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  • iTunes May Be Forced to Charge Local Tax if New Federal Law Passes

    The tax man may be coming for US consumers of digital content and other goods purchased online. US Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) is taking direct aim at the likes of iTunes and Amazon in an effort that could force them to begin collecting local sales tax on all online transactions.

    Durbin, the second longest serving Democrat in the US Senate, isn't dishing many details on the proposal for now. It's believed the measure will be formally introduced sometime next week - you know, after Tax Day comes and goes. Still, the breadth of the anticipated proposal is seemingly in line with the longstanding remarks Durbin and some of his colleagues in Congress have made in recent months regarding online transactions and the process of collecting local taxes. "Why should out-of-state companies that sell their products online have an unfair advantage over Main Street bricks-and-mortar businesses?" Durbin said in February. "Out-of-state companies that aren't paying their fair share of taxes are sticking Illinois residents and businesses with the tab."

    Unfortunately for lawmakers, however, simply passing a bill demanding Apple, Amazon, and others to charge local taxes will not be uncomplicated. With 7,500 different taxing jurisdictions in the United States today, no one has the slightest clue as to how Congress might smoothly implement or mandate such a sweeping overhaul.

    According to CNET, The Direct Marketing Association, which filed suit against the state of Colorado in 2010 to impede a similar law from taking effect, says it will fight Durbin. "You're just giving the states a blank check to make changes without any congressional oversight," says Jerry Cerasale, the DMA's senior vice president for government affairs. "We oppose that...We think that's abrogating the authority of Congress."

    Source: CNET
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iTunes May Be Forced to Charge Local Tax if New Federal Law Passes started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 125 Comments
    1. dmoore0157's Avatar
      dmoore0157 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      1st post? Really? Demonize capitalism? Liberal-egotistical punk? Misspell "their?" (****) Richard Durbin put us in a recession? American ingenuity?

      Wow! How's your tea?

      If you think the people you see on TV have YOUR best interest at heart, just wait. They could care less about you, or me. Power is everything, and power does not have a social conscience. They just want your vote, until it doesn't matter anymore. Wait until Medicare is gutted and your mom can't get health care. Wait until the minimum wage is rolled back and you or your kids are making whatever the companies want to pay them. Wait until unions are completely eviscerated and employers go back to the 12-hour workday and the six-day workweek. To think you are on the side of the angels is your biggest weakness. There are no angels in business, just rich people wanting to get richer. You think it can't happen here. Well, who's going to stop it from happening? The danger is in believing that business is on your side. It's not on anyone's side. It's out for itself.

      Study your history. Read (really read) Adam Smith. Quit throwing buzzwords around like they mean something. What, in the name of all that's holy, does "liberal-egotistical" mean?

      Edit- wait, an argument for flat tax, again? Really? Let's see- you make $300.000 and pay 10%. You have $270,000 left over to buy stuff. Someone else makes $50,000 and pays 10%, and has $45,000 left over. The wealth of the country is in the hands of about 2% of the population. Who do you think pays the most taxes, the rich or the poor? Ninety-eight percent is paying the majority of taxes, and trying to get by. The really wealthy pay the SAME percentage, and can buy a Ferrari AND a house. Oh, yeah, fair. The poor can also not get tax breaks, and leverage deals and hire lobbyists to bribe politicians to fiddle with the laws. They are too busy making that PB&J for dinner. If you are truly rich (above a million), you SHOULD be paying more. Oh, and as to Democrats raising taxes, I seem to recall a guy named Bush raising them as well. Uh, George Herbert Walker ring a bell?

      As to corporations not "paying their (ooh, right again) fair share of taxes":

      General Electric, what the Times calls America's largest corporation, paid no taxes at all in 2010 despite global pre-tax income of more than $14 billion.

      A full $5.1 billion of that was earned in the United States. This is the second year in a row they've managed to completely avoid taxes. But get this, not only did GE pay absolutely no taxes in 2010 or 2009, but they actually pocketed more than $3 billion in government tax credits according to the Times. Yes, the government paid GE.

