your house if it catches on fire. It pays for the police officer who patrols your neighborhood so no one steals that new lens you bought.
There are ample taxes on fuel paid by carriers to cover the costs of roadways.  Unfortunately, in Minnesota, by law, no more than 60% of said taxes can actually be applied to such infrastructure.  In practice, significantly less actually goes toward roads.  The rest fuels non-infrastructure related political pet-projects.

As for protecting my home from fire and theft, I pay property taxes for those purposes.  But, like gas taxes, only a small percentage of what I pay actually goes to police and fire departments.

Sales tax, while difficult to digest, makes sense:
It brings the local stores to a level field of play.

Sorry.  This sounds too much like an interstate tariff, which violates the commerce clause of the Constitution.

In Minnesota, the sales tax has been raised to pay for, arguably, "pet projects" of political interest groups that go well beyond covering infrastructure related costs of doing business in this state.   

There is an implication here that Internet sales represents a black market of sorts because it avoids local sales tax.  If it's true that avoiding local sales tax is a motive for buying online, this should be a clear indication that local sales tax is too high.  Remember, online purchasers often have the added cost of shipping which often offsets the "no sales tax motive". 

Some big chains in Minnesota tried using the "level playing field" argument to promote an Internet sales tax.  Truth be told, if these stores were more competitive on the high dollar items (TV's and DSLRs), more people would buy from them.  Speaking for myself, I buy photo equipment online because the initial cost is much cheaper than local merchants.  (And, no, I don't "showroom" at local merchants than buy online.)

I would also argue that the "use tax" is unconstitutional because it goes beyond collecting outstate sales taxes.  It essentially taxes the ownership of property which infringes upon the right to own property.  The right to own property is not protected if such ownership can be "ransomed" by the state.  But, I digress (sorry, mods).
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David Hull

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2013, 10:25:36 PM »
Get used to it.  They did this in CA already and keep your eyes open because not everything gets taxed (here anyway).  You will not pay tax if they ship it from one of their other warehouses associated vendors.  But if tax is a problem for you, just buy from B&H.  The advantage of Amazon is no Jewish Holiday closures and ultra fast shipping.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 10:33:39 PM by David Hull »

Ellen Schmidtee

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2013, 10:52:41 PM »
Yep, 20% VAT in the UK. As for fuel tax, don't go there

In Israel VAT is 18% on everything (fruits & vegetables are exempt), and taxes on both fuel and new cars exceed 100%

MrFotoFool

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2013, 11:45:03 PM »
The dramatic increase on online shopping is bound to change the model of how taxes are collected.  I can imagine that eventually all states will require sales tax to be collected on shipped items, as they must be losing lots of revenue.  If not, the only obvious alternative is to dramatically cut services or raise fees and taxes in other areas.  Since I do photography part time (very part time), I do pay sales tax on photo equipment purchased online (which is called use tax).  However, I try to buy from a store in state whenever possible and only order online if it is unavailable locally.

swampler

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2013, 11:57:13 PM »
Items sold by Amazon.com LLC, or its subsidiaries, and shipped to destinations in the following states are subject to tax:

Arizona
California
Georgia*
Kansas
Kentucky
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Pennsylvania
Texas
Virginia*
Washington

*Added on 9/1/2013

Amazon is suing New York and have hired Ted Olson, he of winning Bush v Gore and the more recent California same sex marriage suits fame, so he is no lightweight. If he wins in Federal Court I guess I can have big ticket items shipped to my brother in NY.

Indiana, Tennessee, Nevada, and South Carolina are coming, though SC is a ways off at 1/1/2016. I believe Connecticut is soon as well.
Yea, Tennessee is being added in 2014 for the same reason (added distribution centers). Love the fast shipping, but not the 9.25% sales tax (which is added to the shipping cost as well  >:().

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2013, 11:57:13 PM »

captainkanji

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2013, 12:07:17 AM »
I imported a dvd from Holland that had a VAT on it.  I can't imagine paying an extra 20% on everything I buy.  At least in Europe they get what they pay for.  Take Switzerland for example.  They have high taxes, but their country is beautiful.  They actually maintain everything.  In the U.S. the taxes would be wasted on entitlements and lining the wallets of lobbyists on an epic scale.  As a resident of Illinois, I'm all too familiar with political corruption.  As for the Amazon situation, I don't believe that they should have to pay sales tax in states where they do not have a physical presence.  No taxation without representation.  The 'Big Box' stores have failed to adapt to the market and want the Gov't to interfere.  Nothing good can come of this.
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FTb-n

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2013, 12:45:19 PM »
Get used to internet sales tax?

Or, you can vote for politicians who aren't addicted to spending other people's money.  Just saying...
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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2013, 12:03:07 PM »


Or, you can vote for politicians who aren't addicted to spending other people's money.  Just saying...

If you can ever find a politican who does not spend other people's money, please let us know.   ;D

I have been voting for over 30 years and I never met one.   :-\
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cayenne

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2013, 03:20:35 PM »
Six percent? Is that all? Try paying 20% on purchases and 60% on fuel

OUCH!!

What state is that?!?!?

Fortunately, amazon still doesn't charge sales tax here in LA. In the New Orleans area, you have state, city and I think parish tax...just shy of 10% total.

