Trump Gloats After SCOTUS Dings Online Retailers: "Great Victory For Consumers"

After the Supreme Court sent shares of Amazon and other e-commerce companies spiraling lower earlier today (before the dip was promptly bought). And of course, with the court's ruling potentially dealing a multi-billion dollar blow to one of President Trump's greatest rivals, the president took a few moments to gloat about the ruling in a tweet sent this afternoon.

Without naming Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos or the company directly, Trump celebrated the "Big Supreme Court win on internet sales tax - about time! Big victory for fairness and for our country. Great victory for consumers and retailers."

To be sure, it's unclear exactly how much the ruling could cost Amazon. And Congress still needs to act to put in place a law that would mandate sales-tax collection on e-commerce sales, according to CNBC.

Some speculate that the deal could even help Amazon by making life more difficult for its smaller e-commerce rivals, who don't already have the compliance infrastructure set up to collect sales taxes. As for Amazon, the company already collects sales taxes for most of its "first-party" sales (i.e. sales of products made directly by Amazon). But sales by "third-party" merchants account for roughly half of the traffic on the Amazon's platform. And if states start demanding more sales-tax collection, these merchants could find themselves in a difficult spot. Luckily for them, Amazon - which never passes up an opportunity to wring every last cent of profit from its "partners" - already operates a service whereby it charges merchants nearly 3% to handle sales-tax collection for them.

Trump

Thursday's decision overturned a 1992 ruling that allowed online retailers to avoid sales tax collection responsibilities in states where they don't have a physical presence.

We now await a response from Bezos. Who knows? Maybe, instead of campaigning on social media to launch Trump into space, he'll reserve a spot on one of his Blue Origin rockets for Justice Anthony Kennedy.

 

Comments

???ö? infotechsailor Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:00 Permalink

 

Abolish the sales tax.   We already paid a tax when we earned the money.

Why do we have to pay both coming and going.

Furthermore, the seller will pay tax on the income from the sale.  

So the transaction IS taxed.

Except for gas taxes to improve roads, sales taxes bear no relationship to the sale, and are merely confiscation by incompetent state and local bureaucracies.

In reply to by infotechsailor

HillaryOdor ???ö? Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:03 Permalink

It's not a free market when there are taxes period.

A market cannot be free without being free from arbitrary theft.  That is a necessary but not sufficient condition.

I know to all the retards out there who worship the state two wrongs make a right and higher prices are great news.  And inflation is a great thing also, and Trump is a free market guy.  Thanks for all the wisdom out there.  You are so sure about your wisdom that you have to force it on the rest of us, whether we want it or not.  

In reply to by ???ö?

beemasters jimmy c korn Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:27 Permalink

"the deal could even help Amazon by making life more difficult for its smaller e-commerce rivals, who don't already have the compliance infrastructure set up to collect sales taxes."

As I've said, he is adept at fucking the little people and making them believe it's all for their own good. Do you/Does he think to the world richest man, this would make a difference? Bezos could spend a billion complying, if he has to, but the small businesses/start-up's can't afford to.

In reply to by jimmy c korn

bluez beemasters Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:51 Permalink

Do you know who the big winners in this will really be? Fucking demonic website developers!  These scum that all the online retailers are in thrall to will be wallowing in new contracts. Of course, in addition to all the massive extra JavaScript and CSS and other Black Magic needed to add in the new taxes, they will surely bloat in tons of "nice-to-have" extra code, so all the retail websites will take an additional ten minutes to load.

Damn these leaches to hell!!!

In reply to by beemasters

swmnguy Duc888 Thu, 06/21/2018 - 23:02 Permalink

Amazon has been collecting sales tax from customers in all the 45 states which have sales tax, for over a year now.  As recently as 2011, they were only collecting sales tax for 5 states but they've seen the writing on the wall for a long time.

Now, there are plenty of 3rd-party vendors who sell through Amazon's website, and they don't always charge sales tax.  You can download a report (I do it annually) and import it into Excel, and total up taxable items I've bought and pay the Use tax.  It's irritating, but what's really irritating is for the state tax department to give you the full procto.

In reply to by Duc888

aztrader helltothenah Thu, 06/21/2018 - 21:51 Permalink

So explain how a small business is supposed to collect taxes for 50 states and thousands of jurisdictions.    This is designed to make Amazon stronger and kill off the small businesses in our country.   The Swamp wins again.

In reply to by helltothenah

RedBaron616 aztrader Fri, 06/22/2018 - 14:53 Permalink

I am sure some software developer is licking his chops and preparing to send out sales pitches far and wide. Yes, the little guy is going to take the kick in the stomach. This is why Big Business loves regulation. They can afford it and it strengthens them at the expense of the smaller competitors. In fact, Big Business often proposes regulation to Congress or regulatory agencies because of this.

In reply to by aztrader

HillaryOdor DingleBarryObummer Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:10 Permalink

Exactly, so why try, right?  We're all gonna die anyway, so why not blow our brains out right now?   Why play golf when I'm not Tiger Woods?  Why play chess when I'm not Magnus Carlsen?  In fact why does Magnus even play when Stockfish is out there?  If something is not the absolute essence of perfection then we shouldn't care about it at all!  Great point!

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

exlcus WorkingPawn Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

I outlined some of the headache involved with this below, but at a minimum you have state, county and city sales taxes you have to comply with.

Times every city in the country. Times every county in the country. Times every state in the country.

(Even if every city doesn't charge sales tax, you still need to KNOW whether every single city does or not.)

