U.S. Senator Harry Reid Did Your Campaign Pay “Use Tax” on Amazon Purchase of $714?

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Lets see if we can get U.S. Senator Harry Reid to disclose if his campaign paid the “use tax” owed to the State of Nevada for some of his campaign purchases.  You can search any candidates campaign expenditures at FEC.gov.  Remember Harry Reid supports an internet sales tax to collect “use tax” evaders.  Lets see if his campaign practiced what he preaches.

Here is one question I have for him re-tweet this:

I will post his response here if he answers:

Harry Reid said….

U.S. Congressman Ted Poe Challenge: Marketplace Fairness Act “Use Tax” Disclosure

Lets see if we can get U.S. Congressman Ted Poe to disclose if his campaign paid the “use tax” owed to the State of Texas for some of his campaign purchases.  You can search any candidates campaign expenditures at FEC.gov.  Remember Ted Poe supports an internet sales tax to collect “use tax” evaders.  Lets see if his campaign practiced what he preaches.

Here is one question I have for him please re-tweet this:

I will post his response here if he answers:

Ted Poe said…

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin Challenge: Marketplace Fairness Act “Use Tax” Disclosure

Lets see if we can get U.S. Senator Dick Durbin to disclose if his campaign paid the “use tax” owed to the State of Illinois for some of his campaign purchases.  You can search any candidates campaign expenditures at FEC.gov.  Remember Dick Durbin supports an internet sales tax to collect “use tax” evaders.  Lets see if his campaign practiced what he preaches.

Here is one question I have for him re-tweet this:

Here is another question I have for him:

I will post his response here if he answers:

Dick Durbin said…

U.S. Senator Al Franken Challenge: Marketplace Fairness Act “Use Tax” Disclosure

Lets see if we can get U.S. Senator Al Franken to disclose if his campaign paid the “use tax” owed to the State of Minnesota for some of his campaign purchases.  You can search any candidates campaign expenditures at FEC.gov. I did not see any line items showing sales or use tax paid to Minnesota.  Remember Al Franken supports an internet sales tax to collect “use tax” evaders.  Lets see if his campaign practiced what he preaches.

Here is one question I have for him please re-tweet this:

Here is one more to tweet:

I will post his response here if he answers:

Al Franken said…

The Politics of Fairness [Guest Post]

Thomas Carlson:

Another blogger taking on the Marketplace Fairness Act. Please share, tweet and like.

Originally posted on Perspectives:

Editor’s Note:Tim Preuss is a student of economics, an advocate of free markets, and a staunch defender of personal liberty. Representing the Classical Liberal school of thought, in which limited, not more, government is the solution.

unfairWe’re all in favor of fairness, right? I mean, at least we all say publicly that we’re in favor of fairness. But politicians often use words like “fairness” in order to make a bill sound more attractive. They did it not too long ago with the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, otherwise know as Obamacare. Who wouldn’t be in favor of protecting patients? Who wouldn’t be in favor of affordable care, right?

We all know how that turned out. Millions of people had their insurance plans cancelled and rates were driven up for millions more. Not exactly protecting anyone, and there’s nothing affordable about Obamacare.

The same thing could very well happen with…

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Marketplace Fairness Act: FAKE Conservative Opinions ARE for Sale

 

Marketplace Fairness Act: Opinions are for Sale

Back in 2010 an article in Politco titled, Exclusive: Conservative group offers support for $2M showed, “The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group’s support in a bitter legislative dispute, then the group’s chairman flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.”  This article even has the “smoking gun” letters to prove it.

Here is a recent endorsement by the American Conservative Union. This conservative organization is saying they want the Marketplace Fairness Act passed.  Do you really believe them? Who knows… I think their credibility was lost in 2010 when they got “caught” showing that their opinions were for sale.  Here is a tweet they were referenced in recently.

Over the past year I have seen countless organizations publishing…purportedly “their opinions” about the Marketplace Fairness Act.  If you start to analyze their written “opinions” it appears that most of the “opinions” were written by the same person.  Many of the “opinions” use the same exact catch phrases and wording.  It is a cookie cutter opinion repeated over and over again.  I wonder how many of these “opinions” were paid for by BIG money?