I order as much as I can from amazon or other onlines while I still can.

serendipidy

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2013, 05:46:57 PM »
Six percent? Is that all? Try paying 20% on purchases and 60% on fuel

OUCH!!

What state is that?!?!?


His website is .UK so United Kingdom is my guess. As for the state he's in, I'd guess envious ;D
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Ewinter

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2013, 07:43:09 PM »
Six percent? Is that all? Try paying 20% on purchases and 60% on fuel

OUCH!!

What state is that?!?!?


His website is .UK so United Kingdom is my guess. As for the state he's in, I'd guess envious ;D
That's correct.
As for envious- I am. When you take in tax and exchange rates we pay a huge sting on gear. It really sucks.
In a direct dollars to GBP conversion from the USD price on B+H, the 1DX is £4330. The 1DX retail in the UK is £4849.
The batteries at $169 are £108 in conversion. The full retail of these is £150. That's around 40% extra (some dodgy maths there. It's late here.)

As for the whoever said that it's an apples to oranges comparison. I'm probably going to make myself unpopular with this, but it's incredibly naive to think that we might not pay very similar taxes.
tax on minimum wage is 30%. National insurance is around 10%. We then have council tax, 20% VAT (sales tax) 60% on fuel with VAT on top of that. We have road tax (based on fuel economy) and that's not to mention property prices.
With healthcare there nearly 20% of GDP-that sucks. But I (in a national healthcare system) have to pay for healthcare when I'm not sick. I have to pay for drunks to claim benefits and drink MY money away on benefits.
I feel the pain with the extra 6% on sales tax- it could seem a lot when you don't pay any. But realistically, look at the silver lining. I know there are people who pay more in other countries as well.
Before someone says it- I'm grateful for what I have. It could be worse. It could always be worse.

Amazon is cool, and I support them-they have a niche. As long as they don't close out the brick and mortars for good.
 

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2013, 07:43:09 PM »

Jim O

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2013, 10:28:45 AM »
Six percent? Is that all? Try paying 20% on purchases and 60% on fuel

OUCH!!

What state is that?!?!?


His website is .UK so United Kingdom is my guess. As for the state he's in, I'd guess envious ;D
That's correct.
As for envious- I am. When you take in tax and exchange rates we pay a huge sting on gear. It really sucks.
In a direct dollars to GBP conversion from the USD price on B+H, the 1DX is £4330. The 1DX retail in the UK is £4849.
The batteries at $169 are £108 in conversion. The full retail of these is £150. That's around 40% extra (some dodgy maths there. It's late here.)

As for the whoever said that it's an apples to oranges comparison. I'm probably going to make myself unpopular with this, but it's incredibly naive to think that we might not pay very similar taxes.
tax on minimum wage is 30%. National insurance is around 10%. We then have council tax, 20% VAT (sales tax) 60% on fuel with VAT on top of that. We have road tax (based on fuel economy) and that's not to mention property prices.
With healthcare there nearly 20% of GDP-that sucks. But I (in a national healthcare system) have to pay for healthcare when I'm not sick. I have to pay for drunks to claim benefits and drink MY money away on benefits.
I feel the pain with the extra 6% on sales tax- it could seem a lot when you don't pay any. But realistically, look at the silver lining. I know there are people who pay more in other countries as well.
Before someone says it- I'm grateful for what I have. It could be worse. It could always be worse.

Amazon is cool, and I support them-they have a niche. As long as they don't close out the brick and mortars for good.

I'm the one who said "apples and oranges" and it is. The UK government provides a lot more for its citizens than does the US government. I never said I pay more. My meaning was that the services provided are different and therefore not comparable.

I have to pay for the drunks and the laggards who claim benefits too. I also pay for the (to use your term) "incredibly naïve" people who, like you evidently, think they don't need healthcare until they show up in the hospital with acute leukemia and get $1,000,000 worth of care for which I pay trough the "uninsured pool" payments made by my insurance company on every hospital bill. Acute leukemia comes without warning. So do heart attacks. So can acute glomerulonephritis that might require lifetime dialysis. We don't let people like this die. We treat them, and the cost is absorbed by the healthy people who buy insurance. Last I looked at bills from my family, that amounts to almost 30% of billings. So when I pay $30,000/year for a family plan, $9,000 is going to pay for that. I could use that $9K/year. If everyone waited until they were sick it wouldn't be insurance, now would it? Insurance is shared risk. Your payments go to pay for those who need it, whether it's you or someone else. The only people who don't need insurance are the independently wealthy who can afford a $1,000,000 bill. Otherwise the rest of us pay for their care because they thought they didn't need it.
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Ewinter

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2013, 01:46:52 PM »
So when I pay $30,000/year for a family plan, $9,000 is going to pay for that. I could use that $9K/year. If everyone waited until they were sick it wouldn't be insurance, now would it? Insurance is shared risk. Your payments go to pay for those who need it, whether it's you or someone else. The only people who don't need insurance are the independently wealthy who can afford a $1,000,000 bill. Otherwise the rest of us pay for their care because they thought they didn't need it.

I guess we both get penalised for people being stupid. That sucks wherever you are

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Re: Boo Amazon!!!
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2013, 01:46:52 PM »