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[SCOTUS] : Back in black robes - new judicial session has begun

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Posts

  • SurfpossumSurfpossum A nonentity trying to preserve the anonymity he so richly deserves.Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    This is very much not a commentary on the ruling, just some (anecdotal) contextual info:
    So my personal situation is that I decided to get a business license because I want to pay taxes and stuff. My fiancee and I make arts and crafts and have sold, like, half a dozen things so far. I'm trying to run it myself using PayPal instead of Etsy or stuff like that.

    Figuring out what taxes to pay and when and to whom is pretty dang hard, but luckily there are government people who will help walk you through stuff.

    It will be super annoying to have to do that for a variety of states. I'll manage, since I can just make the appropriate phone calls as needed, but for any "real" small business I think this will probably have at least an initial financial impact, since it seems very much nontrivial just to work out what, eg, tax categories your products fall under any given state's tax code.

    I do not think this ruling is a bad thing, but I'd be very happy if figuring out what taxes you need to pay was much easier.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    They aren’t threatening your livelihood. They’re requiring you to do the same thing everyone else does who sells in the state.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Mill wrote: »
    Overall, the ruling that close the online retailer loophole is a good thing.

    It's a bit ironic to see someone bemoaning how that increases costs on an online retailer, while ignoring how that gave said online retailer an unfair advantage over local businesses that cannot weasel their way out of the sales tax. Chances are pretty good that all online retailers will continue to be cheaper than brick and mortar retailers, but they won't be able to bank on ignoring state sales taxes as part of why they can be cheaper.

    Not to mention by not paying those sales taxes, those online retailer and their consumers get a partial free ride on state infrastructure that was used to ship the product. Every product still has to go down state roads, which means wear and tear that will eventually need to be repaired. I'd need to do further digging, but I'm sure there are a few other areas that are funded in part or wholly by state money and not federal money that some of these goods need to travel through. The removal of the loophole means states will get more revenue and some of that is likely to go into infrastructure because good lord is some of the infrastructure in urgent need of repair or straight up upgrades to accommodate current needs.

    Yes, sales taxes are shitty flat taxes and that hit the non-rich hardest, but letting online retailers skirt around neither fixed the problem with flat taxes and in fact just created new problems. I'd also argue if no one can skirt around the sales tax, it make sit easier to make push for a better approach, whereas the status quo made it easier for many to ignore the problem.

    None of this connects in the slightest. It is the citizens of the State in question who are dodging tax and using their own infrastructure without paying for it.

    The businesses are now able to be coerced into doing the work of collecting the tax now, regardless of where the purchase and the business and the storefront and the merchandise are located (or not located, as in the case of digital downloads), but the tax regime has remained the same.

    The removal of the "loophole" (lol), i.e. the states gaining the ability to coerce businesses over which they have literally no other jurisdiction whatever into collecting tax for them, will raise somewhere between 8 and 33 billion in new revenue, all of which (plus more for overhead and liability and on and on) will appear in the form of higher prices paid by poorer people.

    This is not a good thing.

    It was a loophole. The states were already owed the sales tax. It was just supposed to be voluntarily reported and paid by buyers. Which is laughable, as the vast majority definitely didn't know.

    So throw your citizens in jail instead of chasing me down a thousand miles away to try and squeeze out what your residents wouldn't cop to. It's a farce.

    Yes. Go and chase down 99.9% of people buying things online for not paying maybe $50 each, average, or something. This is surely economical and won't bankrupt the state to try.

    There's a reason sales tax is collected at retailers.

    (the reason is that it's easier to coerce a business into doing the State's tax job by threatening their livelihood)

    Yeah, pretty sure it's also much easier to collect from fewer individuals. Additionally the retailer will, generally, already be keeping detailed logs of sales from which taxes are easily derived. The average buyer literally doesn't have the records to know what they would owe, and it's a much larger burden to tell them they have to keep those records than to have the store add another column to their existing ones.

    Stores already have accountants on staff (or somebody filling that role). Individuals do not.

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  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Mill wrote: »
    Overall, the ruling that close the online retailer loophole is a good thing.

    It's a bit ironic to see someone bemoaning how that increases costs on an online retailer, while ignoring how that gave said online retailer an unfair advantage over local businesses that cannot weasel their way out of the sales tax. Chances are pretty good that all online retailers will continue to be cheaper than brick and mortar retailers, but they won't be able to bank on ignoring state sales taxes as part of why they can be cheaper.

    Not to mention by not paying those sales taxes, those online retailer and their consumers get a partial free ride on state infrastructure that was used to ship the product. Every product still has to go down state roads, which means wear and tear that will eventually need to be repaired. I'd need to do further digging, but I'm sure there are a few other areas that are funded in part or wholly by state money and not federal money that some of these goods need to travel through. The removal of the loophole means states will get more revenue and some of that is likely to go into infrastructure because good lord is some of the infrastructure in urgent need of repair or straight up upgrades to accommodate current needs.

    Yes, sales taxes are shitty flat taxes and that hit the non-rich hardest, but letting online retailers skirt around neither fixed the problem with flat taxes and in fact just created new problems. I'd also argue if no one can skirt around the sales tax, it make sit easier to make push for a better approach, whereas the status quo made it easier for many to ignore the problem.

