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  1. #1
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    Possible Federal Action
    I blogged about this today but wanted to share it here. Senator Enzi from Wyoming, introduced Federal legislation the other day. He calls it The Sales Tax Fairness and Simplification Act. What it does is seek approval to move on the Simplified Sales Tax Project.

    The ideal and permanent solution for us would to be move towards the SSTP but unfortunately it will take a lot of effort from states to implement - changing of overall tax set up in most states.

    The SSTP has a few pluses. Most importantly, it simplifies the burden on merchants, same items taxable in every state and no county or city adjustments within a state. It levels the playing field between a brick and mortar store and an online merchant. In addition, consumers can simply pay the sales tax rather than paying it as a use tax later on. Remember, failure to pay the use tax is a crime.

    It will take years to enact the SSTP fully and not all states are for it right now; mostly because of the complexity in changing. One thing is clear though, for the most part all states are for collecting the sales tax. Seems to me the effort involved would be worth it, sales tax revenue would surely increase.
    Melanie
    President - Affiliate Advocacy 2008 ShareaSale Performance Industry Advocate Award, 2009 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award - Affiliate Advocate
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  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager TrishaLyn's Avatar
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    I can see how online merchants might cringe at the idea of having to charge tax if they don't already, but overall I think the SSTP sounds like a good thing for consumers and all merchants, online or off.

    If you live right on the border of a state that doesn't charge sales tax, and it was only 30 mins to get there, wouldn't you do your larger shopping trips there? (I would) This would level that playing field and keep revenue within your state in cases like my hypothetical and make calculating tax a whole lot simpler on the average person.

    Thanks for the update, Melanie!

  3. #3
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Thanks Melanie. I was waiting for a mooting of a Federal response.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    The federal govt has no, and should have no jurisdiction over state taxation laws. This is not good for the people, nor for business. It takes away choices and options. Such mandatory compliance, on the outside chance that it would ever become law, would be a very expensive endeavor. America has it's hands full with other fiscal priorities, that are being distracted enough as it is with current spending bill "enhancements". And John Jupp, what business is it of yours? If not to embellish your blog, that is.

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    haha

    I am as interested as everyone else.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  6. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    States are looking for additional revenue and this is a simple way to get it. I am for an across the board 3% Interstate Internet sales tax. It would give the states revenue quickly while still making it advantageous to sell online.

    Today another AM posed a question during a conversation unrelated to this. Why would Wal-Mart have an affiliate program, they have stores every where. The answer, because not everything they offer is available in all stores and there is demand.

  7. #7
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Jupp
    Thanks Melanie. I was waiting for a mooting of a Federal response.
    Mooting? Don't you guys speak English over there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Dunsil
    The federal govt has no, and should have no jurisdiction over state taxation laws. This is not good for the people, nor for business. It takes away choices and options. Such mandatory compliance, on the outside chance that it would ever become law, would be a very expensive endeavor. America has it's hands full with other fiscal priorities, that are being distracted enough as it is with current spending bill "enhancements". And John Jupp, what business is it of yours? If not to embellish your blog, that is.
    The Federal government has no jurisdiction over state sales tax laws. As clearly stated in mellie's opening post, there would have to be an agreement between the Federal government and each individual state to replace the state sales tax with a Federal uniform tax. Any unilateral enactment of a Federal sales tax, assuming it were Constitutional, would be, on its face, a tax additional to any state tax, unless the state does in fact reach an accord with the Federal government to accept a portion of the Federal tax in lieu of its own state-levied tax.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    AffiliateHound, perfect point! That pretty much make the concern irrelevant. End of discussion. Let's move on to something like federal investigations of toolbars but that's a subject for another thread.

  9. #9
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Chuck Walmart has an affiliate program for people like me that do not shop in stores.

    Who is to say that there wouldn't be a state tax AND a federal tax. It is possible, states need the money. It could happen
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  10. #10
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    The post was about a federal effort to make a federal tax. And if the federal government by the nature of our constitution can not require a state sales tax to be paid to the federal government then the conversation is over. It still leaves the states to enact their sales tax on all purchases made by a consumer in their state. I just don't see the state being able to collect that. If someone in New York makes a purchase for my merchant here in Utah there is no mechanism that forces the merchant to report that. New York could try to enforce the reporting but with the lack of budget its not going to happen.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    Sounds like the european equivalent of V.A.T. (value added tax)
    Sounds like a move to Federalism - maybe it's time
    Didn't we fight a Civil War over state right's?

  12. #12
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlyPlanetTravel
    Sounds like the european equivalent of V.A.T. (value added tax)
    Sounds like a move to Federalism - maybe it's time
    Didn't we fight a Civil War over state right's?
    In case you forgot, the state right's side lost! (on the phone now - more to come)
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  13. #13
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
    In case you forgot, the state right's side lost! (on the phone now - more to come)
    Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution/ Bill of Rights -

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."


