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Old 08-02-2010, 09:28 PM   #1
jswinden
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When did Amazon start charging sales tax?

This evening I purchased an ebook from Amazon for $11.99 USD and was charged $0.96 sales tax. We normally do pay brick and mortar stores a 8% sales tax in Arlington, Texas, but I've never been charged sales tax by Amazon before. They did not even charge sales tax on the Kindle WiFi I pre-ordered. As far as I know their is no brick and mortar Amazon store in Texas, therefore they should not be charging sales tax for internet purchases.

BTW, Sony can has to charge sales tax on books because they have brick and mortar stores in Texas.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:39 PM   #2
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I thought tax was charged based on the state you have the item shipped to. I have a military address so I never pay any when I order things for myself, but when I have something shipped to my sister in Washington they charge 8.xx%, whatever it is now.

Also sometimes for my FPO box I have to put the state as California. In that case I get charged California sales tax.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:41 PM   #3
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Amazon has always charged sales tax in some places, but with the introduction of the "agency model" demanded by the publishers, Amazon has to collect the tax in any state where the publisher has a presence. You will find that some ebooks have the tax charged and some don't, depending on which publisher.

I live in Texas, also.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
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The laws may have changed, but it used to be you were charged sales tax for internet purchases only if the company from which you made the purchase had a physical presence in your shipping state. Washington state would definitely count toward a tax from Amazon because Amazon ihas a physical presence in Seattle. I'm not sure about California.

In the past couple of months I've purchased two Kindles and numerous ebooks, and not once was I charged sales tax--thankfully. The ebook purchase tonight was the first time. I wonder if the publisher of the book matters?

[edit]I must have posted the same time as JMikeD. His post seems to answer my publisher location question.[/edit]

Last edited by jswinden; 08-02-2010 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:51 PM   #5
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From the Amazon Help pages:

The following is a partial list of merchants selling items at Amazon.com which may be included in your order, and the states in which they charge sales tax.

Amazon.com LLC: KS, KY, ND, NY and WA
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.: KY, ND, NY and WA (Kindle content, MP3s, and digital videos are only taxable in KY and WA)
Magazine Express, Inc.: AL and WA
Synapse Services, Inc.: WA only
Target.com: All states other than VT
Hachette Digital, Inc.: AL, AZ, CO, CT, DC, HI, ID, IN, KY, LA, ME, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NM, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI and WY*
Harper Collins Publishers, LLC: All states other than AK, AL, AZ, DE, HI, MT, NH, NV, OK, OR, SD, VT and WY*
Penguin Group (USA) Inc: All States*
Simon & Schuster Digital Sales, Inc.: All states other than AK, DE, MT, NH, and OR*
Macmillan: AZ, CO, CT, DC, HI, IN, KY, ME, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NM, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI and WY*
Zondervan Corporation LLC: CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, NC, NV, OH, PA, SC, TX and WA*
* Kindle books sold by various publishers are subject to sales tax based on the publisher's state tax reporting obligations and the taxability of digital books in those states. As a result, sales tax for Kindle books sold by the publisher may differ from the sales tax to which you've been accustomed for Kindle books.

So, yeah, it looks like it depends on the publisher as far as Kindle books go...
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjones6416 View Post
Harper Collins Publishers, LLC: All states other than AK, AL, AZ, DE, HI, MT, NH, NV, OK, OR, SD, VT and WY*
I guess we can Texas to the list for HarperCollins Publishers.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:18 PM   #7
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I emailed Amazon about this very issue a couple weeks ago when I saw sales tax on my ebook purchase for the very first time. I received the following answer:
Date: Jul 13, 2010 5:07 PM
Hello,

Recently, several publishers modified their relationship with Amazon to a business model whereby the publisher, not Amazon, sells the Kindle book. Kindle books sold by the publisher are subject to sales tax based on the publisher’s state tax reporting obligations and the taxability of digital books in those states.