Wal-Mart, Target, Auto Zone, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Sears even created an organization called Stand with Main Street (source Wikipedia).  

  • Note: These are not main street businesses in case you didn’t know.

These BIG business interests through their lobbyists put up a website and Facebook Page (Stand With Main Street aka Alliance for Main Street Fairness) that looks like downtown “main street” and they are using small business owners as the spokesman for their agenda.  Stand With Main Street even created a National Small Business Advisory Board made up of 16 small business owners to increase support and awareness for the MFA.  Why did BIG retail have to hide behind small business spokesman to try and pass this legislation?  It is pure and simple BIG money influences the political process….through deception & lies.

I have been writing about the Marketplace Fairness Act since May 2013.  Here is my FREE opinion.  The politcal process in the United States is all smoke and mirrors.  We have a corrupt system in place where opinions are up for sale.  BIG money is manipulating our politicians (campaign donations & lobbying).  Big money is buying support for their legislation by paying the “big guns” with “big names” for their paid for opinions.  If an organization receives money to write an opted or make a comment in the media they should be required to disclose that it is a paid for advertisement and may or may not “really” be their opinion.

In the United States of America “Opinions ARE for Sale” only IF you have the money.  Paid for opinions mean nothing.  It is just a way to manipulate the system.  Next time you read an “opinion” by a “big name” organization or person about pending legislation remember someone “most likely” paid them to say it.

Update: August 11, 2014

I just read an article Titled “Time for the Government to Stop Picking Winners and Losers in the Marketplace.”  The article shows its by Nathan Mehrens, President of Americans for Limited Governement.  Apparently it shows his organization is somehow working with the Alliance for Main Street Fairness (aka Stand with Main Street – the big money lobby group I discussed above for Walmart, Best Buy etc…). 

Somehow Americans for Limited Government must support auditors from other states attacking small businesses like mine across state lines.  My company is only located in Minnesota.  If this legislation passes auditors (more government, NOT LIMITED) will cross states lines and audit me from 45 other states.  Sounds limited, right?  

I just tweeted them and asked if he or his organization received any money for posting their “opinion” in the article supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act.  I will update you with their answer here when and if they respond:

I will post their Response Here:

 

 

 

Marketplace Fairness Act Share Request: What You Can Do Now?

Today is SHARE Thursday on the Oppose Internet Sales Taxes page. Let’s share at least 100 posts or comments  VISIT the Oppose Internet Sales Taxes Facebook Page NOW.

Share articles, memes, comments here and on other pages. Ask your friends, neighbors, family, and colleagues to do the same.

The legislators who are following the lobby money & supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act want to get elected first. Then pass the act as an add on to the Net Neutrality Act during a lame duck session following the elections.

Let’s comment on legislators’ Facebook pages, “We don’t want Internet sales taxes!”

Let’s work as a community to spread the word that we need less big government aligned with small business, not more! Together we can take back our country!

The Nightmare of the Marketplace Fairness Act

The Nightmare of the Marketplace Fairness Act

Imagine waking up and discovering that you are now the tax collector for the government, because the government does not want to do it themselves.  You have now become the living dead, you are obligated to calculate and collect and pay taxes in 46 states, six territories, and more than 500 Native American Tribal Nations.  And you are personally liable for any errors.  So the tax authorities can seize your personal assets, your house, and your bank accounts. And you have no one to represent you if there are any disputes.  And that just to try to comply with the law you will need to pay tens of thousands of dollars per year to another company to help you with the calculating and filing of the taxes.

I think that anyone would agree that qualifies as a nightmare.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what the pending US House of Representatives legislation so inappropriately named the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) governing sales tax on internet retail sales would do to many small businesses.  The legislation is being supported in a big way by cash hungry state legislatures, “Big Retail” led by Walmart and Amazon, and sales tax software providers.

