Amazon Tries To Make Itself Exempt From Tenn. Sales Tax

Everything is negotiable when you’re a company that’s as big as powerful as Amazon. After landing a sweet incentive deal to build a distribution hub in Tennessee, the online sales giant is trying to get the state to excuse its customers from paying state sales tax on their purchases.

The Seattle Times reports the company is seeking the same deal it has in six other states in which it operates distribution centers. The story says a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision held that states can’t require companies to collect state income tax unless they have a physical presence there. Amazon claims its distribution centers are separate entities, and thus their existence in various states doesn’t mean the company proper is physically there.

In order to lure Amazon to Tennessee, the state gave it free land, job training assistance and $12 million in property tax breaks. The story says the deal is standard for a company that promised to bring 1,400 jobs tot he state this year.

Amazon.com fights sales taxes after getting other breaks [The Seattle Times]
(Thanks, Tonmoy!)

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  1. Bsamm09 says:

    If your state charges sales tax you have to pay it, Amazon just doesn’t have to collect it. It cuts their compliance costs considerably.

    I pay my use tax every year to the state of SC for online purchases. Knowingly filing an incorrect return can get your CPA designation revoked.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      would you consider that a “CPA tax”?

      • Bsamm09 says:

        No, it is a tax that you owe. If anyone on here evades use tax and complains about lack of gov’t services, they are a hypocrite.

        • George4478 says:

          Do you have lighting in your office or is your halo sufficient?

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Maybe the problem is that we’re moving to a national system of commerce rather than the local brick and mortar, and our outlook on states versus federal juridiction needs to change to reflect that. Hmm??

        • vastrightwing says:

          I will never complain about the lack of government services. I complain all the time there are too many “services” that government is trying to provide. It’s time to cut ‘em. I’ve cut back all my expenses to the bone and then some.

    • benh999 says:

      And being an honest CPA can severely limit your client base. Nothing personal, but if my accountant told me I had to pay a use tax on my state return for out-of-state purchases, I would be looking for a new accountant.

      • Bsamm09 says:

        I believe our 1040 guys have that on their yearly organizers but few ever report. It’s not our fault if you omit to tell us and then the state audits you and finds out.

        Businesses on the other hand have a lot of use tax issues to deal with and they will get dinged. Not sure If an Individual has been busted but it might happen as states desperately need money.

        Also, you can do fine being honest. EIC fraud is dishonesty. Taking a position like the CPA in the S-Corp did yesterday is honest as there is no set laws. But be prepared to fight it in court.

        If your accountant is helping you commit tax fraud believe me, he’s covering his butt. Your yearly fees aren’t enough for him to give up his livelihood.

        • benh999 says:

          Omitting use tax on a state return is hardly tax fraud. I suppose if you are a CPA filing your personal return, it may be more difficult to defend it as an oversight. But I have known of far more blatant oversights/mistakes on tax returns that were just assessed with interest and penalties.

          I used to live in northern MA (when online retail was barely in existence) and everyone made major purchases in NH, not to mention alcohol and tobacco. We were always supposed to claim such purchases on our MA returns, but I can not possibly imagine anyone ever bothering to do so.

          • Bsamm09 says:

            I agree. I deal more with Corp and partnership taxation which use tax can be a real issue. I was mainly dealing with the honesty issue and thats why I used EIC as an example. 99.99% of the time you will get hit with penalties and interest. Criminal Prosecution is definitely not the norm. You gotta work hard for that honor.

          • partofme says:

            Illinois just added a new use tax, and their return form very explicitly says “THIS IS NEW! DO NOT LEAVE BLANK!”

          • stevied says:

            Check the State Tax Code.

            Fraud is the willful failure (ommission or commission) to pay a lawful tax.

            Use Tax is a lawful tax.

            Ever watch the politician scramble? The out of date bar fees, use taxes, payroll taxes etc will be suddenly paid the day before the idiot qualifies to run for office.

      • stevied says:

        Really?

        You want your CPA to direct/authorize/suggest your criminal activities?

        • benh999 says:

          No. I want a CPA who is honest with me. As in, “you have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever facing negative consequences by failing to claim your out-of-state purchases.”

          • stevied says:

            Until the vendor or customer is audited.

            Local business was slapped with a $10K fine plus the cost of the State Use Tax for failure to declare qualified use tax purchases.