    None of this connects in the slightest. It is the citizens of the State in question who are dodging tax and using their own infrastructure without paying for it.

    The businesses are now able to be coerced into doing the work of collecting the tax now, regardless of where the purchase and the business and the storefront and the merchandise are located (or not located, as in the case of digital downloads), but the tax regime has remained the same.

    The removal of the "loophole" (lol), i.e. the states gaining the ability to coerce businesses over which they have literally no other jurisdiction whatever into collecting tax for them, will raise somewhere between 8 and 33 billion in new revenue, all of which (plus more for overhead and liability and on and on) will appear in the form of higher prices paid by poorer people.

    This is not a good thing.

    It was a loophole. The states were already owed the sales tax. It was just supposed to be voluntarily reported and paid by buyers. Which is laughable, as the vast majority definitely didn't know.

    So throw your citizens in jail instead of chasing me down a thousand miles away to try and squeeze out what your residents wouldn't cop to. It's a farce.

    Yes. Go and chase down 99.9% of people buying things online for not paying maybe $50 each, average, or something. This is surely economical and won't bankrupt the state to try.

    There's a reason sales tax is collected at retailers.

    (the reason is that it's easier to coerce a business into doing the State's tax job by threatening their livelihood)

    Yeah, pretty sure it's also much easier to collect from fewer individuals. Additionally the retailer will, generally, already be keeping detailed logs of sales from which taxes are easily derived. The average buyer literally doesn't have the records to know what they would owe, and it's a much larger burden to tell them they have to keep those records than to have the store add another column to their existing ones.

    Stores already have accountants on staff (or somebody filling that role). Individuals do not.

    Unless it's the case that it's an individual operating a store.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    spool32 wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Mill wrote: »
    Overall, the ruling that close the online retailer loophole is a good thing.

    It's a bit ironic to see someone bemoaning how that increases costs on an online retailer, while ignoring how that gave said online retailer an unfair advantage over local businesses that cannot weasel their way out of the sales tax. Chances are pretty good that all online retailers will continue to be cheaper than brick and mortar retailers, but they won't be able to bank on ignoring state sales taxes as part of why they can be cheaper.

    Not to mention by not paying those sales taxes, those online retailer and their consumers get a partial free ride on state infrastructure that was used to ship the product. Every product still has to go down state roads, which means wear and tear that will eventually need to be repaired. I'd need to do further digging, but I'm sure there are a few other areas that are funded in part or wholly by state money and not federal money that some of these goods need to travel through. The removal of the loophole means states will get more revenue and some of that is likely to go into infrastructure because good lord is some of the infrastructure in urgent need of repair or straight up upgrades to accommodate current needs.

    Yes, sales taxes are shitty flat taxes and that hit the non-rich hardest, but letting online retailers skirt around neither fixed the problem with flat taxes and in fact just created new problems. I'd also argue if no one can skirt around the sales tax, it make sit easier to make push for a better approach, whereas the status quo made it easier for many to ignore the problem.

    None of this connects in the slightest. It is the citizens of the State in question who are dodging tax and using their own infrastructure without paying for it.

    The businesses are now able to be coerced into doing the work of collecting the tax now, regardless of where the purchase and the business and the storefront and the merchandise are located (or not located, as in the case of digital downloads), but the tax regime has remained the same.

    The removal of the "loophole" (lol), i.e. the states gaining the ability to coerce businesses over which they have literally no other jurisdiction whatever into collecting tax for them, will raise somewhere between 8 and 33 billion in new revenue, all of which (plus more for overhead and liability and on and on) will appear in the form of higher prices paid by poorer people.

    This is not a good thing.

    It was a loophole. The states were already owed the sales tax. It was just supposed to be voluntarily reported and paid by buyers. Which is laughable, as the vast majority definitely didn't know.

    So throw your citizens in jail instead of chasing me down a thousand miles away to try and squeeze out what your residents wouldn't cop to. It's a farce.

    Or you could charge sales tax at the point of sale like literally every other transaction I undertake.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    Also, there is no requirement for states that do not currently collect sales tax on online sales to begin doing so. Constituents are free to lobby their legislature to not seize this opportunity for increasing revenue. It’s that legislative solution you’re always encouraging us to take advantage of on other issues.

    I think you're right. It needs a legislative solution banning the collection of sales tax for online orders.

    Fat fucking chance of that ever happening. Instead we'll just shit up the economy until everybody forgets that stuff was 10% cheaper back in 2018 and never really recover from it.

    Except it wasn't cheaper, people just didn't pay tax and the money had to come out of somewhere else.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    They’re selling goods in the states. To residents of the states. Who pay sales tax for most purchases in states that have sales tax. Carving out an exception (which is the definition of a loophole lol) for internet sales gives an unfair advantage to those retailers, and costs the states much-needed revenue.

    If your state doesn’t collect sales tax, you don’t have to worry about this either way.

    That's partly wrong, because there are a dozen states who levy origin taxes and you'll have to pay it if you buy from a business located there.

    It's also wrong because at least in some cases, they aren't selling the goods in the states.

    Where does an online transaction take place? Not on the buyer's computer. Not on the seller's web portal.

    Does your website have gold fringe?

