Monday, April 29, 2013

Internet Tax

The crassness of shopping at a brick and mortar and then whipping out a cell phone and purchasing online while in the store is undeniable.  Asking to match pricing isn't much better

If internet taxing is going to be done on the face of fairness then don't ask on line retailers to collect and remit sales tax to 10,000+ entities, on a quarterly or monthly basis, while a b&m collects for 1. 

Expanding a regressive tax such as sales tax to such a scale is an overcomplicated version of VAT.  But instead of VAT to the federal government it is to 10,000+ state level governments.  It always is easier to pass taxes on middle and lower income which can be the only reason this idea has bipartisan support in Congress. 

I actually try to buy local when I can.   Here is my latest experience.  I went to my local Game Stop, they didn't have what I wanted, but the store 3 towns over did.  The item was held for me and I went the next day and made my purchase.  I paid sales tax, BUT I also wasted gas on a trip to a store that did not have what I wanted, spend more gas going to the other store; not to mention the time spent for both trips.  Customer service at both stores was good.

I actually knew the item was available at Amazon and at Game Stop online, but I wanted the item in my hand at that moment and buying local made the most sense.  Was selection available?  No.  Was it convenient?  No.  Was it priced competitively?  Yes. 

Adding the pluses and minuses to shopping local wasn't a win for the "local" column.  Will I go back to Game Stop? Yes.  Will I shop Amazon? Yes.

The online experience is about selection, convenience, and price.   Want to destroy that, then put in a tax law where a business has to hire someone just to stay in compliance.

Since I run an online business I watch with amazement that this is even an issue.   Many state's have laws requiring their citizens to report sales made to them that did not have sales tax included and requires them to make that payment to their respective state.   My preference is for the 49 states I don't live in  take care of their your own back yard and stay out of mine.

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