it comes to internet purchases, you're supposed to
individually list them on your yearly tax return and then pay back
sales taxes to the state. Of course, few people do this.
Now the government of North Carolina and other
states are battling Amazon.com
and other e-tailers to get these records.Amazon.com this
suit against the North Carolina state government --
specifically, the Department of Revenue (DOR) -- claiming that
the state's demand for records of virtually every North Carolina
resident who has purchased anything from Amazon since 2003 was
not only unreasonable, but a violation of privacy.Amazon
writes in a filing for the case, "In re: Amazon.com LLC vs
Kenneth R. Lay", Case No. 10-00664, U.S. District Court, Western
District of Washington, "[T]he DOR has no business seeking to
uncover the identity of Amazon's customers who purchased expressive
content, which makes up the majority of the nearly 50 million
products sold to North Carolina residents during the audit
period."If the case is lost, Amazon may have to turn
over the records of millions of its customers in North Carolina.
Those individuals who purchased from Amazon (but did not report their
purchase on their tax returns) might be audited and face civil
penalties. At the very least, they would likely be expected to repay
back taxes on the items they failed to report to the government.In
North Carolina, failing to pay state sales taxes is handled as a
civil infraction. Under the codes
105 236(5)c. and 105 236(5)a., citizens can face additional
fines for dodging state taxes. The penalty would likely be to
pay 25 percent more tax, except on small items, which would require
taxpayers to pay only an additional 10 percent fine.The fight
is the latest in the growing trend of states hungering for internet
tax revenue. Many states have passed or are debating laws that
digital downloads such as those offered by Amazon, Steam,
Apple's iTunes store, or others. While many in the public have
complained about excessive taxation on the federal level, it is
actually the states that have been pushing the most for bigger taxes
of late. The federal government has made some mild efforts
taxation of the internet.
quote: If I stole $5 from the corner gas station every day for a year, then on the 366th day when I got caught do you think I'd say something like "...but I've stolen $5 from you every day for a year - you should just let me keep doing it!"
quote: However, the fact that you got away with breaking this law in the past doesn't mean you should expect to be able to get away with breaking it in the future.
quote: All I've been doing is explaining the law, and giving a 100% perfect analogy. Not paying taxes is the same thing as theft from the government.
quote: It's amazing that you think the fact that a law isn't enforced is the same as granting you the privelege to break it. Even more so that if a law exists but you don't know about it...apparently you think that means you get to break that law?
quote: So if I didn't know it was illegal to douse cats in lighter fluid and set them on fire, it should be OK for me to do that?
quote: Even more so that if a law exists but you don't know about it...apparently you think that means you get to break that law?
quote: If the case that was noted proved that use tax laws were unconstitutional, the federal government would have forced every state in the union to get rid of them.
quote: And exactly where do you get the idea that you have the privilege of ignoring laws you don't like - whether they seem obviously stupid or not? Exactly where did you receive such education? I'd certainly like to know.