On the surface, it sounds very reasonable to require everyone to pay sales tax and operate under the same rules – a “level playing field”.  But do not be fooled.  This legislation, which has been supported by tens of millions of dollars paid to lobbyists
(and contributed to elected officials) by the Big Retailers, is really an attempt by the online Goliaths to squash the Davids of the retail world by imposing crippling costs and burdens upon the small retailers.

If the law proposed a uniform national sales tax that everyone would collect and owe equally, and pay to one entity, the law would meet with little objection from small businesspeople (like me).  I have no problem collecting and paying sales tax.  I have always done so in the state where my business is located, which has always been the law of the land in the US.  But the proposed legislation, which was pushed through the US Senate without any proper debate or discussion, would require all online retailers to calculate, collect, and file sales tax for 46 states.  And the lobbyists in favor of the law say that is not a problem because all the states are going to supply “free software” that the small businesses can just plug into their business ecommerce management systems that will take care of everything.  Can anyone who has ever even used a computer believe that would have any chance of working?  Few if any small businesses would have the technical ability to integrate the software into their order management systems.  In most cases, the “free software” would simply be incompatible with their order management systems.

But according to the Big Retail lobbyists, that should not be a problem either, because there have recently arisen a number of venture funded service providers (who stand to make millions) who will be happy to provide that tax calculation and collection service to small businesses like mine and only charge me tens of thousands of dollars per year.  In addition to thousands of dollars more they will charge in setup fees.  And plus any integration costs that might be necessary (which there certainly would be).  And at present the software does not even work with many popular order management systems or common accounting programs. (so what would a business do….  These software firms, who stand to make millions if the law passes, have been spreading misinformation and outright lies about how easy their software is to install and use.   Who should be believed, the ones who stand to profit immensely if the law passes, or those who will be hurt by it?

So the cost of compliance for many small internet retailers, if even technologically feasible (which is dubious), would be huge.  And to add insult to injury, for many small businesses the annual cost to calculate and file the taxes would likely be even more than the amount of taxes that they would be collecting each year.  That is incredibly inefficient from a public policy and tax collection standpoint.   Because of these costs and burdens, the American Association of Attorney Certified Public Accountants (who would stand to benefit greatly from increased business opportunities if the law passed), have come out strongly against the MFA.  In their view, the law would place crippling burdens on thousands of small businesses and would force many out of business.

And even with the “help” from the expensive tax calculation and filing service providers the law would expose small retailers to audits in 46 states, six territories, and more than 500 Native American Tribal Nations.   Anyone who has ever been through an audit can tell you even if you keep good books and are totally honest, a single audit can take days if not weeks of your time.  How could anyone be expected to manage or grow a business under that type of burden?

One of the most frustrating aspects of this proposed legislation is that a good argument can be made that the law is simply not needed – the truth is that sales taxes are already being collected on the vast majority of internet retail sales.  At the present time, internet retail sales account for between 6 and 8 percent of all retail sales.  That is all.  And according to James Gilmore III, the former Chairman of the Congressional Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, more than 80 percent of online sales are made by big box retailers who have physical presence in most if not all states.  So they are already collecting sales tax now on those sales.  The online retail world looks more and more like the offline retail world, dominated by the Big Retailers.   So what is left?  The remaining less than 20 percent of online sales – maybe 1 percent or less of total retail sales!  That’s what this legislation is all about – the last 1%, which is mostly sold by small businesses.  And those sales are already taxed through state use taxes which are supposed to be paid by the consumers, but the states usually choose not to collect them or pursue the consumers because it is politically unpopular.   That’s now what they want the small businesses to do for them!

Big Retail says the law is necessary to “level the playing field” and has worked hard to convince small brick and mortar businesses that the Big Box down the street is not who has been undercutting them on price and putting them out of business for years, but rather small online retailers are.  Online small businesses are not at odds with small brick and mortar stores.  In fact, many of them are hybrid businesses that sell both online and in-store and started selling online to try to survive the assault from the Big Boxes.  Selling online is how they survive!

