The State of New York is trying to force large online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes for purchases made via the Internet. Amazon.com is suing to stop this insidious government power grab. As the owner of an Internet law firm and an online entrepreneur, I applaud Amazon’s lawsuit.
So your Internet business isn’t as big as Amazon’s (yet)? You might be thinking “What’s the big deal?”
Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Independent, you should be concerned.
Here’s why it is important to you (if you need more info, have your Internet law firm and CPA explain it to you).
The underlying theory behind the tax collection is that sales online make you the tax collector for the welfare state even in states where you don’t have a physical presence. Imagine the chaos if you had to collect and remit sales taxes to all 50 states, taxes up north to Canada, and across the Atlantic pond as a VAT tax for the European Union coffers. 99.9% of today’s Internet marketers would either be guilty of tax evasion or go out of business trying to comply.
This is exactly what’s in store if these politicians and bureaucrats get the chance to make you an involuntary tax collector to pay for their bridges to nowhere and other pork barrel projects.
Fortunately, there are the Amazon’s of ecommerce who have the deep pockets to fight the government.
Note that this is not a unique situation. For years, the National Governors Association, its county and municipal counterparts have been arguing that they should have the right to tax the Hades out of Internet transactions to pay for excessive spending habits. Ayn Rand referred to these types as “second-handers.”
That’s being polite.
What can you do to fight them? First, set up a consult with your Internet law firm before doing something online in response that could get you into trouble.
- Post your support for Amazon’s fight against New York on your blog and encourage others to do so.
- Let your elected politicians at the local, state, and federal level know that you’ll do everything in your power to ensure their opponents are elected if they so much as think about trying to turn you into a tax collector.
- Order a copy of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” or Harry Browne’s “How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World” via Amazon and ship it to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
To your success!
-Mike, Owner of an Internet law firm and cyber entrepreneur