            How was it caught? Audit of workman’s comp.. I guess the State looked to see if safety equipment had been purchased. When it had been purchased from an out of state vendor and there was no notation of Use Tax payments. Use Tax file was then audited by the State.

          • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

            There are CPAs like that. They usually put money in your account when you’re not looking and if you pull it out people threaten to break your legs if you don’t put it back, but those CPAs are definitely out there.

      • Cosmo_Kramer says:

        First of all, he said he pays his OWN use tax, he didn’t say he forces his clients to pay theirs. He also can’t advise his clients to break the law, so your suggestion that you’d want your accountant to advise you that you’re unlikely to be caught is idiotic.

        What he can do is advise them that they have to pay use tax on out of state purchases, then ask the client for the total of their out of state purchases. If they say $0, he can’t exactly dispute that.

    • esc27 says:

      This is what I don’t understand. Sales tax seems to be attached to the location where the purchase is made, not where the person making the purchase lives. If I go to a different city, county, state, etc. where taxes are different. I don’t pay my tax, I pay theirs.

      Amazon exists out of state. Therefore, It makes sense not to pay state taxes on online purchases.

    • esc27 says:

      This is what I don’t understand. Sales tax seems to be attached to the location where the purchase is made, not where the person making the purchase lives. If I go to a different city, county, state, etc. where taxes are different. I don’t pay my tax, I pay theirs.

      Amazon exists out of state. Therefore, It makes sense not to pay state taxes on online purchases.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Still doesn’t matter where you bought it – you owe “use tax” if you didn’t pay sales tax.

        When you buy something online, or via the mail, over the phone, whatever – doesn’t matter how – and you don’t pay sales tax on it, you are required…BY LAW…in every state in the union to pay use tax on it when you file your state tax return. Handily, use tax goes at the same rate as sales tax – so if you avoided paying $10 in sales tax by buying something from an out-of-state vendor, you owe the state $10 in use tax. By law. Which means not paying the use tax is a criminal offense – and has been for basically forever.

        Naturally, essentially no one actually pays use taxes. Except maybe the odd CPA here and there. Make no mistake though…there is no LEGAL way to not pay either a sales or a use tax on any taxable item – regardless of how/where you made the purchase.

        • Wawa says:

          The difference b/w the sales tax and the use tax is:

          Paying sales tax is responsibility of the merchant when the merchant is physically located in the same state as the customer.

          Paying use tax is the responsibility of the customer when sales tax as described above does not apply.

          I’m pro Amazon as much as anyone. Regardless, their HQ leadership in Washington state has been smoking some major hippy lettuce to think sales tax does not apply in states where their warehouses are located.

        • yurei avalon says:

          So what am I supposed to be doing since I live in NH and there’s no sales tax or state income tax here to file? Whenever I buy something from an online merchant, I am never charged sales tax. Am I supposed to be paying it then all this time when shopping online?

      • Rose says:

        Sales tax seems to be attached to the location where the purchase is made… Amazon exists out of state. Therefore, It makes sense not to pay state taxes on online purchases.

        Regardless of where Amazon’s servers are located, you made the purchase in your home state, and must pay the sales tax to your home state.

    • mdoneil says:

      A brilliant and correct reply.

      The consumer must pay the sales tax (often a use tax at that point) if the retailer does not collect and remit it.

  2. nbs2 says:

    The article clarifies that they want the sales tax break as part of the deal, not as a later deal.

    I say kudos to Bezos and company for leveraging their size towards a sensible position. If I can’t go to the location to pick up the product, I wouldn’t call it a physical presence.

  3. IThinkThereforeIAm says:

    Start Applause….

    Since the fact that Amazon (or any other mail-order company) has a warehouse in the state I happen to live has no effect whatsoever on my purchasing from the on-line store, it should not have effect on my paying sales tax on it either.
    While many will (including, apparently, Mr. Villareal) snark at Amazon, making it to be something in the line of “the company is looking out for it’s best interest, screwing over poor state of Tennessee”, (while indirectly it’s true) it is in fact helping its customers.

    • nbs2 says:

      I don’t think Phil was taking potshots at Amazon for screwing consumers. I do think that his wording does mislead the reader to believe that Amazon is looking to chance a completed deal rather than negotiating TN’s offer. Rail on him for that.

