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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    How Are Merchants Finding Out About This?
    If anybody knows how that works.

    Is NY contacting them.

    Networks contacting them.

    Affiliates contacting them.

    ?

    Looking at this list and I only see about 40 merchants (so far) which is maybe at most 1% - 2% of merchants with affiliate programs who have dropped NY affiliates. So was wondering if we have a whole bunch more coming and if all the merchants know about this or what. Or if it's going to be an overall small percentage that drop affiliates.

    Or maybe each of the networks should find out and make that list available.

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    I've seen two networks (ShareASale and AffiliateFuture) contact merchants prior to 1 June. Not sure about the other ones.

    G.

  3. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    So was wondering if we have a whole bunch more coming and if all the merchants know about this or what. Or if it's going to be an overall small percentage that drop affiliates.
    If a merchant did not take some kind of action by May 31, they are now stuck. $10,000 threshold for past 4 quarters + NY affiliates = register, collect, file, and pay over, unless courts say otherwise. Dropping affiliates after 5/31 will make no difference, if in fact even dropping them before 5/31 does.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Also, by not registering and starting to collect sales tax, their amnesty is gone. NY can go after back taxes now.
    Michael Coley
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  5. #5
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    "Dropping affiliates after 5/31 will make no difference,"

    If that's the case and this is about it, then 1%-2% isn't bad at all. I know if it's a merchant you made money with but I was expecting a whole lot more.

  6. #6
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Just because it won't make a difference doesn't mean than merchants won't do it.
    Michael Coley
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  7. #7
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    I guess I was expecting a whole slew of new drop notices today, haven't seen anybody post anything new. In the end if it winds up only being about 1% - 2% then that's really not much at all. I guess we'll have to wait to see how this turns out but at this point not as bad as I thought it would be. Time will tell.

  8. #8
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Should it be determined that merchants cannot avoid the tax by dropping affiliates even before 6/1, such as for the reasons I mentioned here, will they be falling all over themselves trying to get their dropped affiliates back into their programs?
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  9. #9
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Trust,

    This will be one of the many issues that comes up in the courts I am sure. The fact that a company has no presence in NY means that they likely haven't been keeping up with NY law, and have no agency or representative that would notify them.

    The issue of the drop on/before 5/31 will be interesting as well because the memo does not offer any kind of amnesty except for the case where merchants do begin collecting tax...
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  10. #10

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    I am curious how NY is going to enforce and monitor this?

  11. #11
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    CJ contacted merchants but in a very generic email with no way to easily check on sales by NYS affiliates. I am sure many of their merchants saw "New York State" and probably didn't read the email assuming it didn't pertain to them.

    How independent merchants are finding out is another question. There are more of those out there than ones in networks. Did Kolimbo or OneNetwork or PJ notify their merchants? Or the multitude of CPA networks?

    How did NYS get away with implementing something so quickly that affects so many that have no way of even finding out about it?
    Deborah Carney
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    i was also wondering why so small a % of merchants were reacting to this. The whole thing has a

    >scare a few dominos and hope they will knock the others over smell to it<

    IMO

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Performics sent an email with instructions how to easily locate all your NY affiliates in your program and display their emails with names to contact them with a few clicks.

    SAS had no way to that, so we emailed ALL our affiliates thru their interface, had the usual 30+ percent bounce, so several hundred have no way of knowing from us that they will not be dropped or about the law if they didn't already know.

    Had many replies thanking us for notifiying them and others with questions.

    So IMO the word isn't out as much as you would think.


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  14. #14
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    As a point of information, there are other merchants removing NY affiliates. Rather than saying it's becaue of the tax law they are using their "right to terminate affiliates" without explaining.

    I also had a couple of indies that needed to end our relationships. We did it on an amicable basis and hope to resume business once they are better equipped to comply with the law. They initiated contact with me around the time of the NYS memo in May. I'll try and get a hold of at least one and find out how they learned.
    Melanie
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  15. #15
    Member KirkMcD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    How did NYS get away with implementing something so quickly that affects so many that have no way of even finding out about it?
    They always do this.

