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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 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.


"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins














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