  4. Red Cat Linux says:

    Can anyone explain the tax law?

    I thought that just having a distribution hub was insufficient to force people to pay sales tax. I can’t walk into the hub and buy anything, and I’m buying from an online company. Why would that packaging/shipping hub equal sales tax to a customer?

    • Bsamm09 says:

      “A use tax is a type of excise tax levied in the United States. It is assessed upon otherwise “tax free” tangible personal property purchased by a resident of the assessing state for use, storage or consumption of goods in that state (not for resale), regardless of where the purchase took place. The use tax is typically assessed at the same rate as the sales tax that would have been owed (if any) had the same goods been purchased in the state of residence. Use tax applies when sales tax has not been charged. Purchases made over the Internet and out-of-state are the most common type of transactions subject to a use tax.” -Wiki

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        Yes, I read what Wikipedia says. I was looking for a better explanation since I’m a Turbo Tax robo-signer. My state has a sales and use tax. Sales tax is charged automatically. Today is the first I’ve ever heard of a use tax, outside of big purchases like cars.

        • Bsamm09 says:

          Sales tax isn’t charged on a lot of internet purchases. You still have to pay use tax on it. EX. I buy a tv on internet for $1000 no tax. SC has sales tax of 7% on my state return I pay $70 in use tax.

          • romoish says:

            So if I am in Texas and I buy a bunch of shit online and don’t get taxed for it I have to retroactively tax myself for those items at the end of the year? How? I don’t file state income tax return. Put in an envelope?

          • Red Cat Linux says:

            So, technically, there is no sanity cut off point? A point below which you are not required to report/pay use tax?

            I know when I bought a car in WV, I paid/reported Maryland use tax. However, if I buy a t-shirt, or gas, or stop in a store while driving up I95 – use tax applies still?

          • Red Cat Linux says:

            For anyone in MD, this is what I found from the use tax return form and the Comptroller’s site:

            From the reporting form: We’re all familiar with Maryland’s sales tax, but far fewer people know anything about the use tax and when they must pay it. In fact, every state with a sales tax also has a use tax. The use tax is imposed on items you paid less than 6% sales tax on when you purchased them outside of Maryland. The use tax requires you to make up the difference in Maryland sales tax. You can use the form below to report and pay the tax. The tax is due quarterly, and the due dates are shown to the right. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, then the return with payment is due on the next business day.

            From the Comptroller’s site:Enforcement: The Comptroller’s Office regularly audits sales and use tax licensees as well as service, construction and professional businesses to recover taxes on out-of-state purchases. The Comptroller’s Office also collects the tax directly from individuals on more expensive items.

            Our nexus unit is responsible for discovering unlicensed sellers doing business in the state. If you are concerned about an out-of-state vendor who is actively engaged in business in Maryland and does not collect the sales and use tax where applicable, you may contact the nexus unit at 410-767-1582.

            It only indicates use tax collection on ‘more expensive items’ but unhelpfully does not indicate the cut off.

  5. benh999 says:

    How about this: repeal sales tax altogether. It’s funny how the states with high sales tax also have high property and income tax, while still being in a constant state of fiscal crisis.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      In cities in Texas the sales tax is 8.25% (with no tax on groceries and 6.25% on cars whether you buy in a city or not.) We don’t have a state income tax at all, though that snake Perry is finally running out of ways to hide the budget problems so I guess we’ll be having a “fiscal crisis” for the next couple of cycles.

      • benh999 says:

        I’m not saying no/low taxes are an immunity to fiscal problems. It is just interesting to compare states like NH and FL to CA, NY, and NJ.

      • Necoras says:

        Actually we had a significant (in the billions, which before all of the bailouts was a lot of money) surplus back in 2007. When the rest of the world economy tanked, surprise surprise, ours took a downturn as well. We’re still doing better than most of the country, but considering that a good portion of state income is from property taxes and home values are stagnant or down, yes there have been budgetary issues. We’re nowhere near as bad off as California or New York though.

        • GearheadGeek says:

          Zero state income in Texas is from property taxes. Property taxes in Texas fund counties, cities and school districts, and in some instances special local initiatives like hospital districts and community college districts.

          Perry has been filling budget holes with federal stimulus money at the same time he was telling his devoted followers how terrible the federal stimulus is, making himself look good enough to get elected to another term of selling off state projects to corporate interests.

