Timothy Faust: Cheers to Amazon.com
In David Sirota’s column on Monday, he tries to vilify Amazon.com for their reaction to a recent Colorado tax law. If you aren’t familiar with this new law that goes into effect this summer, allow me to summarize. If you have ever purchased anything online, you may have noticed that you do not have to pay sales tax at the time of purchase. What you may not realize is that you are required to calculate the sales tax yourself and send in payment to your local sales tax agency. This new Colorado law would require online retailers like Amazon.com to collect sales tax for every state they sell to, or provide a notice to the customer letting them know what they are required to pay. Amazon.com reacted by cutting ties with all of their Colorado affiliates.
It may on the surface seem like Amazon in being a big bully of a corporation. Sure, they are big enough, that could research all of the tax laws and put a plan into place. But what about smaller companies that sell online. I have a small art gallery here in Breckenridge. We have an online store at http://www.altitudegallery.com , where people from all over the country can purchase prints. However, a small store like mine doesn’t have the researchers on staff to determine what the tax laws in 50 different states are. Honestly, I have a hard time keeping up with sales tax laws in Colorado, Summit County and Breckenridge. If I had to collect taxes for 50 states, it would basically put my online store out of business.
So I say, cheers to Amazon.com! Because even though at first it may seem like they are being unfair, I see them standing up for the rights of small businesses like mine.
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