      About a year ago, ABC News reported the same thing happened in 2009, throwing Exxon in the mix as well.

      Avoiding taxes is nothing new for General Electric. In 2008 its effective tax rate was 5.3 percent; in 2007 it was 15 percent. The marginal U.S. corporate rate is 35 percent.
      Maybe your intelligence so far supersedes mine that, Mr. “Two degrees and two teaching degrees and I teach, in addition to History, Economics,” that I couldn’t even understand my own statement. (My math might be a bit fuzzy but wouldn’t that be 6 degrees? I am just wondering.) Thus, your interpretation, which lacks complete understanding of my statement in any regard, is the correct one. If you would have actually taken the time to look past, “Liberal-egotistical punk”, you might have actually understood the base point of my claim.
      First, Durbin did not single-handedly cause a financial crisis. But, he was directly involved with the legislation that brought us to this point. However, many others “Republican” (Bush-SR & JR, McCain) and Democrats are just as guilty for this catastrophe.

      Legislators raising taxes once again for any reason at this point is un-acceptable, which brings me to my second point. Until they take the plank, of massive unnecessary spending, out of their own eye they should not be asking me or anyone else, regardless there pay scale, to foot the bill.
      Cut my mom’s Medicare, after all, we survived for over 1800 years just fine without it. We can thank good ol’Boy Roosevelt for our exciting and enticing social programs, which, if you look at our Native Indian’s and how well they have thrived under the awe-inspiring government Social Programs shines a bright light to the Flashing RED LIGHT of FAILURE.

      Oh, and God forbid we actually have to work for our food. I mean, after all, doesn’t the Bible tell us “if you don’t work you don’t eat”. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) I am a Republican and I did call out some names, but, I will take it a step further and say that all Republicans are just as guilty as any Democrats.
      So, until any legislator is willing to tighten, and I mean really tighten, their own belts don’t look to us Americans to pay for your gambling problem. Then and only then can we the people sit down and have a true American debate. Not when some republican names republicans for the elite-money-hungry morons they are. Maybe since you’re so well versed in the manner of “Reading” you could enlighten us all with your vast knowledge of letters that fallow your name. Pick up a few key books: 5000 year leap, New Deal or Raw Deal by Burt Folsom he should be right up your alley MR. 6 degrees, one being in Economics.
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -
      Quote Originally Posted by mr117 View Post
      Fair tax? You mean flat tax? Right, Donald Trump and I both pay 20% of our gross income. After taxes, he has $200 million left and I have $50-60 thousand. How about if we raise taxes on the rich and make them pay their fair share? No more hiding the money, no more write offs, no more sweetheart deals, no more corporate tax benefits, no more corporations paying nothing in taxes, no more corporations that make a billion dollars in profit getting tax refunds? This isn't about liberals and conservatives, this is about business. Do they run us or do they answer to us? If they pay a fair share, no more issues. But they can vote with their $, and politicians and judges dance to their tune. While the media whips people up, and people call themselves red or blue, business just keeps getting richer and we (all of us) keep getting poorer. It used to be said that a Republican is just a Democrat who made some money. Soon, as the vast majority of Republicans find that their leaders have sold them and their children out to big business, they may find themselves looking in a different direction.

      Just the same as it ever was.
    1. Seth10203's Avatar
      Seth10203 -
      He11 no! Like the economy can get any frickin better!
    1. JS52's Avatar
      JS52 -
      Quote Originally Posted by bowserm View Post
      I have been paying taxes on my purchases for a few years now in Canada.