    • Necoras says:

      Sales taxes are superior for the individual to income taxes. Income taxes punish savings. Sales taxes punish spending. If you want people to save their money, lower the income taxes and raise sales taxes. If you want people to spend their money, lower sales taxes and raise income/capital gains taxes.

      We’re in a consumer driven economy, so of course we keep income taxes high and sales taxes low (Yes, I know we’re at record low income tax levels, but when income taxes are at 10-30+% depending on your bracket and sales taxes are at 4-8% it’s fair to call income taxes high and sales taxes low).

      • evnmorlo says:

        The biggest savers are the richest people. Your proposal will certainly not be “superior” for 85% of the population.

        • A.Mercer says:

          Wait a second. The biggest savers are the richest people? Do you mean that only the rich can save money or do you mean that the people who were good at saving became rich? I am in favor of the biggest savers becoming rich myself. The people who control their spending and save are the ones who build up fortunes. The Millionaire Next Door is an examination of this. Your average “rich” person in the U.S. is not a person who makes a ton of money. They have moderate incomes but they live below their means and carefully save and invest. These people would love to see a reduction of income tax offset by an increase in sales tax. They do not spend that much so their bottom like would increase under such a scenario.

          • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

            “Carefully save and invest” my ass. Spoken like someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time around rich people. There’s a certain frugality to it, yes, but no any more than the average person. They just have more to save and invest to begin with.

            Think carefully, rich people don’t necessarily spend a lot of money, because at the end of the day, the amount of money that they need to spend is about the same as anyone else. Meanwhile, their vast reserves of capital and streams of income remain untaxed, but the average person who has to, for example, live from paycheck to paycheck, ends up having their entire paycheck taxed in a way that a rich person wouldn’t. There’s no proportionality here. It’s not a progressive, but a flat tax system. Now you can argue for a flat tax system if you want, but remember that what this means is that functionally, a greater proportion of the average person’s income goes to the state than a rich person’s income. The poorer you are, the higher your de facto “income tax” rate.

          • athensguy says:

            I would support higher income taxes if it meant sales and property taxes were eliminated. I’m certainly well above the poverty level that’s seriously punished by those taxes; I just find them distasteful and regressive.

    • evnmorlo says:

      More likely that states will raise sales tax rates. After years at the same rate it’s only fair to raise them because of inflation (yes, I saw this argument used in my state)

    • JonathanR says:

      In Tennessee we do not have income tax. We just have 9.25% sales tax. As I am not a home owner I am not sure what the property tax is.

  6. momtimestwo says:

    We don’t pay income tax, but we pay 9.25% sales tax on everything, including food. I would love Amazon to come here, hopefully to the Nashville area. I would like to work for them.

  7. phervor123456 says:

    This should really upset small government people as use tax is one of the major funders of local governmnet that the fed’s don’t get to dictate rules on. Questions about the proper applications of sales tax for shipping goods can follow the model of shipping alchohol. You must comply with all the rules of both the shipping and receiving states. As for which state has the right to demand sales tax there is pretty good case study happeneing in California where the state IRS is going after in state businesses for buying supplies online and not paying California sales tax on it.

  8. Judah says:

    It’s just business as usual. Why the post about it?

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Because it affects consumers in Tennessee? If you live in that state and this deal doesn’t go through as Amazon wants, you will suddenly be paying sales tax on formerly tax-free Amazon purchases. Does that not qualify as significant enough consumer information in your book?

  9. Papa Bear says:

    I was confused until I read the article. Consumerist’s outline of the article indicates SCOTUS ruled on income taxes where Amazon was seeking relief from sales taxes. However, I figured it out. I understand Amazon is trying to cut operating costs, but to claim they are doing so on behalf of customers is bogus unless they pass they additional savings on to the customers. It is a valid strategy to ask of for the concessions when moving into a new state, but be honest about it: its for Amazon and not the customer.

    • benh999 says:

      It helps Amazon and the customer. The argument against it (aside from state finances) is that it puts local stores at a competitive disadvantage in product pricing. Though I would argue that they are already at one since I have almost never seen a local store have a lower price for something than Amazon and an extra 5-10% isn’t going to influence that many people.

  10. lawnmowerdeth says:

    I just fill in my tax returns with all zeros and sign them Charles Rangel.