    Might doesn't necessarily mean right.

    Slowly but surely over the last 200+ years states/citizens have been losing rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and Constitution. I can't honestly disagree with every erosion, nor with "central" policy/control (Federalism). It's just that too much power in the hands of a few leads to injustice. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That's why we fought the Revolution in the first place.

    Those who forget history are bound to repeat history.



    BTW - I hail from Philadelphia - Birthplace of the United States of America - we have the Liberty Bell to prove it

  14. #14
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlyPlanetTravel
    Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution/ Bill of Rights -

    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."


    Might doesn't necessarily mean right.

    Slowly but surely over the last 200+ years states/citizens have been losing rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and Constitution. I can't honestly disagree with every erosion, nor with "central" policy/control (Federalism). It's just that too much power in the hands of a few leads to injustice. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That's why we fought the Revolution in the first place.

    Those who forget history are bound to repeat history.



    BTW - I hail from Philadelphia - Birthplace of the United States of America - we have the Liberty Bell to prove it
    Bold - what we learned all too well the last eight years.

    I've seen the Liberty Bell and, and like much of the government the founding fathers envisioned, there's a great big crack in it.

    Power at any level will corrupt. In California, the other citizens of this state elected a despot who tried to rule absolutely for a couple of years, learned a hard lesson that he could not, went to the people for help in the 2005 elections, was rebuffed again, then tried compromise with the legislature. That didn't work, and now he is going back to the people for a new round of propositions in May. Unfortunately, the economic climate may now influence enough of the electorate to vote for his new agenda.

    What we are faced with today in our industry is a problem that has re-occurred throughout US history, which has in part resulted in the oh so frequent use of portions of the Constitution such as the Commerce Clause - the absolute need to forge a uniform law that applies to citizens in every state. It is a present and future disaster to have internet sales tax laws in one state and not in another. We absolutely need a uniform, country-wide tax scheme, for fairness to merchants, customers, and to affiliates; a law that the parties responsible for upholding - the merchants - will find workable, usable, and uniform for every state. (Did I say uniform?)

    Envisioning a sales tax as the fairest form of taxation, in the Federalist Papers, No. 12, Alexander Hamilton wrote: "...personal property is too precarious and invisible a fund to be laid hold of in any other way than by the inperceptible agency of taxes on consumption." He further warned of battles between the states, should there be wide differences in the tax rates charged in different states. {He proved to be a profit, as the War Between the States was fought not for human rights issues, but for issues relating to the vast differences between the economic structure of slave and non-slave states, and the "reconstruction" the North sought to force upon the South to remake their economies in the image of the North.}

    We have the beginnings of affiliate wars, with merchants discriminating against affiliates based on their statehood. For years I have said that a national sales tax is more fair, easier enforced, and reliably collected, rather than the income tax. It is too much to hope that the two issues can be combined and an overall national sales tax implemented to replace the Federal income tax, but a national internet sales tax is the only current solution to this most serious problem now facing the affiliate marketing industry.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    AffiliateHound,

    Fair - level playing field - EQUAL - ?????

    What are you, an American idealist?

    Next you'll be calling for a simple NO LOOP HOLE progressive tax system.

    A government of the people, by the people, FOR the people.

    Then you'll really destroy this country. Just imagine the unemployment rate. Millions of accouintants,lawyers,lobbyist and politicians out of work. Oh did I mention all those IRS people? We'd have to spend another $trillion just to bail them out.

  16. #16
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlyPlanetTravel
    AffiliateHound,

    Fair - level playing field - EQUAL - ?????

    What are you, an American idealist?

    Next you'll be calling for a simple NO LOOP HOLE progressive tax system.

    A government of the people, by the people, FOR the people.

    Then you'll really destroy this country. Just imagine the unemployment rate. Millions of accouintants,lawyers,lobbyist and politicians out of work. Oh did I mention all those IRS people? We'd have to spend another $trillion just to bail them out.
    We might actually have a chance if we could just get rid of the lobbyists.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
    "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden;
    "Raj, there’s no place for truth on the internet." -Howard Wolowitz[/SIZE]

  17. #17
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffiliateHound
    We might actually have a chance if we could just get rid of the lobbyists.
    That's quite thoughtful really. Too many lobbyists with vested interests lobbying on behalf of their clients so someone else has to get taxed instead. Thing is though in the politics game, how many of the "little people" have actually fought their corner and won? What about lobbyists of your own?
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  18. #18
    Affiliate Manager FriendlyPlanetTravel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Jupp
    That's quite thoughtful really. Too many lobbyists with vested interests lobbying on behalf of their clients so someone else has to get taxed instead. Thing is though in the politics game, how many of the "little people" have actually fought their corner and won? What about lobbyists of your own?
    Us "little people" are suppose to have lobbyists of our own - they are called congressmen, senators and the president (won't include VP as they rarely are able to help themselves)

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