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  • knitdanknitdan Oh no Too much hornyRegistered User regular
    By your argument, there shouldn’t be any state regulation of the internet. After all, it all exists somewhere in the magical aether. Is that your position?

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    knitdan wrote: »
    They’re selling goods in the states. To residents of the states. Who pay sales tax for most purchases in states that have sales tax. Carving out an exception (which is the definition of a loophole lol) for internet sales gives an unfair advantage to those retailers, and costs the states much-needed revenue.

    If your state doesn’t collect sales tax, you don’t have to worry about this either way.

    That's partly wrong, because there are a dozen states who levy origin taxes and you'll have to pay it if you buy from a business located there.

    It's also wrong because at least in some cases, they aren't selling the goods in the states.

    Where does an online transaction take place? Not on the buyer's computer. Not on the seller's web portal.

    Does your website have gold fringe?

    Now that's a low blow, lol. But seriously, if you're going to make them act like brick and mortar retailers, you can't expect them to just take a best guess and unfairly levy taxes on people using "ehh, close enough" as your guiding principle.

    All the solutions are approximations and assumptions. The buyer's billing address and shipping address are best guesses. Neither are necessarily the location where either the buyer, seller, or involved servers are located, and the item itself doesn't have tangible existence in the physical world.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    By your argument, there shouldn’t be any state regulation of the internet. After all, it all exists somewhere in the magical aether. Is that your position?

    That's a bit broad but yeah, basically. Yes.

    NSDFRand
  • MillMill Registered User regular
    The other thing to keep in mind, exploiting the loop whole only benefited those that are able to absorb the costs.

    Plenty of people that might have access to a secure computer or phone, but can't arrange their day so they can either be at home to ensure their package doesn't walk or drive to an out of the way location to pick up their online stuff.
    Plenty of people that don't have access a secure computer or phone to access the internet. So their only recourse is to deal with retailers, where they pay the sales taxes.

    The guy on a 23K income, that would get mostly hosed by the regressive sales tax model, isn't going to care about fixing it when he can bypass via loophole. Closing the loophole opens the door to a saner approach because yes, the sales tax is regressive, but we also have to figure out what's a fair amount that gets chipped in for infrastructure use and at what income level we start collecting some or all of it.

  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2018
    Spool your argument ,as I understand it,seems to hinge around two major points:
    1. It's unfair that states can require businesses not physically located in the state to collect and remit taxes on business done in the state.
    2. And, hey, how do they know for sure that this buyer is really in the state.

    For 1, I have a couple of rebuttals. In the general case you are required to comply with out of state laws when selling out of state. If you ship alcohol or guns to State A from State B you better believe you need to comply with all of State A's gun/alchohol shipment regulations even if you have no physical presence in State A. And those requirements might be the same kind of proactive steps on the seller side, like registering yourself and keeping track of shipments and reporting them. Are these laws bad? If not, why should regulations on collecting and remitting tax be any different from other regulations?
    Also where do we draw the line? The original standard of needing a physical presence in-state was set in a time where it was a compromise and I think an acknowledgement of the moderately low volume of online purchasing and difficulty at the time of collecting and processing that tax information. Today online purchasing is a much larger sector and maintaining tax compliance, even across all 50 states, has never been easier. So it's time to redraw the line. Laws should be updated to reflect changing realities of technology and society. Under the old system you were already paying tax on all your Amazon shipments because they had warehouses in the state.
    Like the old system seems pretty arbitrary!
    TX based co -> TX address: tax
    OK based co -> that company's delivery truck -> TX address: tax
    OK based co -> "separate subsidiary compay" delivery truck -> TX address: tax (I think?)
    OK based co -> "legally distinct but totally in cahoots company" delivery truck -> TX address: no tax
    OK based co -> "legitimate hired third party" delivery truck -> TX address: no tax
    I don't think it's fair to say the Oklahoma company isn't doing business in Texas in any of the scenarios. Even in the legitimate scenario the Oklahoma company is the one buying the shipping service and sending things to Texas.

    For 2, I agree with you that, especially with digital only purchases, it can be difficult to say what jurisdiction a given transaction belongs to. But leave even shipments side, we already barely care about misplaced sales taxes in person. Every time you go to some other state and make a purchase you're paying sales taxes you're not obligated to pay, but try and get a retailer (outside of specially retailers in tourist areas) to not collect the tax and they'll give you a confused stare. You usually have some means of claiming these misplaced taxes with one or both states but nobody bothers unless it's a very large sum. Let's not even get into the concept of 'state residency' which is not rigorously defined in any real way. But overall people just go with the point of sale location being close enough. And the few misplaced sales come out in the wash. For physical shipments delivery address is a perfectly fine way to determine locale. Again, compare to physical sales, we don't really care if it's going across state lines or something right after it's bought, we just charge where the sale takes place. For digital its harder but we can't just say it takes place nowhere, they're not sovereign citizen transactions. Going with billing address is about as good as you can get, it is a tax on the buyer after all so what else can you do but take their word on where they're from.

    Ok I'm sleepy and going cross-eyed luv u spool gnight.

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  • FoefallerFoefaller Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Foefaller wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    I don't think it's "pollyanna shit" to explore why your strong reaction may not be fully warranted.

    Yes, this will effect online businesses, I don't think anyone is denying that.

