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Amazon To Start Collecting Sales Tax On Purchases Made In Massachusetts


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#1 jimijumper

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:55 AM

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I guess this was inevitable in Taxachusetts....

Edited by jimijumper, 14 December 2012 - 01:11 AM.


#2 dohdough

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:27 AM

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I guess this was inevitable in Taxachusetts....


Ironically enough, MA actually has some of the lowest taxes in the country unless we're talking tobacco. Then again, we still have until 11/1/13 to make all those sales tax free purchases. Because of this announcement, I'm joining the Tea Party.

#3 crunchewy

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:40 PM

There's been some talk, just a little so far, of the same in MD. Hopefully just stays talk.
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#4 GBAstar

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:49 PM

Ironically enough, MA actually has some of the lowest taxes in the country unless we're talking tobacco. Then again, we still have until 11/1/13 to make all those sales tax free purchases. Because of this announcement, I'm joining the Tea Party.


You're going to start seeing more tax hikes... I mean how else do you expect to fund free sex changes for state prisoners?

#5 dohdough

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:50 PM

You're going to start seeing more tax hikes... I mean how else do you expect to fund free sex changes for state prisoners?


That's why I'm jumping on the Tea Party Express! November 1, 2013 is the day FREEDOM died.

#6 The Green Giant

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:57 PM

Isn't this still illegal? Isn't the law that you have to have a company presence in the state in order to charge sale tax? If Amazon wants to give Mass some new jobs I'm all for it.

The thing is, I'll still order from them, they still have cheaper prices and I trust them. If I buy from BestBuy.com or Amazon it doesn't make a difference because I still don't go into a store.

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#7 dohdough

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

Isn't this still illegal? Isn't the law that you have to have a company presence in the state in order to charge sale tax? If Amazon wants to give Mass some new jobs I'm all for it.

The thing is, I'll still order from them, they still have cheaper prices and I trust them. If I buy from BestBuy.com or Amazon it doesn't make a difference because I still don't go into a store.

You're supposed to pay in-state sales tax regardless of where you shop, so yes, it's legal. That's why there's a line item specifically on the MA state income tax form for it. All this does is close the loophole on the honor system for self-reporting when buying from Amazon.

Like you said, Amazon is still going to be cheaper in most cases anyways.

#8 The Green Giant

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:21 PM

Yeah, no one fills that in, not even the lawmakers. I'm talking about this court case...

In Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, the Supreme Court ruled that a business must have a physical presence in a state for that state to require it to collect sales taxes. However, the court explicitly stated that Congress can overrule the decision through legislation.


Last I knew Congress has done nothing.

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#9 dmaul1114

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:23 PM

Yep, definitely legal.

The physical presence in a state is just one way states have passed laws to force online companies to collect the taxes for them. This is another way.

Taxes on online purchases have no impact on my shopping. I shop online for the convenience of not having to find time to fight traffic and get to the store, deal with people etc. I order mostly from Amazon as I've had great experience with them, have Prime for free two day shipping (and the streaming video and Kindle lending library) etc. I don't even really bother checking if they have the cheapest price anymore when it comes to most of the things I order from there (games, movies, books etc.).

#10 The Green Giant

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:35 PM

Taxes on online purchases have no impact on my shopping. I shop online for the convenience of not having to find time to fight traffic and get to the store, deal with people etc. I order mostly from Amazon as I've had great experience with them, have Prime for free two day shipping (and the streaming video and Kindle lending library) etc. I don't even really bother checking if they have the cheapest price anymore when it comes to most of the things I order from there (games, movies, books etc.).



Yeah exactly. Are books going to be cheaper in B&N or Amazon? I mean the government is claiming it's to help local companies, it won't do sht for local companies and the know it. The state just wants more money to waste.

I will hopefully not be living in the state anyways.

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#11 Hibiwa

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:38 PM

It doesn't feel like Amazon has been that competitive price-wise as of late. Sometimes matching, but definitely not leading anymore.

Any possible online savings and shipping convenience will have to be weighed with post sale price adjustments and easier returns at local B+Ms when this kicks in.

Especially hate when I buy something on Amazon, and it's cheaper the next day (or sooner).

#12 Strell

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:42 PM

Fun related story:

Amazon started to collect tax in Texas earlier this year. Part of this included a deal between the state and Amazon where they will open a warehouse near San Antonio and create something like 2500 jobs. Texas is giving them a $200 million tax break for this.