As a result, sales tax for Kindle books sold by the publisher may differ from the sales tax to which you’ve been accustomed for Kindle books. Kindle books sold by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. are subject to sales tax in Kentucky and Washington State.

You can find additional information about sellers and states that collect sales tax in our Help pages here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...512&#merchants

I hope this helps. Thanks for your interest in the Kindle Store.

Best regards,

Carla A.
http://www.amazon.com
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:43 PM   #8
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Wow, what a mess. Taxes are evil.

How long before Amazon charges in all 50 states? I cringe at the idea...
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolbreeze View Post
Wow, what a mess. Taxes are evil.

How long before Amazon charges in all 50 states? I cringe at the idea...
Amazon doesn't charge the tax. It merely collects it as prescribed by law and turns it over to the appropriate state agency.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:24 AM   #10
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Last I'd read, my state of California did not charge tax on digital downloads yet I see them on the list. I'm a bit confused. Maybe that changed recently but I thought I would have heard of it.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:00 PM   #11
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I suspect Amazon started collecting sales tax when they were told they would go to jail if they didn't. No business and no individual voluntarily pays or collects taxes. Oh, I know some politicians say paying taxes is patriotic and then they register their yacht in another state to...avoid taxes.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:44 PM   #12
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There is the additional complication of complicated state tax rules. I moved my domicile to Texas, and was surprised to learn that I was charged sales tax on my prepaid mobile phone minute purchases. These are not taxed in California. I am also taxed on application purchases from Apple's App Store for application downloads to my Ipod Touch.

Texas law: http://aixtcp.cpa.state.tx.us/....5591l.html

Quote:
The taxability of prepaid phone cards is specifically addressed in Texas Tax Code Sections 151.009 and 151.01032. Prepaid phone cards, whether landline, cellular, or rechargeable, are considered tangible personal property and are subject to Texas state and local sales and use tax at the time of purchase. “Telephone prepaid calling card" means a card or other item, including an access code, that represents the right to make one or more
telephone calls for which payment is made in incremental amounts and before the call is initiated. The term "telephone prepaid calling card" does not include a card sold by mechanical means for consideration of one dollar or less.”
In California, the prepaid card is not taxed.
http://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/pub31.pdf

Quote:
In general, sales of prepaid telephone debit cards are not subject to tax (see exception below). You are considered to be selling a future telephone service rather than selling tangible personal property. Exception. If you sell a prepaid telephone card for its value as a collectible item rather than for future telephone service, the sale is subject to tax. For example, if you sell an expired card with a picture of a famous person or “classic” automobile, you are selling a collectible item, and the sale is subject to tax.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by travis View Post
There is the additional complication of complicated state tax rules. I moved my domicile to Texas, and was surprised to learn that I was charged sales tax on my prepaid mobile phone minute purchases. These are not taxed in California. I am also taxed on application purchases from Apple's App Store for application downloads to my Ipod Touch.

Texas law: http://aixtcp.cpa.state.tx.us/....5591l.html



In California, the prepaid card is not taxed.
http://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/pub31.pdf
Welcome to HELL, err...I mean Texas. It just feels as hot as Hell this time of year!

Texas doesn't have a state income tax, but we manage to get taxed on just about everything else! I guess they have to make up for the lack of an income tax. As a native Texas I can tell you that historically the Texas legislature has not cared for the people of Texas as much as it has looked out for big industries like oil, cotton, and cattle, and more recently the mega phone companies. Welcome to high taxes, poor quality schools, crooked politicians, and tele-evangelists with their hands on your wallet! As yes that is probably a gun in their pocket as opposed to their being happy to see you...

Last edited by jswinden; 08-04-2010 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:24 PM   #14
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No one charges tax. Retailers are required to "collect" the tax for the state.
(Without compensation for their trouble I might add.)
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Old 08-04-2010, 06:30 PM   #15
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No one charges tax. Retailers are required to "collect" the tax for the state.
(Without compensation for their trouble I might add.)
No need to get into semantics, but some states do charge tax. Amazon collects it for them. But my question should still be understandable, and long since answered.
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