    That it will crush small businesses and retard innovation, for example, I think is a stretch.

    The online market would not have grown as it had without Quill. Now that it's gone, some of that revenue must go to compliance instead of innovation. Either that, or we get ready for as much as $33 billion in price increases for the tax alone, not to mention the overhead of collecting and remitting it.

    Okay, I don't agree that you've proven your premise here at all, but suppose you're correct - do you think it was fair or equitable to the states with sales tax that these companies, including very large national retailers, could so effectively avoid paying sales tax? Do you think it was appropriate, and still is, to expect states to go after every consumer in their state that bought something online and did not report it and pay the appropriate tax?

    If the market is predicated on tax loopholes and avoiding touching a state even though you absolutely do business there, I feel like I'm okay with the market being corrected.

    P.S. I live in a state with income tax, and no sales tax. So I'm already living the dream I guess.

    Well, I think your question is flawed because the companies don't pay the tax. They're just forced to collect the tax for the state, then remit it to them. The consumer is paying the tax.

    Let's look an example of this that really highlights how wrong this is: steam games.

    So, do I think it's fair for a state government to force a company that has no presence in that state, and consumer that may or may not be in that state, using systems and software that may exist in neither the buyers state nor the seller's, and perhaps not even in the country at all, to collect tax because the zipcode on the address associated with the card used to purchase the data falls within their border?

    Nope.

    Well everyone in the world could pay Washington Sales tax. Would that be a better option?

    Spoiler alert: not for you.

    Some states generate revenue by taxing sales. Its a shit way to raise revenue but they do. Because of this, states which tax sales need to be able to well... tax sales. If sales that are digital or shipped in are exempted then states cannot raise revenues via sales taxes. The downside is that, for some things, consumers which are in a different state at time of purchase may be taxed as if they reside where their credit card is. Well too bad. If they move or are on vacation they should consider getting pre-paid options so as to not have to pay taxes when making said purchases*

    *though since they're probably going back to that state with the digital good it could also be a tax dodge to do so.

    The problem with his argument is that none of these sales have ever been exempted from the tax. It's the companies which have been exempted from the burden of collecting the tax.

    So now, because someone in Washington bought a widget from Spool Industries Online of Texas, I have to do the State of Washington's job even if I'm not even shipping anything to Washington!

    That's kind of bullshit.

    ok but

    nobody made Spool Industries offer sales to Washington

    the law in question (and presumably others that follow it) would totally exempt you if it's just the one! It didn't kick in until $100k or 200 transactions

    also, from a realist perspective, if states start setting the minimums too low, low volume retailers will just ignore it
    WA state's not gonna come after Spool Industries for failing to collect $40 in taxes, the same way they don't go after their own citizen for failing to report their out-of-state purchases (unless they're very large like a car or something)

    That I might slip by unnoticed is no argument for whether I should be liable.

    But yeah I guess I could somehow discover and block all Washingtonians from my storefront.

    And we are back to adversely impacting the online market and harming consumers.

    I can't buy fireworks in the State of Illinois. This ban adversely impacts consumers and harms online retail. Should States no longer be allowed to regulate explosives?

    It's not a good analogy, because there is a notable difference between the legality of selling an item within a state border, and the requirement to collect taxation on behalf of a state because parts of a legal transaction happened on a device located there.

    The sales tax law that this case was about states that it is for the sale of items that are shipped to an address within that state.

    Not where the device used to make the order was.

    Not where the billing address of the form of payment used is.

    But the shipping address, nothing else. Until we get states trying to tax things based on the above...

    Every digital-delivery software transaction in the nation fits the description that strikes you as so unlikely.

    Is the digital item being shipped?

    If not, it is not taxed.

    I mean, I assume that's the fair reading of the law, seeing as how AFAIK neither Valve or the ESA weighed in on it.

    You're falling into a slippery slope fallacy spool, panicking about things that have not happened (nor have been suggested in any state legislative I know of) yet.

    steam_sig.png
  • ViskodViskod Registered User regular
    When I buy a digital game in psn, I pay TN sales tax. Same for the Switch eShop. Why should steam be different?

    When I send a truck out to deliver something into GA or AL, we have to charge GA and AL sales tax. GAs varies by county.

    And all of our book keeping is still done by hand in double entry ledgers.

    It hasn’t ever been an issue.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Foefaller wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Foefaller wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    I don't think it's "pollyanna shit" to explore why your strong reaction may not be fully warranted.

    Yes, this will effect online businesses, I don't think anyone is denying that.

    That it will crush small businesses and retard innovation, for example, I think is a stretch.

    The online market would not have grown as it had without Quill. Now that it's gone, some of that revenue must go to compliance instead of innovation. Either that, or we get ready for as much as $33 billion in price increases for the tax alone, not to mention the overhead of collecting and remitting it.

    Okay, I don't agree that you've proven your premise here at all, but suppose you're correct - do you think it was fair or equitable to the states with sales tax that these companies, including very large national retailers, could so effectively avoid paying sales tax? Do you think it was appropriate, and still is, to expect states to go after every consumer in their state that bought something online and did not report it and pay the appropriate tax?

    If the market is predicated on tax loopholes and avoiding touching a state even though you absolutely do business there, I feel like I'm okay with the market being corrected.

