around the country different states have tried to find ways to
collect sales tax on purchases that state residents make online. More
than one state has tried to capture sales tax from Amazon over the
years and the latest to step up and try is North Carolina.Amazon
has been trying to block NC from forcing it to give up detailed
customer data that the state could use to link buyers to specific
products purchased. Amazon and the ACLU took the case to court and
Amazon has won a small victory with the judge
presiding over the case ruling that NC has "no
legitimate need" for details about what books, music, and movies
the customer purchased at the site according to CNET
judge presiding over the case is U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman
from Washington State. She wrote, "In spite of this [lack of
need], (North Carolina) refuses to give up the detailed information
about Amazon's customers' purchases, while at the same time
requesting the identities of the customers and, arguably, detailed
records of their purchases, including the expressive content." CNET
that the information that Amazon has already turned over includes
details of what items were shipped to specific zip codes within the
state. The legal battle began when NC asked for specific names and
addresses for each purchase and threatened to sue if it didn’t get
the information. Amazon has no physical presence in NC, but the state
has a use tax of 5.75% that is applied to anything purchased or
received via the mail.The ruling isn’t a clear victory for
Amazon. Pechman noted that there is nothing preventing NC from
deleting the data it has on file and making a more specific request
for information. She stated, "Issuing the declaratory relief as
phrased does not prohibit (N.C. tax collectors) from issuing a new
request for information as to only the names and addresses of
Amazon's customers and general product information, assuming that
(the state) destroys any detailed information that it currently
joined Amazon in the fight to keep purchase data private for
NC buyers earlier this month. The saga between Amazon and NC
started back in April 2010. NC residents that didn't pay the use tax
could be hit
with a 25% fine for not paying the state tax on their
quote: A sales tax (when the item is sold) is not a use tax (when the item is consumed). It has nothing to do with where the item is sold from; it's where the item is used. I order a book from California, but read it in Pennsylvania. I owe Pennsylvania a use tax. Most states have wording in their use tax laws that exempt products for which a sales tax was already paid, regardless of state. If I buy a soda in Maryland, but drink it in Pennsylvania, I don't owe PA a use tax because I already paid a 6% sales tax to MD.
quote: How much money would they actually collect with that info, versus how much money they're paying an army of lawyers to sue, in order to get the info?
quote: The fact that i have herd nothing about the people being upset suggest they are for being taxed more.
quote: The citizens not properly reporting their taxes are the ones at fault.
quote: Mandate a minimum IQ of 140 and a Master's degree for anyone who's going to work for the government, and you might have less problems.
quote: It's fine if you're an anti-tax crusader or hardcore libertarian, but then go after the entire use tax. If it's on the books it should be enforced and collected for all purchases. Otherwise, scrap it entirely.
quote: I don't understand why North Carolina residents aren't up in arms over this.
quote: problem is the taxocrats in office who feel it's their duty to rip every penny out of our hands so that we grovel at their feet for assistance
quote: The use tax should be abolished and ruled unconstitutional. It is basically a interstate tariff. Something that I thought was unconstitutional.
quote: without a government, someone could shoot you and they'll be no one to point a finger or lock them up
quote: Without the government, I will defend myself. Unlike you, I've not given up my individual responsibility to maintain my own strength and vigor.
quote: Based on the side of the coin that your philosophy tends to rely
quote: you most likely oppose abortion rights and gay marriage