|Amazon Cancels All Affiliate Accounts in Minnesota|
Amazon is cancelling all affiliate accounts in Minnesota because of a new Minnesota tax law passed in this year.
Got my notice via email today.
Amazon refers to the new law as being unconstitutional.
But they say strongly support the federal Marketplace Fairness Act that Congress is considering. If that passes the apparently might re-institute accounts in Minnesota.
The did that to us in Colorado several years ago.
Why should governments be able to pass laws?
Obviously, corporations like Amazon know best, right?
While it's been decades since we've had what could be called a free market, people are still allowed to move and work in whatever state they choose. States that overspend and overtax are only hurting themselves. Businesses can move to where they want and not do business where they choose.
I left California 10 years ago for Florida. Moved my business, my employees, cars, everything, lock stock and barrel. The tax savings paid for the move in only four months.
Even though I continually voted against all spending increases and all tax increases, California felt that it could tax me at a higher rate than other people just because I worked harder. My final vote was where to live. I've never regretted it.
I don't live in Minnesota but I am currently removing all Amazon tools, creatives and ad media from my site(s) as a precaution because the company does not value it's affiliates.
I'm sorry but blaming the tax man doesn't wash with me, it's Amazon and Amazon alone slashing at it's affiliates and then trying to gain sympathy for their actions as some form of protection against future government dealings. California and Colorado left a bad taste in my mouth, Minnesota was the breaking point.
Strike three, good luck Amazon.
Amazon doesn't pay its taxes where it earns its money and is using its power to try to prevent the rightful claim of those taxes. Taxes that pay for schools, roads, defence, health, your government, the future of your country.
Dolce and Gabana have both been given (currently suspended) prison sentences in Italy for tax fraud and I see the day fast approaching when Amazon and Google bosses are hauled before the courts. A head of steam is building up with regards international tax evasion.
I couldn't possibly disagree more with the government defenders posting in this thread.
Someone, whom I have no rights to vote for or against should never, not ever, have any taxing or law authority over me.
It's not about tax evasion at all. There is no tax evasion. If I build something in Florida and someone in Minnesota buys it, the state of Minnesota shouldn't have any say about my taxes. My taxes are with my state where I produced my products. Minnesota tax laws should only apply to people and businesses in Minnesota, and certainly, Minnesota has no rights to a share of my income.
|Minnesota has about 5,200 affiliate online marketers who earned about $500 million in 2012 and paid $35 million in state income tax last year, she said. |
For those who think this is a great idea don't understand the implications of the Minnesota law.
|Under the change, which goes into effect July 1, such independent bloggers and online reviewers will be seen as giving a company a physical presence in the state. |
All advertisers (not just Amazon) who show up on Minnesota websites are now subject to collecting the tax and paying it as well to the MN Department of Revenue.
Any internet ad shown in Minnesota establishes a de facto legal presence in the state for the sponsor of the ad and makes them subject to all state laws.
|My taxes are with my state where I produced my products. Minnesota tax laws should only apply to people and businesses in Minnesota, and certainly, Minnesota has no rights to a share of my income. |
EXACTLY! Minnesota has the responsibility to collect sales/use tax on its residents. This tax is an attempt to place the responsibility on out of state merchants to to be Minnesota's tax collectors, with no reimbursement by the state for the merchants' work.
I get the feeling amazon thinks its affiliate program has run its course and this is a useful "death by a 1000 cuts" way of getting rid of it.
Amazon won't be the only company dropping their MN affiliates, there will be dozens.
Companies don't have to collect sales tax on out-of-state purchases unless they have a physical presence in the state. You (the purchaser) are supposed to pay sales tax due on those purchases when you file your state income taxes. This is true whether you order by phone, by mail order ... or order online.
These laws are using a specific advertising model as a loophole to establish a nexus, in an attempt to proactively collect part of the tax which purchasers are (cough) "forgetting" to pay at tax time.
One potential option for people in Minnesota being affected by this, other than filing suit against the state of Minnesota, is to look into establishing a corporation in a more free state, like Nevada, Delaware, Texas or Florida.
|look into establishing a corporation in a more free state |
Most likely this won't work as intended. If you are doing business, or have a physical presence, in a state, you most likely still need to register to do business in that state.
It can done in some cases, but it would mean moving your bank accounts out of state, making sure you host your site out of state, not ship any products from your state, firing all your in-state employees (of course, that would be hypocritical by anyone criticizing Amazon for terminating their affiliates...), etc. If you are answering customer calls, and those calls are going to a land line in your state, well, you get the picture.
And, of course, if you set things up and the state later determines you actually did have a physical presence in the state, you'll be liable for back franchise and state taxes, as well as penalties and interest.
If you really don't like your state's tax laws- vote with your feet and move to a more tax-friendly state. That's what thousands of Californians have been doing.
|If you really don't like your state's tax laws- vote with your feet and move to a more tax-friendly state. That's what thousands of Californians have been doing. |
Hopefully, those who will be moving OUT of my home state of California will be moving from houses that have extremely undervalued property taxes do the passage long ago of prop. 13
Then when they sell their houses, the properties will be assessed at their true values.