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New Law Regarding Collecting Sales Tax By On Line Retailers

chscag

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Just wanted to remind all our US members that as of January 2020 on line retailers are required by US law to collect sales tax according to which state and locale where you reside. However, if you live in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon that have no sales tax, this does not apply to you.

However, it seems at least one on line retailer has come up with a rather clever scheme to credit back to you any sales tax they collect. :giggle
 
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MBAmtloin

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is this company amazon?
I like this law, lots of stores shut down because their customers purchased items online instead while shopping at these store.
well not being a pompous person, i try to buy locally with people i know, which gets harder by the year and avoid anything made in China.
the only item i have my sights on is a larger SSD for my renewed macBook Air which turns 10 calendar years in a couple of hours.
 

chscag

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The law applies to ALL on line retailers that sell in the US.

And I might remind you that your MacBook Air and all your Apple devices are made in China. So, perhaps you should discard them?
 
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MBAmtloin

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i cant discard them, i just wont buy them again....i guess the Dell XPS is purchased this year was made in china.
we can only Avoid so much nowadays.
happy new years!
 
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The law applies to ALL on line retailers that sell in the US.

I wonder what happens or what the general policy is for those US citizens purchasing from Canadian online sales Outlets or if there will be any change in policy???



- Patrick
======
 

chscag

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In my experience with Canadian on line sellers, they comply with US law. In all likelihood, only those large sellers who have a presence in US sales will be able to comply with the new law.

I refer you to the large amount of Canadian drugs that are sold to US citizens. Drugs in Canada are usually less expensive than the same brand sold in the US, however, Canadian drug suppliers comply with all US law regarding those sales. In other words you're not going to be able to obtain prescription drugs from Canada without a valid doctor's script.
 

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Many online retailers seem to have seen this coming and it seems like more nd more of them were taking steps to comply even before the law was passed.

I'm all in favor of buying locally when possible but any time I buy a Mac product it's likely to be online. The nearest authorized Mac service center is an hour drive each way. At the moment I'm not sure either one is in business anymore. I'm pretty sure one isn't. The nearest actual Apple store is several hours away.
 
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The nearest authorized Mac service center is an hour drive each way. At the moment I'm not sure either one is in business anymore. I'm pretty sure one isn't.
It's a crime that more Mac/Apple users don't support any Independent Apple Approved dealers more considering what they have to do and pay to keep their status.

My eldest son runs an Independent Apple Approved dealers/service store in Whitehorse and represents the whole of the Yukon area. A 500km one way service call is not unheard of in that area when needed. ;-)

He finds it a challenge to survive and keep all his support stuff employed and Apple approved.



- Patrick
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Slydude

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I've probably payed fewer than 10 visits to service centers for repairs and I've used Macs since the LC II was a current model. Most of the issues I've had were things that I could fix myself (replace hard drives/cd burners, add memory etc). When I did go in I often either had the software they had on display or it was something I didn't need.

I think I've been in four different service centers (counting the Apple store in Mall of America). on all but one visit I dealt with very knowledgeable folks who were helpful. One guy gave me complete garbage when I brought my machine in. The most fun I've had so far is confusing the folks at the Genius Bar inside the Mall of America Store. Two nice folks spent somewhere between one and two hours trying to diagnose a software problem for me. Thet failed but I had kits if fun talking Mac stuff with them. :Cool::rofl
 

chscag

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There used to be more authorized Apple service centers in addition to the Apple Stores. You may remember that CompUSA sold and repaired Apple products but they went out of business in 2007. Now it seems that Best Buy has kind of taken over. The problem I have with them is that I don't trust their service. It's okay to purchase from them but not for repairs. We are fortunate in that we have an Apple Store local to us and also several others in Fort Worth and Dallas.
 

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I remember that and went into one of their stores several times. The rep I tased to was very good. I think their ewes were actually trained by Apple IIRC. Usually I don't actually need anything but t was more convenient to go there than the ones near me here.

Of course SWMBO tried to loot our trips to that store for fear of what it would do to our budget. :)
 

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Back on the subject of collecting sales tax by on-line retailers.....does anyone know how that works in the US in detail?

In Canada, the retailer needs a government issues sales tax number to legally collect and then submit the sales tax.
There are three potential types of sales taxes in Canada:
Federal or GST (Goods and Services tax) of 5%
Provincial or PST - percentage varies by province, some like Alberta have no PST
Harmonized or HST which combines the GST and PST into one sales tax - again percentage varies by province.

Point is that a retailer needs to have this tax number to legally collect and then submit the sales tax to the government.
With brick & mortar sales, this was pretty much straight forward- if the store was in Ontario for example, the retailer would get the HST number for Ontario, collect the sales tax applicable to Ontario and submit that since most customers would live in Ontario.
With on-line sales, things got a bit complex, I live in Ontario and when I ordered something from British Columbia, for a while I paid only the GST (which applies to every province) but not the PST for BC.
That changed a while back and we have been paying the Ontario HST even if items are bought from another province.
I never checked into this in detail, but I assume the retailer in BC needs an Ontario HST number to collect and submit the appropriate sales taxes.
We only have 10 provinces and territories in Canada, so I assume the extra bookkeeping is manageable.

