Every newspaper, every chamber of commerce, and every main street type organization, at some point in time, feels the need to editorialize about how horrible it is that Amazon.com and other online vendors are damaging the business of local retailers. You see, in case you have spent the last decade under a rock, that there are a couple of clauses in the Constitution that prevent states from making out-of-state sellers collect tax. Unless they have nexus, of course. And, since it's just some journalist who has no clue what the real issues are, they usually get it wrong.
By the way, there was a study recently that pretty much said that making Amazon, et al, collect tax probably won't help that much.
Have you ever noticed that you never see a proposal on a ballot for lowering the tax rate? Once those bastards have your money, they aren't going to give it back. Just something to keep in mind the next time you vote for a rate increase. There are no mulligans. You'll never get it back.
I've noticed that there are a lot of reports of local jurisdictions and states reporting higher sales and use tax collections. That's good, I suppose. It either means that business is getting better. Which would be nice. Or it might mean that those tax increases are kicking in. Which isn't so nice. It all depends on your perspective.
Finally, at this time of year, states are reminding their citizens that they need to pay use tax on their online purchases. C'mon! Does anyone really think that's going to happen?
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! And if you bought your turkey over the internet, make sure you pay your use tax if you're in a state that taxes food.
The Sales Tax Guy
Don't forget our upcoming seminars and webinars.
Picture note: the image above is hosted on Flickr. If you'd like to see more, click on the photo.