    P.S. I live in a state with income tax, and no sales tax. So I'm already living the dream I guess.

    Well, I think your question is flawed because the companies don't pay the tax. They're just forced to collect the tax for the state, then remit it to them. The consumer is paying the tax.

    Let's look an example of this that really highlights how wrong this is: steam games.

    So, do I think it's fair for a state government to force a company that has no presence in that state, and consumer that may or may not be in that state, using systems and software that may exist in neither the buyers state nor the seller's, and perhaps not even in the country at all, to collect tax because the zipcode on the address associated with the card used to purchase the data falls within their border?

    Nope.

    Well everyone in the world could pay Washington Sales tax. Would that be a better option?

    Spoiler alert: not for you.

    Some states generate revenue by taxing sales. Its a shit way to raise revenue but they do. Because of this, states which tax sales need to be able to well... tax sales. If sales that are digital or shipped in are exempted then states cannot raise revenues via sales taxes. The downside is that, for some things, consumers which are in a different state at time of purchase may be taxed as if they reside where their credit card is. Well too bad. If they move or are on vacation they should consider getting pre-paid options so as to not have to pay taxes when making said purchases*

    *though since they're probably going back to that state with the digital good it could also be a tax dodge to do so.

    The problem with his argument is that none of these sales have ever been exempted from the tax. It's the companies which have been exempted from the burden of collecting the tax.

    So now, because someone in Washington bought a widget from Spool Industries Online of Texas, I have to do the State of Washington's job even if I'm not even shipping anything to Washington!

    That's kind of bullshit.

    ok but

    nobody made Spool Industries offer sales to Washington

    the law in question (and presumably others that follow it) would totally exempt you if it's just the one! It didn't kick in until $100k or 200 transactions

    also, from a realist perspective, if states start setting the minimums too low, low volume retailers will just ignore it
    WA state's not gonna come after Spool Industries for failing to collect $40 in taxes, the same way they don't go after their own citizen for failing to report their out-of-state purchases (unless they're very large like a car or something)

    That I might slip by unnoticed is no argument for whether I should be liable.

    But yeah I guess I could somehow discover and block all Washingtonians from my storefront.

    And we are back to adversely impacting the online market and harming consumers.

    I can't buy fireworks in the State of Illinois. This ban adversely impacts consumers and harms online retail. Should States no longer be allowed to regulate explosives?

    It's not a good analogy, because there is a notable difference between the legality of selling an item within a state border, and the requirement to collect taxation on behalf of a state because parts of a legal transaction happened on a device located there.

    The sales tax law that this case was about states that it is for the sale of items that are shipped to an address within that state.

    Not where the device used to make the order was.

    Not where the billing address of the form of payment used is.

    But the shipping address, nothing else. Until we get states trying to tax things based on the above...

    Every digital-delivery software transaction in the nation fits the description that strikes you as so unlikely.

    Is the digital item being shipped?

    If not, it is not taxed.

    I mean, I assume that's the fair reading of the law, seeing as how AFAIK neither Valve or the ESA weighed in on it.

    You're falling into a slippery slope fallacy spool, panicking about things that have not happened (nor have been suggested in any state legislative I know of) yet.

    Digital-only goods currently are subject to some form of sales tax in 23 states.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    One of the more common rules is that you have to charge sales tax for a digital version if a physical version is available for sale in the state. So if you are selling a license to use a program based on a contract to which you must agree, you don't have to charge sales tax if you deliver it via cloud storage or streamed transfer. However, if you could deliver it via physical media you have to charge tax as though you did, even if you don't, and even if you never transfer it via any method at all, and even though you aren't actually selling an item in any case - just a license to use it.

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  • MorganVMorganV Registered User regular
    *chews*

    Waiter! There's too much sales tax consequence in my SCOTUS ruling soup!

    And as a frequent visitor to several states each year, (Cali, Georgia, Tennessee and Indiana this year), and coming from a country that has a permanent sales tax, I gotta say that not having tax built into to the cost of stuff just comes across as stupid as hell (I'm not refering to interstate commerce in this instance, but physical purchases at a register).

    When I pay tax at home, it's built into the cost. So a $9.99 item is ~$9.08 item with 90.8c tax included. There's no cash register annoyance of having to find loose change because what I thought I could pay with a $10 or $20 bill is more than that once tax gets included. Made worse by my hatred of carrying loose change to begin with.

    JUST MAKE IT "$X (inc tax)" AND LET ME NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT!

    Sorry, rant over.

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  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    Well.
    When Aus introduced sales tax on all Australian-imported goods from online stores, Amazon's response was to restrict Australians to the .au store dramatically lowering the amount of product lines available to Au Amazon shoppers.

    If Amazon thought it untenable to change for only one region, I don't doubt Spool's argument that it will untenable for internet startups to do it for many regions.

    But yeah, ideally we'd only have one sales tax policy multinationally so that physical stores aren't disadvantaged.