In reply to by WorkingPawn

Buckaroo Banzai MuffDiver69 Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:59 Permalink

Yep. This is a problem that can be pretty easily automated. All it requires is a reliable database of tax jurisdictions keyed by zip codes. Third-party vendors could make a business out of keeping the database updated. Even better, you could just hire a service provider to do the whole thing for you, kind of like the way payroll companies handle payroll tax compliance today.

This isn't exactly rocket science.

In reply to by MuffDiver69

exlcus Buckaroo Banzai Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:21 Permalink

That's just step one.

Step two is to do all the reporting to all these new bosses you have, and also pay them, how they want and on the schedule they want. 

The time and knowledge it will take to do all this is too much for a small business.

They will have to outsource it. 

Another expense that is the same no matter how much volume you do. Large business loves this because this is how they crush small business. 

In reply to by Buckaroo Banzai

BidnessMan exlcus Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:38 Permalink

Uhh.... thats what software does.  Guess you have never actually run a business.

As mentioned, by zip code does all the slicing, dicing, and reporting required.  Amazon does not have legions of human clerks with green eyeshades and pocket protectors slaving over paper forms. 

Software is a cost of doing business that is true.  Most small on-line retailers sell through some on-line marketplace aggregator like Amazon or eBay to do the reporting.  Don't like it, but taxes are a reality.

In reply to by exlcus

exlcus BidnessMan Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:57 Permalink

Pretty much every point you made here is wrong. Would you like me to go through them? Oh heck, this is fight club so I'll do it.

1. Knowing the zip code is not enough information to determine sales tax. Not even close.

2. I guarantee you Amazon has a whole team of people that handle sales tax full-time. I would guess a few dozen people.

3. No, Amazon nor ebay do the required returns or payments for you. There are people you can pay to handle this for you, of course, but not Amazon or Ebay. 

4. Yes, taxes are a reality. The consumer will pay these taxes. What the consumer will not pay is the added expense in the thousands of dollars per year to comply with these taxes. That means nothing to Fortune 500 companies but it can be a big blow to a small or micro businesses. In other words, one more nail in the coffin of small business in this country.

In reply to by BidnessMan

lucyvp exlcus Thu, 06/21/2018 - 20:54 Permalink

I used to work on the point-of-sale  for a major national restaurant chain.

Taxes are a mess, I can't tell you how much time was wasted in our IT department complying with tax code.  Items are taxed at different rates,  soft drinks, prepared food, packaged food, bags, non-food, tax free, tax exmempt, eat-in, take out, some places have a garden tax, which is a rate for eating in the outdoor seating area, manager meals, employee meals etc. etc. etc.  Sell a meal with a toy ... unbundle it, drink taxed at one rate, sandwhich at another, toy at another.  Some states are demanding the taxes should be collected on the full retail price and not the price with coupon.   Give away a free meal because of a screw-up, sometimes its taxes, sometimes  not.

And if that is not enough the rates are constantly changing all the time.  Just trying to do the updates to the tax tables was a project.   How many times on upgrade night was there a network issue, register switched off, crash during update etc.

Additionally taxes are applied to product categories, In some states bottled water should be taxed as prepared-food, because any food item sold be a restaurant is prepared foods,  others like Ohio,  consider if there is no labor in preparation the item is to be taxed at a different rate. So  besides the rate, you have to know how each state categorizes the item for sale.

State auditors are sharpening their pencils and demanding more proof the amount submitted to the taxing body is accurately prepared.  Now instead of just multiplying gross sales by 5%,  A detailed report must be submitted.

In reply to by exlcus

lucyvp exlcus Thu, 06/21/2018 - 22:09 Permalink

You betcha, especially when your a big company with deep pockets.  Besides developing the SW just try testing it for every permutation.

Some of the best engineers I know were assigned to tax compliance and testing, instead of providing value for the customer or the company.  I guess that can be counted as a hidden tax on top of the tax the consumer pays at the register.

In reply to by exlcus

sabaj49 MuffDiver69 Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:05 Permalink

just install software and forget about it

wrong wrong wrong

each and every month you need to FILE WITH APPROPRIATE tax office in each and every state/county/city/ENTITY(chicago is known for special tax areas)

and don't forget that SOFTWARE that is so easy to install - starts at $25,000++++++

and then you have to maintain it, update it(monthly) and file all reports

now IF I ONLY HAD TIME TO SELL SOMETHING

In reply to by MuffDiver69

SergeA.Storms WorkingPawn Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:06 Permalink

My wife and I have a decent eBay business.  We sell all over the USA, some international, but theft out of country or customs is not worth the hassle.  I hope there will be a software tool, because we sure can’t find the tax rate for every county in the USA.  This looks more like a step toward national on-line sales tax.  Fed collects and distributes (hahahahahaha) to the states based on number of sales (maybe).  Just more BS for the little guy and the consumer.   Amazon will raise Prime Membership (again).

In reply to by WorkingPawn

BarkingCat WorkingPawn Thu, 06/21/2018 - 21:09 Permalink

I would not do it.

I would tell those states to go fuck themselves. They would have to sue me in my state's court and this could get interesting. 

It is entirely possible that the state courts will tell the other states to bugger off.

Especially if you set uo your businesses in a no sales tax state. Even better, set up in a low sales tax state and charge a sales tax on every item, but charge your state's sales tax and turn it over to your state's department of revenue. 

In reply to by WorkingPawn