Discuss: Online Sales Tax

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March 30, 2017 at 05:14:06
Specs: Windows 10, 1.4 GHz / 5610 MB
Hi all,

This week's poll question is about news that Amazon will now charge state sales tax in all US states. Discuss here if you think online sales should be taxes, and, if you like, the poll results themselves.

Thanks,
Justin


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#1
March 30, 2017 at 06:08:27
Before deciding if charging state or local sales tax on an online purchase it is necessary to explore why sales taxes are levied on goods and services when purchased locally. The argument I have heard in the past is that those taxes go toward paying for the services provided to brick and mortar stores. If this logic is accepted then sales tax should NOT be levied unless the brick and mortar store made the sale.

On the other hand, brick and mortar stores generally pay more taxes than residential properties. Both pay taxes to support the services that local and state governments supply.

So, perhaps sales tax is just one way to create a revenue stream for government. There is an argument that it is regressive, in that poor people pay a larger percentage of income. That is why in Michigan, food is exempt from sales tax unless it has been prepared and served to the consumer. On the other hand, wealthier people have more disposable income and spend some of it on expensive items which are subject to sales tax.

The whole sales tax issue is one that should make states and local governments re-examine why they use this method to collect revenue.

Until the issue is fully worked through I am not in favor of taxing on line sales on purchases made from vendors with no presence in the jurisdiction.


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#2
March 30, 2017 at 09:11:37
I'm in the UK. Here taxes are there so that the government can earn revenue. I accept that unlike income tax, purchase tax hits the poorest folk hardest.

Nobody likes paying taxes but I find it hard to justify why they should not apply to internet purchases yet apply to real stores. I have definitely seen VAT (Value Added Tax, which is our strange name for purchase tax) on internet purchases.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#3
March 30, 2017 at 10:47:28
I think that allowing sales over the Internet without charging the
sales taxes that would otherwise have applied was a horrendous
mistake. Vast numbers of existing businesses were seriously
hurt just so buyers could avoid paying their local governments
a few dollars or even just a few cents for the services they get,
forcing them to reduce services and find other revenue sources.
It was a self-inflicted disaster. Kind of late now to do anything
about it. The damage has been done.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#4
March 30, 2017 at 13:59:43
In the UK the sales tax - aka value added tax (vat) is 20%... A significant sum... So inevitably many seek to buy from sources which circumvent that tax...

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#5
March 31, 2017 at 07:45:38
Ow! Twenty percent! Is that higher than the -- ahem -- rest of Europe?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#6
March 31, 2017 at 08:15:27
I'm not sure re' Europe... Fortunately we may soon be shot of that irritating place with an unelected government (dictatorship even?) based in Brussels; except when they transfer temporarily (for a week or two) to Strasbourg - to satisfy some sensitivities amongst the French government types...

Form which you will gather I'm no fan of the United States of Europe - which is what Junkers and his chums are aiming for; and which is NOT what the UK citizens voted for way back in the 60-70's, when the UK joined "Common Market" - a free trade arrangement only.


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#7
April 3, 2017 at 01:35:39
I pay 21% ontop of everything, I think its weird there is no tax over internet purchases.
Besides, maby the US can use that money to get rid of the country huge amount of debt :O

Simple solutions are often the best


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