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  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Businesses are not supposed to be above the law, they are under the jurisdiction of the IRS. Always have been. You want to do business in America, you pay tax. Not paying tax they're legally obligated to is breaking the law.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    Businesses are not supposed to be above the law, they are under the jurisdiction of the IRS. Always have been. You want to do business in America, you pay tax. Not paying tax they're legally obligated to is breaking the law.

    and again, they aren't paying the tax. They're collecting the tax for you, the public, who have to pay the tax. They're clearly breaking the law by not doing it, but the law in this case is States and localities saying "we've made a complicated and hard to enforce tax system, and if you don't enforce it for us we'll close your business".

    spool32 on
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    MorganV wrote: »
    *chews*

    Waiter! There's too much sales tax consequence in my SCOTUS ruling soup!

    And as a frequent visitor to several states each year, (Cali, Georgia, Tennessee and Indiana this year), and coming from a country that has a permanent sales tax, I gotta say that not having tax built into to the cost of stuff just comes across as stupid as hell (I'm not refering to interstate commerce in this instance, but physical purchases at a register).

    When I pay tax at home, it's built into the cost. So a $9.99 item is ~$9.08 item with 90.8c tax included. There's no cash register annoyance of having to find loose change because what I thought I could pay with a $10 or $20 bill is more than that once tax gets included. Made worse by my hatred of carrying loose change to begin with.

    JUST MAKE IT "$X (inc tax)" AND LET ME NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT!

    Sorry, rant over.

    Yeah, this would be better, but Americans have no appetite for it, and Republicans would throw a fit because it removes a constant visual reminder of taxes making things cost more.

    The truly ideal solution would be to abolish all consumption/use taxes and put in an actually useful progressive income+property tax regime, but lol that's not happening.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    a5ehren wrote: »
    MorganV wrote: »
    *chews*

    Waiter! There's too much sales tax consequence in my SCOTUS ruling soup!

    And as a frequent visitor to several states each year, (Cali, Georgia, Tennessee and Indiana this year), and coming from a country that has a permanent sales tax, I gotta say that not having tax built into to the cost of stuff just comes across as stupid as hell (I'm not refering to interstate commerce in this instance, but physical purchases at a register).

    When I pay tax at home, it's built into the cost. So a $9.99 item is ~$9.08 item with 90.8c tax included. There's no cash register annoyance of having to find loose change because what I thought I could pay with a $10 or $20 bill is more than that once tax gets included. Made worse by my hatred of carrying loose change to begin with.

    JUST MAKE IT "$X (inc tax)" AND LET ME NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT!

    Sorry, rant over.

    Yeah, this would be better, but Americans have no appetite for it, and Republicans would throw a fit because it removes a constant visual reminder of taxes making things cost more.

    The truly ideal solution would be to abolish all consumption/use taxes and put in an actually useful progressive income+property tax regime, but lol that's not happening.

    Yeah, all of this is part of why I'm a Georgist, but that isn't really a relevant solution nor part of the ruling.

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  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular


    "#SCOTUS holds 5-4 that police need a warrant to get location information from cellphone tower sites"

    SCOTUSblog is a blog about the Supreme Court.

    Apparently the 4th Amendment still exists a little bit!

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  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2018
    The 5 were Roberts + the Liberals, by the way. Kennedy + the Conservatives filed 4 different dissents that I have not read yet.

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    I was just coming to post that!

    Slightly surprising there but I'll take it.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    On the other hand, they made a 5-4 ruling that's delightfully Kafka-esque against defendents.

    If you're found not guilty in one trial, that doesn't prevent you being found guilty on other charges in a separate trial, even when the charge you were found not guilty on precludes the other charges.

    The defendent was found guilty of theft despite being not guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The alleged theft included the firearm. He had argued that because he had been found not guilty of possessing a firearm he couldn't then be tried with its theft under double jeopardy.

    The ruling was 5-4 on standard ideological lines.

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  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Businesses are not supposed to be above the law, they are under the jurisdiction of the IRS. Always have been. You want to do business in America, you pay tax. Not paying tax they're legally obligated to is breaking the law.

    and again, they aren't paying the tax. They're collecting the tax for you, the public, who have to pay the tax. They're clearly breaking the law by not doing it, but the law in this case is States and localities saying "we've made a complicated and hard to enforce tax system, and if you don't enforce it for us we'll close your business".

    Indeed, because wealthy individuals and big businesses love to use their influence on how taxes are made to make it easier for them to skip out of their responsibilities so the system has to counter them. Same reason why its harder to enforce, the very same people want a weak IRS and as little safeguards as possible built in. That's why I'm not against the government forcing them to fill in the gaps since America requires a functioning tax system to thrive. That is within the government's purview to do so, companies aren't and shouldn't be out of bounds of their jurisdiction.

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    On the other hand, they made a 5-4 ruling that's delightfully Kafka-esque against defendents.

    If you're found not guilty in one trial, that doesn't prevent you being found guilty on other charges in a separate trial, even when the charge you were found not guilty on precludes the other charges.

    The defendent was found guilty of theft despite being not guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The alleged theft included the firearm. He had argued that because he had been found not guilty of possessing a firearm he couldn't then be tried with its theft under double jeopardy.

    The ruling was 5-4 on standard ideological lines.

    The big thing was he agreed to be tried sequentially for the crimes, which is how this isn't a double jeopardy violation.

    Which feels like it should immediately lead to a solid appeal based on inadequate consul except nobody could have known how horrible a decision that was at the time.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    On the other hand, they made a 5-4 ruling that's delightfully Kafka-esque against defendents.

