Webwork - 12:49 pm on Jun 30, 2011 (gmt 0) [edited by: Webwork at 1:27 pm (utc) on Jun 30, 2011]
Mail order has always been exempt from state sales tax
Not quite true.
The purchase of goods, once they are brought into the State, IS subject to the OBLIGATION to PAY THE SALES TAX on the goods, by the LOCAL STATE RESIDENT. In other words, you/I are duty bound - by local tax laws - to report the purchase and pay the sales tax.
So, in MOST STATES (to the best of my knowledge) this is NOT "creating a new tax" but, instead, is creating the method to enforce the collection of the taxes ALREAD DUE once the goods - purchased by a local resident - are delivered in the State.
These nexus-laws don't represent a new tax. Instead they represent an effort to transform the "unlimited tax dodges" - facilitated by the rise on online commerce - into "taxes due by local residents . . and now collected".
Every entity whose "best solution" to the tax collection issue is to shoot the affiliates should forever after be shunned by affiliates. And guess what? Once there IS a national enforcement program just how eager do you think entities like Amazon are going to be to "pay affiliate commissions" anyway?
I say shame on every online entity that can envision and implement a 1000 ways to automate everything - in the name of efficiency and driving profits - but just can't find the ability to calculate the tax due and automate the collection of taxes in 50 States and a few dozen cities.
[edited by: Webwork at 1:27 pm (utc) on Jun 30, 2011]