      If you are buying a 0.99 app/game what is another 0.15?
      Well, if users use iTunes gift cards as a payment method, there goes the 15 apps, which turns into 13. And then you're left with change, so you don't get your money's worth. This is why I hated it when iTunes bumped up the prices of songs to $1.29 or whatever it is now.
    1. Bluemoldycheeze88's Avatar
      Bluemoldycheeze88 -
      F***you Uncle Sam.
    1. rashad1's Avatar
      rashad1 -
      They already do in NY
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      I have yet to see a single person intelligently explain to me why ANYONE should dip into my income for any reason. No one should have the right to take the earnings I get for my labor. NO ONE. Rich, poor, middle class. Doesn't matter. No one should be able to take someone's earnings for the labor they performed, I don't care if you make $10/hr or $10,000/hr. Taking labor wages is slavery. They didn't do the work, they don't deserve a cut. Taxes should be levied on purchases. Period. Labor wages should never be touched, I won't vote for a candidate that won't abolish income tax. Ever. 'Lowering' income tax isn't good enough, only abolishment is. People can boohoo about how much billionaires make, and how 'unfair' it is for them to not pay more than they do. You didn't perform the labor, you don't get to take it or say how much should be taken. Unions are useless, minimum wage is hilarious (the majority are paid way more than they're worth), and tax laws benefit the politician. If you vote for a candidate that doesn't get rid of income tax completely, doesn't stop ALL military occupation and wars/conflict over the entire globe, and can't see why we are in trouble and has a history of why, YOU are the problem. And I have nothing but complete and utter contempt for you.
    1. Modman00's Avatar
      Modman00 -
      If they are taxing iTunes then they should lower the price for music then
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      I'm sorry, but I'm having trouble following the post above by dmoore. There are some really cogent points, and then murk, and then another cogent point, and then namecalling.

      I never said my intelligence far supersedes yours. I also said I had two degrees and two teaching credentials. That equals four (you know, the old 2 + 2 thing). You WERE calling out names, as you put it. I don't believe I've done so in my posts, because I truly believe in having a civilized discussion, no matter how much someone baits me. I'm able to do so, I just choose not to do so.

      Your point re Durbin being just one, and then pointing to others, is well-made. Yes, even McCain, who made a name for himself as being honest, was in it up to his neck. Of course, for those of us with long memories, we can recall ole' Honest John back in the days of the Savings and Loan debacle being up to his ears in it then.

      However, your comment about cutting your mom's Medicare and surviving 1800 years is just beyond me. You'd sacrifice your mom's health on the expediency of political rhetoric? And nearly two thousand years ago would have been during the Roman Empire- and not the fun part of it, either.

      Then you talk about "unnecessary spending." Who defines that? I think, and I'm not alone, that we should drastically cut military spending. But cutting Medicare? That program seems pretty necessary to me. How about we cut the pay of our congresspeople, and their benefits as well? That seems doable. How about fixing infrastructure, which would lead to lots of new jobs? That spending seems fairly necessary.

      Then you talk about (Franklin) Roosevelt. I happen to think Social Security is a good thing. I pay in, I get back, I'm not a burden on society or in the poorhouse when I get too old to work.

      "Native Indians?" Again, you lost me. Native Americans or Indians, yes? What about them? We committed genocide on them, put their kids in ours schools in the 1800s and forced them out of their own culture, stole their land, and put a corrupt BIA in charge of them.

      I'm really surprised you didn't bring up the other cultural group we've destroyed in this country though a systematic destruction of their culture. Oh, wait, we have one of them for a president now.

      The bible? Whose? Which? Why here, in America, are you talking about religion when there is supposed to be a separation of church and state? Oh, wait, you mean churches, that don't pay any taxes because they are exempt, right? Now we are back on topic. How rich is the Church in this country? How much property does it own, and not pay taxes on? Do you really want to go there?

      Then you make some really good points about both sides of politics being guilty. Finally, an honest man! Thank you!

      Then you bring up a book (5000 Years) written by a conservative anti-communist who posits that this nation was founded on Cristian principals. Well, to a point. The Pilgrims were zealots who fled England because the Church of England was not strict enough for their tastes. Jamestown? They came to get rich, almost starved to death, would have unless the Indians had not helped them (oops!), and then enslaved the Indians, killed them off, and then imported slaves from Africa to do their work for them. But there were also founding fathers who were not overly religious, Jefferson for one, who was accused by Adams of being an Atheist during their battle for the Presidency. And, certainly, we began by changing the English Constitution's right to "property" to "pursuit of happiness" in ours. You couldn't vote unless you owned land and could read and write. We didn't have a direct Presidential election, it was the Electoral College, because the founding fathers didn't believe ordinary Americans were smart enough to vote. Oh, and the Senate was not an elective office until much later. You see, I actually "teach" the Constitution. Every year. In several classes. We read it. We discuss it. We break it apart and try to understand the historical background of it. It's not a talking point, it is the basis for our laws. But of course you know about Federalism and Anti-Federalism, and the fight for a stronger central government and the later addition of the Bill of Rights to actually protect people from unfair government intrusion into their lives. You are FOR the Bill of Rights, I assume?

