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May 4th, 2009, 12:21 PM #1Vote on SB1678
Vote on SB1678, the latest bill containing Hawaii's version of Internet Tax is scheduled for Tues, May 5. Document is 157 pages long but it's in there. Hawaii does not have a traditional sales/use tax. It has an excise tax - a tax on business transactions that is paid by the business. If this passes it will be interesting to see how this plays out for affiliates and out of state merchants.
May 4th, 2009, 06:29 PM #2
The Hawaii tax is actually a legal semantics play. Whether you call it an excise tax or a sales tax, the consumer pays the tax. While Hawaii says that their excise tax is on all business transactions paid by the business for doing business in Hawaii and is paid by the business whether they collect it from the consumer or not, the same is the case with sales tax. If the business does not collect the tax from the consumer the business still has to pay the tax to the state. Semantics.
Hawaii "SB1678 – Streamlined Sales Tax: The continuing growth of online sales has changed the retail landscape. While eliminating geographic barriers to commerce creates new opportunities for the Hawai‘i economy, off-shore sales also result in a loss of excise tax revenues. Since 2003, Hawai‘i has been a participating member of the National Streamlined Sales Tax Project, which would allow the collection of state excise taxes on sales to other states. SB1678 continues our progress toward full participation in the streamlined sales tax by making necessary amendments to Hawai‘i tax laws."
No matter how Hawaii defines their tax, it is still ultimately a sales tax to the comsumer.
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