  11. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Texas doesn’t generally require residents to pay the use tax on out of state purchases. We don’t have a state income tax and don’t file anything regularly.

    Any business that has a sales and use tax license (the sell within the state, etc) does have to report it for business purchases.

    There is a form on the state website for reporting and paying use tax, but it is per purchase and only intended for large purchases.

  12. PLATTWORX says:

    I do love some of the tricks companies will pull to avoid the “physical presence” thing. Let all online retailers stop collecting sales tax anywhere and the states can sue. Should tie things up for about a decade.

  13. nakkypoo says:

    Consumerist should start taking ads so they can afford to hire a copy editor. Or just phire Phil and use that money to hire one.

    “jobs tot he state”

  14. Mcshonky says:

    Amazon, “give us lots of free stuff”
    State, “ok”
    State, “collect taxes on sales in the state”
    Amazon, “hell no! we won’t”

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      That’s a pretty one-sided view, don’t you think? Amazon is creating 1400 jobs in the state.

      • proliance says:

        Tennessee gave away so much free stuff to Dell to get them to come here it was predicted that the state would never make a dime off their business.

      • halfcuban says:

        No its not. When you look at the cost of lost revenue versus the amount of money the individual employees get paid, you might as well just HAND the money over to the people who would have been employed. Some of these incentive deals or so lopsided that you have municipal and county governments literally giving away 100-200K for a 30K job. And at best the company is only required to stick around for a handful of years.

        In my locale Amazon was recently given a sweet-heart deal to relocate to a neighboring county, which said neighboring county crowed about to show how it was better at “creating jobs” then the county where I live. The next week the county where I lived announced a 1400 person solar manufacturing plant with very little incentives attached; zing!

    • jesusofcool says:

      I’m most impressed by all the free stuff TN gave Amazon. I’m a life-long Northeasterner and it’s a pretty clear explanation of why companies are building and moving South/West. Companies are going wherever states are most cooperative or in a sense with whoever makes the best bid.
      TN should have popped the sales tax question before they gave Amazon a bunch of freebies, now that it’s done they should just suck it up.

  15. EverCynicalTHX says:

    Personally I would rather sales tax stay in the pocket of individuals making purchases..more money for them to spend on other good and support their local economy..IMHO, that’s much better than giving it to a state bureaucracy to piss away on endless and wasteful programs. Squeeze the govt hard enough and they will cut spending, but only if they have no other options.

    I also am a huge believer in a Fair Tax, but that’s another topic..

  16. phervor123456 says:

    As a brick and mortar retailer I just honestly have to ask why they think they should not have to collect sales tax? Every other retailer HAS to do this. Internet sellers already have huge advantages over traditional retail in terms of overhead and the consumers are very often buying direct from the manufacterer, skipping one or possibly more distributors and the markups that come with it. In my personal line of work I fear the ability of direct to consumer sales from wineries for a number of reasons that are particular to my state.

    1)We are SUPER RESTRICTIVE on liquor branding and charge a use fee per year per label, even medium sized breweries and wineries only send some of their offerings to us but an online buyer can buy ANYTHING they sell and have it shipped. (I like this, choice for a consume ris a good thing even though this is disadvantageous to a retailer in my state.)

    2) We have a three-tier system for liquor sales. Manufacter-Wholesaler-Retailer. Some LLC’s encompass the first two but MUST be seperate from the Retail side. A wholesaler is going to charge something to cover their costs and make a profit from the retailer, so we inherently are going to be more expensive on our products on the shelf than they would be ordered online.

    3) Sin tax on booze in the state is about 2.5% higher than the sales tax on other items (clothing and groceries untaxed). Overall Booze is taxed at just under 10%. This extra money goes to wildlife preservation (state parks/lakes/tourism.) The state loses out on all that revenue for online sales.

    So basically direct from winery purchases give the consumer more freedom (good) save them money (good) while hurting local business (bad) and not collecting use tax (bad). This isn’t amazon of course but I think similar thinking applies to some of the factors.

    • evnmorlo says:

      You’re obviously not going to get those internet sales back anyway, so why do you care?

      95% of the money your state spends on “tourism” almost certainly would be better used for any other purpose–preferably none at all. And relying on an alcohol tax to fund parks is ridiculous.