    If you're found not guilty in one trial, that doesn't prevent you being found guilty on other charges in a separate trial, even when the charge you were found not guilty on precludes the other charges.

    The defendent was found guilty of theft despite being not guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The alleged theft included the firearm. He had argued that because he had been found not guilty of possessing a firearm he couldn't then be tried with its theft under double jeopardy.

    The ruling was 5-4 on standard ideological lines.

    The big thing was he agreed to be tried sequentially for the crimes, which is how this isn't a double jeopardy violation.

    Which feels like it should immediately lead to a solid appeal based on inadequate consul except nobody could have known how horrible a decision that was at the time.

    Well, part of it is that the offer to try them separately is because otherwise the jury gets told he's a convicted felon as part of the first charge. Normally that's not allowed for obvious reasons.

    So it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

    At a minimum, the latter trial should allow him to introduce "was not in possession of the firearm" as evidence in his favor (simple stating that the evidence indicate he wasn't, nothing about the felon part) that the prosecution can't dispute.

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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    On the other hand, they made a 5-4 ruling that's delightfully Kafka-esque against defendents.

    If you're found not guilty in one trial, that doesn't prevent you being found guilty on other charges in a separate trial, even when the charge you were found not guilty on precludes the other charges.

    The defendent was found guilty of theft despite being not guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The alleged theft included the firearm. He had argued that because he had been found not guilty of possessing a firearm he couldn't then be tried with its theft under double jeopardy.

    The ruling was 5-4 on standard ideological lines.

    The big thing was he agreed to be tried sequentially for the crimes, which is how this isn't a double jeopardy violation.

    Which feels like it should immediately lead to a solid appeal based on inadequate consul except nobody could have known how horrible a decision that was at the time.

    Well, part of it is that the offer to try them separately is because otherwise the jury gets told he's a convicted felon as part of the first charge. Normally that's not allowed for obvious reasons.

    So it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

    At a minimum, the latter trial should allow him to introduce "was not in possession of the firearm" as evidence in his favor (simple stating that the evidence indicate he wasn't, nothing about the felon part) that the prosecution can't dispute.

    Is an acquittal actually affirmative evidence of anything? I would think the evidentiary value of there being "a reasonable doubt you didn't possess a firearm" would not amount to "demonstrably did not possess a firearm" such that the state couldn't claim he did.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Polaritie wrote: »
    Polaritie wrote: »
    On the other hand, they made a 5-4 ruling that's delightfully Kafka-esque against defendents.

    If you're found not guilty in one trial, that doesn't prevent you being found guilty on other charges in a separate trial, even when the charge you were found not guilty on precludes the other charges.

    The defendent was found guilty of theft despite being not guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The alleged theft included the firearm. He had argued that because he had been found not guilty of possessing a firearm he couldn't then be tried with its theft under double jeopardy.

    The ruling was 5-4 on standard ideological lines.

    The big thing was he agreed to be tried sequentially for the crimes, which is how this isn't a double jeopardy violation.

    Which feels like it should immediately lead to a solid appeal based on inadequate consul except nobody could have known how horrible a decision that was at the time.

    Well, part of it is that the offer to try them separately is because otherwise the jury gets told he's a convicted felon as part of the first charge. Normally that's not allowed for obvious reasons.

    So it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

    At a minimum, the latter trial should allow him to introduce "was not in possession of the firearm" as evidence in his favor (simple stating that the evidence indicate he wasn't, nothing about the felon part) that the prosecution can't dispute.

    Is an acquittal actually affirmative evidence of anything? I would think the evidentiary value of there being "a reasonable doubt you didn't possess a firearm" would not amount to "demonstrably did not possess a firearm" such that the state couldn't claim he did.

    You'd think so but apparently SCOTUS disagrees. Then again we've also has judges that went "provable innocence is not a defense" so I dunno.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Businesses are not supposed to be above the law, they are under the jurisdiction of the IRS. Always have been. You want to do business in America, you pay tax. Not paying tax they're legally obligated to is breaking the law.

    and again, they aren't paying the tax. They're collecting the tax for you, the public, who have to pay the tax. They're clearly breaking the law by not doing it, but the law in this case is States and localities saying "we've made a complicated and hard to enforce tax system, and if you don't enforce it for us we'll close your business".

    You're right, each state should use its own individual laws to make this easier/more clear, but yet again, that isn't a SCOTUS problem.

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  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    It feels like the ruling is saying he has to either waive double jeapordy on those facts or waive the protections that the prosecution can't normally introduce "this is a convicted felon".

    Why should a defendant be forced to waive one of them? Why can't both stand?

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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    a5ehren wrote: »
    The 5 were Roberts + the Liberals, by the way. Kennedy + the Conservatives filed 4 different dissents that I have not read yet.

    I would have expected Gorsuch to rule with the majority here. He's an obvious corporate stooge, but he does seem to have a belief in personal freedom and limits on law enforcement.

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  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    The 5 were Roberts + the Liberals, by the way. Kennedy + the Conservatives filed 4 different dissents that I have not read yet.