    I manage the order system for a NY based company. If neither myself nor their account were proactive and looking at the sales tax rules and their changes, we really wouldn't know about them.
    Notices are usually burried in the sales tax forms the state send out, but by the time you get the forms, it's usually too late and the changes will need to be implemented quickly.

  16. #16
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    Aren't there subscription services that merchants could subscribe to that would send notifications of changes in tax laws?

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager GlobalGolf-Amanda's Avatar
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    CJ sent this email to merchants on May 20:

    As you may already know, the State of New York recently enacted new legislation that addresses tax registration, collection, and other time-sensitive obligations. As with all laws, this law may or may not apply to you and your business.

    The application of the law is dependent on particular business and factual circumstances, and Commission Junction is not in a position to provide legal and tax advice regarding this law. However, we encourage you to perform the appropriate due diligence as it relates to your business.

    For your convenience, we have provided a link to a memo from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Office of Tax Policy Analysis, Taxpayer Guidance Division that addresses the new legislation:
    http://www.tax.state.ny.us/pdf/memos/sales/m08_3s.pdf

    If you still have questions after reading the attached, please email ****@cj.com.


    Sincerely,

    Commission Junction


    We already knew about this back at the beginning of May, but CJ was one of the first to actually warn merchants of it. LinkConnector knew nothing about it (or at least, our rep didn't) when I contacted them about it in mid-May. They sent a similar letter out towards the end of May.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    Aren't there subscription services that merchants could subscribe to that would send notifications of changes in tax laws?
    No clue, so even if they exist most merchants don't know about them. A merchant in Podunk Alaska doesn't expect to have to pay sales tax in NYS or Texas, so why would they subscribe to something that would alert them to changes?

    Even if the networks are on top of this, and I considered the CJ email to be not very informative or sound like something merchants needed to address, there are tons of indies that have no clue at all. They don't hang out at forums, they run their businesses and don't stay on "the pulse" of the rest of the world.
    Deborah Carney
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  19. #19
    ShareASale President/CEO and ABW Veteran Brian - ShareASale's Avatar
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    For clarification sake on the ShareASale information posted above:

    If you are a merchant on ShareASale please check your account for information regarding revenue generated through NY affiliates, as well as our blogs and updates on the topic. Should you have any questions contact us for the correct information.

    Because our policies protect the private information of affiliates.... such as the State that they live in, or their address, etc... we have been assisting merchants in contacting their NY based affiliates with notifications that needed to go specifically to them.
    Thanks,

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO - ShareASale.com, Inc.

  20. #20
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    Aren't there subscription services that merchants could subscribe to that would send notifications of changes in tax laws?
    Google alerts are a wonderful thing ... for any news, topic or keywords you need to stay up on as it occurs ...
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  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Brian we never received any list of our NY affiliates?
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Rodriguez
    Google alerts are a wonderful thing ... for any news, topic or keywords you need to stay up on as it occurs ...
    I've been active in Google Alerts for awhile - but often what keywords you want to be alerted on don't come to you until an event such as this, now "New York Tax" you might mark (although the amount of false positives will be pretty heavy)

    I think it's really all about staying a member of quality forums such as ABW.
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  23. #23
    Affiliate Manager HuckIt's Avatar
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    I was contacted about the situation by LinkShare...

    I heard (via Tony Hsieh's Twitter) that Zappos was contacted directly by the NY Dept of Revenue - so clearly NY has some big fish in mind with this law besides Amazon.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    I guess I was expecting a whole slew of new drop notices today, haven't seen anybody post anything new. In the end if it winds up only being about 1% - 2% then that's really not much at all. I guess we'll have to wait to see how this turns out but at this point not as bad as I thought it would be. Time will tell.
    I thought there would be a lot more as well. I feel like I am just waiting around here for the other shoe to fall. Hopefully it doesn't.

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