But in the US with 48 states...do retailers there need some sort of tax number not just for each state, but some cities in the US as well that levy their own sales tax.
Sounds like a can of worms although with software it's probably not that much of an issue.

The interesting thing I remember a couple of years back is when US retailers were collecting Canadian sales tax on items I wanted to buy.
Or better "trying to collect" ...because I went back and asked them for their GST and PST number (no HST at the time) - never heard back.
I assume those retailers were just pocketing the extra 10 to 12% at the time since Canada customs didn't collect the Canadian sales tax at the time either so customers didn't get hit with the tax twice which would have raised some eyebrows.
 

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I can't say with 100% certainty but I suspect there is a similar mess in the US. There is no real national level sales tax on most goods that consumers might buy (there is for some things like gas/oil). Most states, and many cities, in the US charge a sales tax. To further complicate matters in some states some goods are taxed at one rate, some goods are tax exempt, and some goods are taxed at a different rate. Makes for a potential mess for things like Amazon and other big box retailers that sell lots of different kinds of goods.

Some online retailers already have software in place that asks for you to specify your location and I presume this is the reason that's being done. Somewhere I've shopped online recently asked whether the address being shipped to was inside or outs the parish (a.k.a county).

Now you've got me curious. I wonder how things are handled if I'm physically in Louisiana, order something from a company in Utah, for example, but ship it so someone in Texas, Now three localities are involved and we haven't even addressed what happens if one of these stops is an international address. and of course each location is going to want its share of the revenue.
 
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krs


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Now you've got me curious. P wonder how things are handled if I'm physically in Louisiana, order something from a company in Utah, for example, but ship it so someone in Texas, Now three localities are involved and we haven't even addressed what happens if one of these stops is an international address. and of course each location is going to want its share of the revenue.
I was wondering about that as well.
I think in Canada one pays the sales tax of the destination province - at least it used to be like that.
So the source location and the payee's location get nothing if they are different.

But in practice most consumers just pay what is shown on the invoice and don't question it any further.
 

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Therein lies the problem posed by online sales. In brick and mortar retail the solution is simple. The taxes I pay are based upon the point of purchase because I generally had to travel to the store to get the goods I purchased. The advent of such things as cross country shipping, mail/phone orders, and later online shipping has changed that picture/thinking.

When I first started ordering computer parts by mail order not many people were complaining about the problems this caused for traditional retailers because many people were not that close to a bona fide computer store. Besides, the long delivery times often encouraged the more impatient among us to make the additional drive to the store rather than wait a week or so for delivery. All of that has of course changed now.
 

chscag

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I think in Canada one pays the sales tax of the destination province - at least it used to be like that.
It works pretty much the same way here in the US. However, as you pointed out above, it's quite a bit more complicated since we have 50 states all with different tax laws. There are some states that have no sales tax (see above) but it seems to me that it is going to be a bookkeeping nightmare for most on line sellers.

Of course the large corporations have everything automated and lots of personnel to handle those things, but I really feel for the small guys.

What we haven't thought about is the increased cost of doing business on line now that this new law has been implemented. I suspect it will mean that cost will be passed on to you and me, the consumer.
 

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For the REALLY small guys, there is a $30,000.- sales threshold in Canada.
If one runs a small business and the sales per year do not exceed $30K, then one does not have to get a sales tax registration number and one neither collects nor submits any sales taxes to the government.
 

Slydude

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Part of the public justification for this has been that it encourages people to shop locally thus generating money for local economies. As usual you've hit on the flaw in that logic Charlie.
 
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is this company amazon?
I like this law, lots of stores shut down because their customers purchased items online instead while shopping at these store.
well not being a pompous person, i try to buy locally with people i know, which gets harder by the year and avoid anything made in China.
the only item i have my sights on is a larger SSD for my renewed macBook Air which turns 10 calendar years in a couple of hours.
With today's economy in the US, where most people live "from-paycheck-to-paycheck", the 20 - 30% lower prices online plays a role in diminishing the number of brick & mortar stores. When "53 million Americans between the ages of 18 to 64—accounting for 44% of all workers—qualify as low-wage", 20 - 30% saving on merchandise certainly helps in going with online merchants. The brick & mortar stores' lack of selection also plays a role, at least for me...

I've been building PC since the Windows 3.0 times, initially, started with local suppliers. As parts availability dwindled, started to use eBay initially, then NewEgg online and Amazon. Yes, there's a Best Buy close to me, but... Why would I pay $50 more for the very same Samsung 970 EVO SSD 1TB - M.2 NVMe? Not to mention that Best Buy does not have the Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe PCIe, same performance as the Samsung, but Amazon does have it and saves me close to $100. I install two of the M.2 drive, that saves me $200 vs choosing Samsung, to use it for better video card, memory, etc. It's all about return on investment...

Yes, I have Prime with Amazon, like the selection and the two days free shipping. Some of orders comes from an in-state Amazon warehouse that arrives on the next day. Alternatively, I could just drive up to pick up my order, but never done that. I had been paying state taxes for my orders for years; this new federal law does not change anything for me...
 
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