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Old 09-13-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
MovieBird
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Sales Tax in California

Apparently, there's quite a bit of binge buying going on in preparation for September 15th. Why you ask? Well, because the 15th is when Amazon agreed to start collecting sales tax in California!

http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/...a-this-weekend

I wonder if the Paperwhite preorders will get to go through tax free...
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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My pre-order says:

Quote:
Estimated Tax To Be Collected: $0.00
I'm curious about this as well...
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieBird View Post
Apparently, there's quite a bit of binge buying going on in preparation for September 15th. Why you ask? Well, because the 15th is when Amazon agreed to start collecting sales tax in California!

http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/...a-this-weekend

I wonder if the Paperwhite preorders will get to go through tax free...
One is required to pay sales tax even if Amazon doesn't collect it. So no need to go on a binge unless you plan to take your chances with an audit by not declaring any of this on tax returns.

CA does not tax digital media, however.

I'm looking forward to free 1 day Prime shipping once Amazon opens CA warehouses. Same-day shipping should be possible in some locations as well.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:24 PM   #4
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Same day, or any other day shipping isn't worth paying tax usually.

Seems like Amazon is going the way of the stores they were so successful beating in the marketplace.

Maybe they should start buying up the empty K-Marts, the empty Circuit-Citys, the empty CompUSA stores for their own use.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by frahse View Post
Same day, or any other day shipping isn't worth paying tax usually.

Seems like Amazon is going the way of the stores they were so successful beating in the marketplace.
... I don't get it. If you get free shipping, especially free one or two day shipping, and you can buy something online and know that it's in stock and read reviews and the prices are competitive... Amazon's going to go out of business? Because they have to collect the exact same sales taxes that B&M stores have to collect?

I would definitely prefer to order something online and know that I'll get it in one or two days, than drive all around town or try to get someone on the phone in a store who knows what they're talking about to make sure it's in stock. And then driving, parking, and schlepping around often huge stores in the hope that what I was told on the phone is actually correct.

I prefer the larger selections online, the choice to buy some items used, the chance to use subscribe 'n save and have things like razor blades and vitamins delivered automatically. If I could buy milk and lettuce from Amazon, you can believe I'd do that too. Sales tax is an entirely minor factor in all but the highest-end purchases.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by frahse View Post
Seems like Amazon is going the way of the stores they were so successful beating in the marketplace.
Not necessarily.
As the "Tax Amazon" crowd are about to discover, Amazon's appeal isn't just about tax evasion; even with sales tax, their prices will be lower, their catalog way bigger, their service better.

Tax really only comes into play for expensive items which is what the binge buyers were going for. On those items, sales tax means a buyer "only" saves an $50-100 on an HDTV instead of $150 to $200.

Expect the B&M retailers who think this is going to end showrooming to be sorely disappointed.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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I live in New York, where Amazon has been collecting tax for a few years. When they started collecting tax, I cried, gnashed my teeth, and pounded my pillow for a few minutes. Then I continued ordering from Amazon, pretty much the same as before. I buy things in bulk like rice, pasta, toilet paper, paper towels. It's cheaper than my grocery store (which is also an Internet grocer, actually!). I guess Costco might be cheaper but I don't have a car so Costco is not practical. I don't think about the tax on my purchases, just as I wouldn't think about it in a store.

eP
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Not necessarily.
As the "Tax Amazon" crowd are about to discover, Amazon's appeal isn't just about tax evasion; even with sales tax, their prices will be lower, their catalog way bigger, their service better.

Tax really only comes into play for expensive items which is what the binge buyers were going for. On those items, sales tax means a buyer "only" saves an $50-100 on an HDTV instead of $150 to $200.

Expect the B&M retailers who think this is going to end showrooming to be sorely disappointed.
Exactly!! For me it has never been about the taxes it has been that regardless of taxes Amazon is still cheaper. Now I must admit if I need it now I will get it local but even then I will not pay much of a premium to get it now. I was in a local Fry's the other day window shopping for a new TV with the phone out comparing prices sales guy comes up and tells me they will match or beat any price on Amazon. They ended up beating Amazon buy about $100 so I bought from them. This is what B&M stores must do to survive.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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Ultimately, it's still cheaper for many people. In Illinois, the state tax is 6.25%. In Chicago, including county and city taxes, it goes up to 9.5%. Still a savings of 3.25% for me if/when Amazon collects tax for Illinois.
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