  17. dush says:

    Hooray for states with no sales tax!

  18. cecilsaxon says:

    First Dell, then NewEgg now Amazon. I hate my centrally located state sometimes, but really its my 9.5% sales tax I hate most of all.

  19. arcticJKL says:

    Clearly states can not tax entities that are not in their state. Which is why most internet sales can not be taxed. What Amazon is trying to do is make its distribution centers a separate legal entity to prevent their physical presence from counting.

    I think this is a brilliant move.

    • stevied says:

      Try again.

      States do collect sales taxes on goods sold by out of state vendors.

      California schools is a prime example.

      CA public schools must either pay at point of sale (in state purchases) self pay on out of state purchases when sales taxes were not collected or have the vendor collect the sales tax and remit to CA.

  20. arualflower says:

    “tot he”

  21. Extended-Warranty says:

    This just screams illegal and needs to be fixed ASAP. Either every retailer pays tax or none do. Amazon is destroying our economy and the “1400” jobs aren’t fixing the damage it caused. It’s disgusting that consumers applaud this to save pennies they can afford that goes such a long way.

    We need to level the playing ground which will restore jobs in our local governments and B&M retailers.

    • evnmorlo says:

      Walmart and other large chains already mostly destroyed B&M retail before Amazon got a chance. And they will be the ones who get 90% of the benefit from any government action to help “small local mom and pop retailers”.

    • Rose says:

      Either every retailer pays tax or none do.

      Why? Physical stores pay taxes to cover police, fire, roads, and so on. An out of state store doesn’t use any of those things, so why should they pay for them?

  22. Southern says:

    You can play their game too though.

    If you don’t want to pay Sales Tax, move to Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, Delaware, or Alaska. Those 5 states do not have any Sales Tax. You can then order from Amazon, Buy.Com, or wherever you want, and you won’t have to worry about paying Sales Tax!

    Personally, I don’t think a warehouse should qualify a business as having a “physical presence” in the state; it’s just a way to get the product to the consumer faster. They could just as easily not build a warehouse there, and customers would just have to suffer with an extra day or two transit time in shipping. It’s not going to affect their business, as people are already ordering. More people MIGHT order with a local warehouse, knowing they can now get their orders in 1 day as opposed to 2-3 days, but there’s no proof of that.

    It would be like saying you have a store in Delaware (which doesn’t have a sales tax), do I have to ask everyone that comes in and buys something what state they live in, so I can “collect” the appropriate sales tax from them, then pass it on to their state?

    What if someone comes in to buy something from me, but I don’t have it in stock and have to order it from my supplier – but instead of having it shipped to my store (making them come in and pick it up), I just have it “drop shipped” directly to their house in New York. Is Sales Tax owned on that transaction? He paid ME for the item, I ordered it, and I shipped it to him in another state.

    I look at Internet Sales the same way. If I DRIVE from New York to Delaware and buy something at Best Buy, I don’t pay Sales Tax to either New York OR Delaware (because they don’t have a sales tax).

    Why should Online sales be any different?

  23. gman863 says:

    I’m sure everyone who has read the posts about how it is everyone’s civic duty to pay sales/use tax will do so immediately.

    NOT!

    No sales tax is one of the main reasons people buy online. Whether it’s saving $100 in tax off a new TV or saying “F*ck You” to the state for getting raped on other taxes, 99%+ of all cyber shoppers are in on this.

    On purchases made by an individual (other than vehicles where sales tax payment is verified by the DMV when a title or license is applied for), how exactly can “The State” audit Internet purchases? By subpoenaing years of sales records from Amazon, Overstock, NewEgg and thousounds of other “.com”s? By spying on credit and debit card purchases?

    The privacy and creep factors of this are off the charts. If or when any state or locality tries this I can already see Phil’s headline: “State of Texas Discovers I Purchased an Inflatable Love Doll and Liderhosen From Out of State Website.”

    The only way to effectively and efficiently tax online commerce would require a complete overhaul of tax codes. It would require a national Value Added Tax (“VAT”) on all Interstate Commerce which (if the states were lucky) would then be distributed by the Feds based on shipping address records.

  24. Dollie says:

    Where’s MY tax incentive to move to another state?

    Want me to make income in your state and spend my money there? I’m willing to move, but we need to talk about your tax rate first. Oh, and free land.

    kthxbye