    I would have expected Gorsuch to rule with the majority here. He's an obvious corporate stooge, but he does seem to have a belief in personal freedom and limits on law enforcement.

    never expect the conservative wing to do the right thing.

    always expect the opinion that makes no sense under the law.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Businesses are not supposed to be above the law, they are under the jurisdiction of the IRS. Always have been. You want to do business in America, you pay tax. Not paying tax they're legally obligated to is breaking the law.

    and again, they aren't paying the tax. They're collecting the tax for you, the public, who have to pay the tax. They're clearly breaking the law by not doing it, but the law in this case is States and localities saying "we've made a complicated and hard to enforce tax system, and if you don't enforce it for us we'll close your business".
    But it's not that hard to enact, and honestly for 19.99 a month (taxjar) you can have another company automate that shit for you. But in the next year you'll see providers do it themselves and offer it as a value added feature.

  • CururuCururu Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    The 5 were Roberts + the Liberals, by the way. Kennedy + the Conservatives filed 4 different dissents that I have not read yet.

    I would have expected Gorsuch to rule with the majority here. He's an obvious corporate stooge, but he does seem to have a belief in personal freedom and limits on law enforcement.

    Looking at highlights of the decent (so take this with a grain of salt), it looks like the decent is that the majority is not going far enough in securing 4th Amendment protections. He wanted the ruling to be that all of your data stored in the cloud should count as your "papers" as far as the 4th Amendment is concerned.

    From the SCOTUSBlog article:
    But the most interesting separate dissent of the day came from Justice Neil Gorsuch, who specifically agreed with what he described as the majority’s “implicit but unmistakable conclusion that the rationale” for the third-party doctrine is wrong. Gorsuch would scrap both the third-party doctrine and the “reasonable expectation of privacy” test and focus instead on whether someone has a property interest (even if not a complete one) in the records at issue.

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  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited June 2018
    Cururu wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    The 5 were Roberts + the Liberals, by the way. Kennedy + the Conservatives filed 4 different dissents that I have not read yet.

    I would have expected Gorsuch to rule with the majority here. He's an obvious corporate stooge, but he does seem to have a belief in personal freedom and limits on law enforcement.

    Looking at highlights of the decent (so take this with a grain of salt), it looks like the decent is that the majority is not going far enough in securing 4th Amendment protections. He wanted the ruling to be that all of your data stored in the cloud should count as your "papers" as far as the 4th Amendment is concerned.

    From the SCOTUSBlog article:
    But the most interesting separate dissent of the day came from Justice Neil Gorsuch, who specifically agreed with what he described as the majority’s “implicit but unmistakable conclusion that the rationale” for the third-party doctrine is wrong. Gorsuch would scrap both the third-party doctrine and the “reasonable expectation of privacy” test and focus instead on whether someone has a property interest (even if not a complete one) in the records at issue.

    Given all the Gorsuch bashing that occurs in this thread, :+1:


    From the same SCOTUSBlog article:
    Alito filed a lengthy dissent, joined by Thomas, in which he stressed that, as originally understood, the Fourth Amendment would not have applied at all to the methods that law-enforcement officials use to obtain documents.

    Does anybody know if that's actually true, or if it's nonsense originalism?

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  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    Cururu wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    a5ehren wrote: »
    The 5 were Roberts + the Liberals, by the way. Kennedy + the Conservatives filed 4 different dissents that I have not read yet.

    I would have expected Gorsuch to rule with the majority here. He's an obvious corporate stooge, but he does seem to have a belief in personal freedom and limits on law enforcement.

    Looking at highlights of the decent (so take this with a grain of salt), it looks like the decent is that the majority is not going far enough in securing 4th Amendment protections. He wanted the ruling to be that all of your data stored in the cloud should count as your "papers" as far as the 4th Amendment is concerned.

    From the SCOTUSBlog article:
    But the most interesting separate dissent of the day came from Justice Neil Gorsuch, who specifically agreed with what he described as the majority’s “implicit but unmistakable conclusion that the rationale” for the third-party doctrine is wrong. Gorsuch would scrap both the third-party doctrine and the “reasonable expectation of privacy” test and focus instead on whether someone has a property interest (even if not a complete one) in the records at issue.

    Given all the Gorsuch bashing that occurs in this thread, :+1:


    From the same SCOTUSBlog article:
    Alito filed a lengthy dissent, joined by Thomas, in which he stressed that, as originally understood, the Fourth Amendment would not have applied at all to the methods that law-enforcement officials use to obtain documents.

    Does anybody know if that's actually true, or if it's nonsense originalism?

    Well, he does deserve 100% of the bashing he gets, as he is destroying the court more and more every day he is on it. BUT, we are developing a picture of his 'legal theory'. He seems to back the rights of corporations over everything, and to some extent those rights given to the people over the government. His legal theory of the supremacy of rights seems to go...

    Corporations
    People
    The government


    Now, there may be a rank under the government for 'minorities' but we haven't seen him judge on many big voting cases or discrimination cases yet.

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  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »

    From the same SCOTUSBlog article:
    Alito filed a lengthy dissent, joined by Thomas, in which he stressed that, as originally understood, the Fourth Amendment would not have applied at all to the methods that law-enforcement officials use to obtain documents.

    Does anybody know if that's actually true, or if it's nonsense originalism?

    ...I think this is Alito trying to say that literally all electronic communication is not covered by the 4th because they didn't know what that was in 1792.

    Jesus, what a silly goose.

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