      As to the New Deal/Raw Deal book, I think FDR did a much better job than did Hoover (no, not J. Edgar, the other one). Mistakes were made, he tried to pack the Supreme Court, but by and large the country got through it (with the help of WW 2). My parents lived through the Great Depression and they had nothing bad to say about FDR or unions. Our lives are much easier, and we didn't have to walk in their shoes.

      As to your parting shot about Mr. 6 Degrees, which I assume is you trying to mock me, albeit with poor grammar and mistaken addition (2+2 does, really, equal 4), it seems kind of gratuitous. I haven't called you a ditto head, or a doofus, or even a nattering nabob of negativity (look it up). It just seems out of place in a civilized discussion. You made a few good points. You rambled a bit. You jumped the tracks a few times. But then you went back to name calling.

      A scorpion asked a frog for a ride across a river...... as the scorpion and the frog were sinking to their death , the frog said, why did you sting me? We are both going to die? And the scorpion replied, it's just my nature.

      I guess you are the scorpion. It's just your nature to call people names and attempt to belittle others.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Sorry mr117, but Democrats are guilty of every single thing you put on Republicans. They voted for war, they voted for raises on Congress, they voted for the Patriot Act, they voted for the TSA, they've started wars and not ended them, shall I go on? Both are guilty, both are liars. If you believe anything otherwise you're trying to justify your hatred. I hate Republicans, just like I hate Democrats in Congress. Putting more blame on one side than the other is laughable considering what's happened over the past 60 odd years in this country. It drives me insane when people vote or are opinionated along party lines. It tells me they are both close minded and ignorant. Ignorant by choice, not by opportunity. I don't disagree with what you've said because you're both right and completely wrong at the same time. I would urge you to look inward on your own party and discover that they are absolutely no different than the Republican party. No one bit different.
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      I believe I said that I can find much wrong with Democrats but, until dmoore stated that he believed Republicans were guilty of getting us into this mess, no Republican here had done anything other than point fingers at Dems and say, neener neener neener, it's all your fault.

      I don't believe I have actually said or even implied I am a Democrat. You may assume, from some of my comments, that I am. But that is merely your assumption. There are many political parties in this country besides the Big Two. I also don't think it's pertinent to this discussion that I state any party affiliation, if, indeed, I even have one.

      The reality is that politicians got us in this mess. This is because they all lie. They have to, to get in office and to stay in office. They also try to do what WE want them to do, as long as it doesn't interrupt the money flowing to them to stay in office. WE are as guilty as are they. We vote for them. We back them. We allow them to play on the big stage. They are supposed to represent us. Do YOU feel represented, by either party? I certainly don't.

      Having said that, it seems clear that one side is determined to hand us over to big business. We have, as the saying goes, the best government money can buy. Sad but true. I don't believe my seeing clearly what is happening to average Americans makes me a Democrat, any more than my desire for fiscal conservatism makes me a Republican. And I don't hate politicians. They are human, and we put the ones we have in place. Ultimately, we are responsible.

