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Cash strapped N.C. looks to milk money out of citizens in its battered local economy

When 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 week filed 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 would tax 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 to fight taxation of the internet.



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RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/2010 4:29:38 PM , Rating: 0
Sorry Moto I tried reading your posts here, but all I see is "bla bla bla I'm a socialist"

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!"


Terrible analogy. Putting this in the same category as theft is proof enough you're a Marxist. So all our money belongs to the government and if we get to keep any of it, it's theft !?

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.


Yeah because laws that aren't enforced, and that most people aren't even aware of, were obviously VERY well thought out in the first place right ?

Go piss off Moto. You big government shill.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Motoman on 4/20/2010 5:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's absolutely staggering that you can be as stupid as you are and manage to continue to exist.

Marxist? Socialist? I want big government? Dude, you are so far off base it's not even funny.

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. Unless you're one of those whackos who think there's some loophole in the consitution that says you don't have to pay taxes...which there isn't.

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?

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?

As for myself, I'd like to cut WAY back on the government. On this topic, starting with the IRS. Fire essentially all of them and institute a flat tax. Let's start there. Think how much money we'd save.

How's that for a socialist agenda? Moron. Go back to admiring your greasy hair in your hand-mirror.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/2010 6:43:46 PM , Rating: 1
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.


Right. Which is why it's called "Tax evasion" and not "theft". But don't let pesky details get in the way of your stupid rant.

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?


Let me give you a list of laws still on the books in North Carolina.

It’s against the law to sing off key.

Elephants may not be used to plow cotton fields.

While having sex, you must stay in the missionary position and have the shades pulled.

If a man and a woman who aren’t married go to a hotel/motel and register themselves as married then, according to state law, they are legally married.

Oral sex is considered a crime against nature.

A three dollar tax must be paid on all white goods sold.

Bingo games may not last over 5 hours unless it is held at a fair.

Persons in possession of illegal substances must pay taxes on them.

The mere possession of a lottery ticket is illegal in North Carolina and may result in a $2,000 fine. ( by the way, the state HAS a lottery !!! )


Now you were saying Moto ??? I guess your in favor of fining or arresting everyone who doesn't stay in the missionary style too !? But you like doggy? Well too bad, the law is the law punk !!

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?


That's called animal cruelty you idiot. And I think you damn well knew it was illegal, so does everyone else.

Once again you are comparing good decent people buying stuff online to thieves and animal torturers, and you can't see how off base you are with that ? 100% perfect analogies my ass.

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?


Maybe it could be clarified or something ? Nah, let's just go after everyone because our state is broke and they "stole" our money !!!!

We have millions of pages of laws in this country. Hell the tax code alone is what, tens of thousands of pages !?!? I guess you have read every single one, but most people don't and shouldn't have to.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Motoman on 4/20/2010 7:16:20 PM , Rating: 2
There's lots of dumb laws on the books, as you pointed out. I don't for a second agree with a single one of them - but they are laws. Because of that, if you break one, you committed a crime.

Newsflash: stupid or not, a law is a law. Not agreeing with the intent or letter of the law is not license to ignore it.

As far as I'm concerned, feel free to plow your cotton fields with elephants while singing off key. I personally don't care...but if an officer shows up and writes you a ticket, well, you did in fact break the law.

You're bending and twisting in the wind trying to come up with some way to justify not paying taxes that you owe. Keep on bending and twisting for all I care. You are wrong, and that is an unalterable fact.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/10, Rating: -1
RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Motoman on 4/20/2010 7:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
You are so entertaining.

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. Guess what? Those laws are on the books - including ND where that case was from.

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.

It is eminently clear that if anyone is ignorant, it is you. In fact, it's much worse than that - when presented with obviously true information, you just declare it to be false anyway and continue on your merry way. You're not just ignorant - you're stupid. Willfully so.

Ultimately, you're just a slightly more grammatically-correct Pirks or reader1. More eloquent, but just as retarded.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/2010 7:37:45 PM , Rating: 1
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.


Umm no, no they wouldn't. It doesn't work that way in the real world.

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.


It's called critical thinking. Something you clearly don't possess, robot.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Motoman on 4/20/2010 7:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. You think that critical thinking skills will lead you to the conclusion that you don't have to abide by laws you don't agree with?

Really?

And yes, the federal government most certainly has the capability to force states to eliminate unconstitutional laws. You know, in the real world. Which I'm guessing you've never visited.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Motoman on 4/20/2010 8:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
Just in case you miss out on where I posted this link elsewhere, with a few seconds on Google I found a Supreme Court case from 1996 upholding use taxes.

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=750341...

Ohs noes. Sorry to burst your little bubble.


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By jjmcubed on 4/20/2010 11:17:36 PM , Rating: 2
So some laws are okay to ignore and some aren't? And what does this have to do with someones political beliefs?????


RE: Just A Matter Of Time
By Ammohunt on 4/29/2010 3:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sure take a look at illegal immigration.


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