Texas is paying roughly $80K for each of those jobs with that deal. Those jobs will be 25-30K/year at best, outside of a few higher director type jobs.

On the plus side, more one day shipping for me.


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#13 dmaul1114

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:42 PM

Yeah exactly. Are books going to be cheaper in B&N or Amazon? I mean the government is claiming it's to help local companies, it won't do sht for local companies and the know it. The state just wants more money to waste.

I will hopefully not be living in the state anyways.


Personally, I'm supportive of it. Being a professor, I see first hand how cuts in state spending are hurting things essential to our future like education (cuts in state scholarships, tuition hikes, larger classes, more classes taught by lesser qualified part timers rather than tenure track faculty etc.).

Given all that, states need an automated system for collecting sales tax for online purchases cause frankly even people like me who are supportive of it aren't going to hassle with tracking it and paying it ourselves each year.

But not a popular opinion no a site of broke ass losers who don't care about anything but saving as much money as they can when buying shit they don't need....

#14 Strell

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:48 PM

I like to think of dmaul as that professor that grabs a student's ringing phone and tells the caller "Your friend is busy fucking up everything right now, can I take a message for him?"


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#15 gunnm

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:50 PM

I miss the days of going on amazon and buying something for $19.99 :(

#16 Hibiwa

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:50 PM

If Massachusetts really wants more spending money, then they should've gotten those casinos built a long time ago. Gambling folks willingly hand over their cash and they've been happily doing so across the border.

#17 dohdough

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:54 PM

Yeah exactly. Are books going to be cheaper in B&N or Amazon? I mean the government is claiming it's to help local companies, it won't do sht for local companies and the know it. The state just wants more money to waste.

Uhhh...it's money that the state is already supposed to be getting to begin with.

I will hopefully not be living in the state anyways.

The grass is always greener...

#18 Clak

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:56 PM

I'd laugh my ass off if I saw that happen, Strell.
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#19 dohdough

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:56 PM

If Massachusetts really wants more spending money, then they should've gotten those casinos built a long time ago. Gambling folks willingly hand over their cash and they've been happily doing so across the border.

Are you volunteering your backyard or are you willing to have one as your neighbor?

#20 Hibiwa

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:08 PM

Typical city backyard isn't going to fit anything, but the few occasions I've gone to the CT casinos the surrounding areas didn't look any worse for wear.

Foxborough peeps were getting their panties in a bunch, the random Everett residents that were interviewed on the news seemed to be pretty happy about the possibility of having a casino in their backyard.

#21 dohdough

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:14 PM

Typical city backyard isn't going to fit anything, but the few occasions I've gone to the CT casinos the surrounding areas didn't look any worse for wear.

Foxborough peeps were getting their panties in a bunch, the random Everett residents that were interviewed on the news seemed to be pretty happy about the possibility of having a casino in their backyard.

Visiting a place is different from living there. But since you avoided answering the question, I can safely conclude that you'd have no interest in living next to a casino.

#22 Hibiwa

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:20 PM

Well what experience do you have in regards to living next to a casino? I don't have an answer because I don't know. It can't be worse than the druggies skulking around the city parks and homes. Mind you, I don't live in the ghetto, but the unsavory are still visible. No diff to me then.

#23 dohdough

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

Well what experience do you have in regards to living next to a casino? I don't have an answer because I don't know. It can't be worse than the druggies skulking around the city parks and homes. Mind you, I don't live in the ghetto, but the unsavory are still visible. No diff to me then.

I'm fully aware of the negative effects, both socially and economically, of having a casino in a community. Saying that it's be no different from the present level of the visibility of drug addicts is mind-numbingly naive. There are always marked increases in alcoholism, domestic violence, drug addiction, prostitution, theft, and overall violence. There have been enough studies done that this should be common knowledge and easily avaliable for the remotely curious. Why should I need to know first hand what it's like to live next to a casino when there's literally mountains of data that support my position? Would I have to grow up next to the Combat Zone to know how bad it would be for a community in order to speak out against it? Stop being obtuse.

For the record, I Did grow up next to the Combat Zone.

edit: Either way, I'm done with casino-talk derail.

#24 pitfallharry219

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:12 PM

My town has had a casino for six years now, and I've yet to see a single hooker. And I do keep an eye out for them.

Seriously, your "always" is bullshit. The only changes I've seen are nicer streets, parks, and free schoolbooks.

#25 Hibiwa

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:32 PM

I'm sure tax revenues from Amazon will help fund state programs that address socioeconomic woes for the betterment of citizens in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Buy more stuff.