      As to your previous point about taking your money away from your labor, taxes are in the Constitution. Why, back in 1776 they realized they needed money to run things. I like paved roads, and bridges, and police (most of the time) and clean water and free schooling and... That's the price we all pay for our civilized society. My guess is the Unibomber and the nitwits who blew up the Oklahoma Federal Building didn't like taxes either. Not that I'm conflating your views with theirs, of course.
    1. Megaorange's Avatar
      Megaorange -
      You always hear about cuts in education. I don't think education should be taking a hit every time the gov needs more money. And i dont think athletes should make so much money how bout we cut back on what they make and give some to teachers and education. American football isn't going to make kids successful, teachers should be making a good amount of money especially with all the retard potheads they have to deal with.
      Honestly the gov is just plain corrupted
      Money corrupts

      Sent from my iPod touch using ModMyi
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      I could be wrong, but I don't think that the Constitution states income tax. Infrastructure comes from gas tax, or it should. Everything else you mentioned can be paid for through taxes on purchased goods. Be it a house, a car, or a pack of gum. I have yet to see anyone show me a good reason my labor wages should go to someone else. That, by definition (mine) is slavery. Taxes on gas could easily pay for road upkeep, if it weren't for state run entities performing road maintenance. With their wonderful unions the automakers shouldn't have hung themselves. The amount of entitlements those people demand is staggering and scary. No education or skill required and they make more than me. I have 10 years experience in my field and alot of schooling to back it up. Bolting together a car takes zero skill, zero intelligence and zero effort. At least not worth what they get paid. Especially when they are smoking pot and drinking on the job. If unions were so great, that wouldn't happen. Their benefits are just insane as well. I think everyone can agree road crews aren't doing what they are paid to do, and when they do the job it's most likely done very poorly. I assumed you were a Democrat, or lean that way, because you have insinuated multiple times Republicans are solely to blame for the current deficit, and that somehow you should have a say in what amount of money someone deserves to keep. Which is flatly false. It's none of your business what anyone makes and you have no right to demand someone pay more because they make more. Not one Democrat has had the spine to stand up and demand any war, or any base be stopped or closed immediately upon UnConstitutional grounds. Not one. So, guilty as a Republican. And for a President that 'taught' Constitutional law, he most certainly doesnt know his supposed area of expertise. Has any Democrat stood up to him about Libya? Nope. They are allowing him to waste money on a war we don't need or have any business being in, to protect oil exploration contracts by European countries (didn't Bush get reamed for oil wars?) while saying taxes need to be raised to reduce the deficit. They are just as guilty as anyone. If you aren't a Democrat I apologize for labeling you as one, at the same time it isn't solely the Republicans fault we are in debt so far, no matter who started the bailouts or the wars or regulation/deregulation.

      Just because one dude held the gun at a liquor store holdup doesn't mean the guy cleaning out the register is less guilty of robbery. (not to attack your personally of course!)
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Oh, and don't want to see athletes making so much money? Don't go to the games. Don't buy team gear. Don't watch it on tv. The people who do, pay their salary, and NO ONE has the right to tell someone else they aren't entitled to what someone will pay them. I don't care they make millions, it's not my business. Same as it isn't my business what anyone else makes. I cannot understand why people think they should have a say in what wages another person makes. Want more money? Go make more. Invent something. Start a company. Become a politician. Haha.

      Want to know why people are getting further and further behind? They buy **** they don't need and can't afford. Money management is why the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world are swimming in money. I see people everyday that can't put 20 bucks of gas in their car but somehow have 24 inch rims. Or buy they buy cigarettes instead of fresh vegetables at the grocery store. Or have a 52 inch tv and can't pay their light bill. I see people who think getting their brakes done is outrageously expensive, but go in wearing $150 shoes and $80 pants and a Ralph Lauren shirt that costs $40. Haven't even met the dude! They've got a $300 iPhone and their kids eat at McDonalds rather than a home cooked meal. THAT'S a huge part of the problem. They've got crap they don't need, kids they can't feed, cars that are too big, and they ***** about minimum wage being too low.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Ugh! Not this crap! I already have been paying taxes when purchasing apps!
    1. dmoore0157's Avatar
      dmoore0157 -
      An unspoken, but false, assumption in public policy is that if something is good to have, then government ought to be in the business of providing it. In other words, if healthcare is good for people to have, then government ought to provide it, or force others to provide it cheaply. If interstate highways are good to have, then government ought to provide them. If education is good, then government ought to provide it, or subsidize it.

