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Old 01-17-2013, 05:26 PM   #61
murraypaul
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Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
It also seems that defending Amazon by saying all companies do it is misleading. Amazon has designed its business around tax-evasion: Amazon.com: America’s #1 Tax Evader?
I think that criticism is unfair.
It isn't Amazon's fault that the US has such a screwed up tax system, and I don't blame it for not wanting to be an unpaid collection agency for the US government, and all the states, and all the counties, municipalities and every other organisation with different tax rates.. It is the responsibility of the buyer to pay sales tax.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:39 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by shalym View Post
Now...if you want to get into the "morality" of a company, maybe you should look at their charitable contributions and the causes they support...to me, what they give back to society is MUCH more important...
Then you should read this 2009 article:

The New Scrooge: Are there lemonade stands that devote more to charity than Amazon.com?

It seems they are tighter than a duck's posterior.

Quote:
the only listed donations by Amazon.com itself are a single Nonprofit Innovation Award that has not been given since 2005, and the delivery after "recent flooding in Southeast Kansas, [of] more than 10 pallets of household goods"
10 pallets of household goods! Do you think they can afford it?

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Recent Amazon.com SEC filings and annual reports make no mention of grants, charitable donations, local arts support, or any other civic-minded efforts by the online giant. By contrast, their rival Barnes & Noble actually notes community relations in its annual reports and maintains a Sponsorships and Charitable Donations page complete with application instructions.
And B&N pay their taxes too!

Quote:
When asked specifically about the extent of Amazon.com's charitable contributions—indeed, for any comment at all on a corporate policy regarding philanthropy—the company's response was silence. Repeated calls and e-mails have since gone unreturned.
Unbelievable. And they avoid paying taxes too.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:44 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Because they earned £200 million in revenue from UK customers, but their UK business did not earn £200 million in revenue.
Yeah, but did you read the article?

Quote:
Margaret Hodge, the committee chair, has taken each company to account...labeling Amazon "deliberately evasive" in displaying "outrageous" ignorance after it failed to say how much of its profit is generated in Britain.
Amazon refused to say how much they earned I can't believe you're defending them. They're bandits! Stand and deliver!
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:48 PM   #64
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If you don't like the law, then attempt to get the law changed. It's an unfair advantage for on-line retailers not to collect sales tax, but the solution is to change the law.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:01 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
They're bandits!
You are quite the drama queen aren't you?
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:22 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
Yeah, but did you read the article?



Amazon refused to say how much they earned I can't believe you're defending them. They're bandits! Stand and deliver!
You're actually starting to become offensive. You've certainly convinced me that Amazon's most vocal critics can be dismissed out of hand.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:29 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
It also seems that defending Amazon by saying all companies do it is misleading. Amazon has designed its business around tax-evasion: Amazon.com: America’s #1 Tax Evader?

Starbucks, Google, and Amazon Face Investigation For 'Immoral' Tax Evasion in the UK



That's less than 1%, and they earned £200m How is that defensible?

The strategy of Amazon and other companies like them doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is that people defend them. They are stealing from the community. It's daylight robbery!
all companies spend big money avoiding tax
international companies most
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:38 PM   #68
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You are quite the drama queen aren't you?


Laws have nothing to do with morals.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:39 PM   #69
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20% sales tax, that is robbery --- and nobody knows how to waste money like European governments. So Amazon is doing the right thing.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #70
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Amazon now collects sales tax in California, as of a few months ago. There are still plenty of online retailers who do not. Amazon will soon be creating jobs locally as they open facilities here, enabling one day shipping. This is a good thing for everyone, except for people who will lose jobs in Nevada as a result.

And in case it has escaped notice, this is not about 'tax avoidance' on the part of Amazon. These are not taxes assessed against Amazon, they are taxes that the buyer is obligated to pay. Any tax avoidance is on the part of the buyer, should they not declare this on their state income tax returns. Whether Amazon is legally obligated to collect state sales tax is as yet unsettled. Several states (like California) have arrived at legally binding arrangements with Amazon, while litigation by other states works its way through the courts. Amazon has lobbied for some federal level solution to create a level playing field nationally, though this seems unlikely to happen, given congressional dysfunction. California probably represented the largest chunk of what remains in dispute with Amazon.

And as mentioned, there are other places for Californians to shop online if they want to avoid sales tax, but they don't present as inviting a target for litigation as Amazon.

Last edited by tomsem; 01-17-2013 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:55 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I think it's neither moral nor immoral. They are obeying the law, and that's as far as it goes. We all pay the taxes that the law requires us to; few of us would volunteer to pay more.
My sentiments, exactly.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:56 PM   #72
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Amazon is indeed immoral... from the removal of books from Kindles in violation of their own TOS, to removing LGBT books from rankings to banning sales of ebooks that they allow in print, and the way they (mis)treat their workers should be criminal.

However, their tax practices, although obviously being based on loopholes not intended to apply to companies of Amazon's size and scope, aren't one of the problems I have with them. I'd like the laws changed to close those loopholes; I don't think they're unethical for taking advantage of them while they exist.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:01 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Amazon is indeed immoral... from the removal of books from Kindles in violation of their own TOS,
They're immoral because they refused to commit criminal copyright violations?

The Orwell fiasco was a pretty good example of how to screw up by the numbers, but once they got the infringement notice, and they had the ability to remove the books, they had no choice. (I won't quibble that it was immoral to lie about that ability in their roll-out advertising on the Kindle, though.)
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:05 PM   #74
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They're immoral because they refused to commit criminal copyright violations?
They're immoral because they stole books they'd sold. The violation was *Amazon's*, not the customers, who bought in good faith... the publisher would be within their rights to sue Amazon.

To forestall that, Amazon did the digital equivalent of breaking into people's houses to remove books that were sold before the release date. Without warning. Without apology.

Quote:
The Orwell fiasco was a pretty good example of how to screw up by the numbers, but once they got the infringement notice, and they had the ability to remove the books, they had no choice. (I won't quibble that it was immoral to lie about that ability in their roll-out advertising on the Kindle, though.)
They had the technical ability, but removing the books was a violation of their TOS, which said that once you've bought it, you have the permanent right of access to it. Removing other people's digital property is against the law, even if those people acquired the property because *you* broke the law.

If they'd been ordered by a court to remove the books, that would've been different. But sellers don't have the right to demand (or just *force*) the return of products they've sold illegally; they need a higher authority for that.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:07 PM   #75
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I think that criticism is unfair.
It isn't Amazon's fault that the US has such a screwed up tax system, and I don't blame it for not wanting to be an unpaid collection agency for the US government, and all the states, and all the counties, municipalities and every other organisation with different tax rates.. It is the responsibility of the buyer to pay sales tax.
You're reading of that article is 'selective.'

Quote:
From its first day of business, Amazon.com has taken extraordinary measures to avoid collecting sales taxes. It locates distribution centers in low population states to minimize the number of customers for whom it must collect sales taxes.
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