      What often happens, however, is that when government gets involved in providing or mandating, services, then incentives change and the services become worse. For example, after the Civil War, most people believed transcontinental railroads were good to have, and so government subsidized the building of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads. Both railroads chased after federal subsidies, provided poor service, and eventually went bankrupt. Then James J. Hill came along and built the Great Northern Railroad from St. Paul to Seattle with no federal subsidies. He built the road well, and it was the only transcontinental not to go bankrupt.

      In 1900, most people believed that airplanes would be good to have, and so the federal government subsidized Samuel Langley to invent and produce a manned flight. Langley crashed two airplanes trying to perfect them, but failed miserably and wasted federal tax dollars. Less than two weeks after his final attempt, the Wright brothers, with their own cash, flew the first airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Without federal dollars to create bad habits, the Wright brothers spent and built wisely and correctly.

      Federal money often corrupts the political and economic process. Those who receive subsidies play political games rather than creating quality goods and services. Also, those who chase federal dollars often value Senators who can keep the money coming. If the receiver of subsidies fails, then he lobbies for more and more cash to keep trying again and again. The Founders, by contrast, mostly wanted government out of economic life because they recognized that consumers, not politicians, should pick the winners and losers in the open marketplace. Do we trust ourselves to make wise financial decisions with our own money, or do we think politicians can spend our money better?
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dmoore0157 View Post
      I cannot begin to tell you how ignorant and remedial your statement is, (marijuana has never caused 1 death EVER). Please tell that to the hundreds and thousands of mothers and fathers who have lost love one due to the effects and direct use of marijuana. I have personally seen the effects, your so-called innocent marijuana, has had on many people. Most of them have fortunately not been death victims, but is their quality of life any better? No, I support them due to their pathetic work ethic and their dependency on Welfare and other social programs. If you happen to be one of these people maybe take a step back and look from the outside-in, and maybe just maybe, you will see your sorry self relying on everyone else around you to foot-your-bill.
      The only people that let marijuana screw up their lives are idiots low lifes that would screw up their life whether or not marijuana is a factor. Its the drive behind the person that gets them to point A or B. You can eat too many cheeseburgers and get fat and have a heart attack does that mean we should outlaw cheeseburgers? Victims? C'mon lets talk about victims of legal drugs, such as Vicodin, Xanax, Methodone, alcohol, and even asprin. All i am saying instead of taxing people for stupid crap legalize some less harmful things that are in demand and get our economy back in shape. And if medical marijuana taxation would not do the trick, then grow Hemp for its 20,000 something different uses (which if you did not know you cannot get high off of HEMP). Thats all leave our digital content alone!
    1. LastSonOfKrypton's Avatar
      LastSonOfKrypton -
      I'm in NY and we already get hit with taxes on everything. I used to have an Amazon Prime account and buy so much from them until a few years ago

      I buy my music from 7digital when I can and order anything from NewEgg when possible. The only 2 sites that aren't charging me sales tax.
    1. FrankyMcGee's Avatar
      FrankyMcGee -
      Quote Originally Posted by urwack View Post
      I live in NY where Some bridges cost $12 to go over so I am
      used to getting taxed on everything and I believe iTunes/Amazon already hit NYer's with a tax on thier products anyway
      You guys get charged to go over a bridge !? Holy crap! Not here in Aussie
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Quote Originally Posted by vantheman169 View Post
      Are you serious about taxing everyone the same? So if i make 80,000 a year, and Joe Dirt makes 250,000 year, the amount of taxes taken out should be the same? Are you outta your EFFFING MIND? Thats whats wrong with the country these days, this is straight Republican talk here, tax break, tax break tax break, oh You mean by giving big companys huge tax breaks for sending their business overseas to India and take jobs away from the American people they should be rewarded for that? Thanks George W. Bush. You jackass.
      I think he meant tax everyone the same amount as in a flat % tax. 10% of 80,000 is only 8k whereas 10% of 250,000 is 25,000 which means that person is paying more in taxes than you are, literally.

      It's simple, no tax breaks, make a flat tax, and be done with it.