Most small internet retailers would argue that the playing field is tilted against them now because internet retailers have to pay shipping for all of the orders that they sell, which in most cases is greater than sales tax would be on a purchase.  They already have to absorb that cost.  So internet sellers already have a price disadvantage as compared to brick and mortar stores. In addition, Big Retailers enjoy huge tax breaks from local governments and volume based reductions in shipping costs from UPS, Fedex, USPS, etc. that give them a big cost advantage over small retailers.

The law as it is currently proposed exempts businesses with less than $1 million in annual online retail sales – not profits, but total sales.   That threshold is ridiculously low.  The costs of complying with the law could wipe out most if not all profits for businesses near the threshold.   As anyone who knows anything about business can tell you, $1 million in total sales is a very small business, and that threshold would still subject most mom & pop sized online businesses to the costly and burdensome requirements.  It would only exclude the tiniest of businesses and the casual ebay and Craigslist sellers.  The proponents of the law like to say that the $1 million threshold exempts 99% of all online businesses.  Poppycock.  They are including in that figure any individual who has sold anything on sites like eBay and Etsy and Craigslist.  Those are not businesses, those are casual individual sellers (think yourself, your mother, your friends, your grandma, etc), NOT businesses who are selling things online for their sole means of support and who hire and employ people, who rent space, who advertise, who have business licenses, who pay local business income, sales, unemployment, and personal property taxes.

The law would deter people from starting businesses, and it would be a growth killer.  No business would want to grow past the $1 million sales threshold and subject themselves to the collection, reporting, and audit costs.  I have spoken to many business owners who are seriously considering laying people off and shrinking their businesses to get below the threshold if the law passes because they are so afraid of the compliance costs and risks.  That would be tragic for those business owners, their employees, their local communities, and the United States economy.  It is just what Big Retail wants.

The MFA is bad legislation.  It is not fair, it is not needed, it is bad for competition, for jobs and economic growth in our communities, and should not be allowed to become law.  Note: This article was not written by me.  It was submitted by a third party as an anonymous post.

Top Ten Reasons why the Marketplace Fairness Act aka Internet Sales Tax is NOT FAIR!

Marketplace Fairness Act

Top Ten Reasons why the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA, H.R. 684) is not fair!

  1. The law is not needed. According to James Gilmore III, the former Chairman of the Congressional Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, more than 80% of online sales tax is already or will soon be collected as large internet retailers have physical presence in most if not every state.  And Big Retail’s share of internet sales is growing.
  2. Projected revenues from the law would be much smaller than claimed, tax revenue estimates are based on old outdated studies.
  3. The playing field for small brick and mortar and online businesses is already level, in fact online retailers must pay shipping on all orders so they are already at a price disadvantage to brick and mortar stores. And more than 60% of small brick and mortar businesses are online too.
  4. “Free software” from the states would be costly to integrate and most small retailers would not be able to integrate it into their order management systems. They would then need to hire the new venture funded tax compliance companies to help them. (see #5 below)
  5. Compliance costs would be crippling to small online retailers. Most would spend tens of thousands of dollars per year with tax compliance companies to calculate and file the taxes.  That is why the American Association of Attorney Certified Public Accountants has come out strongly against the law.
  6. The law would be inefficient public policy. For many small retailers, it would cost as much or more to collect the tax than the amount of tax collected.
  7. The threat of audits from 46 states would be daunting. Even with perfectly honest and clean records the time spent dealing with audits would make running a small business impossible.
  8. Small business owners could be personally liable for innocent mistakes and be subject to persecution in states where they have no representation.
  9. The business sales threshold in the law of $1 million is way too low. SBA defines a small electronic retailer as less than $30 million in sales.  Most businesses of several million in sales are just small mom and pop businesses with maybe a few employees.  A threshold of $15 million would collect more than 90% of all online sales tax.
  10. The law would be a job and growth killer as it would put some small businesses out of business, others would lay off employees and downsize to escape the law, and many others would not ever want to grow above the threshold.

Please do not impose this crippling burden on small businesses!  Note:  This articles was not written by me.  It was submitted by a third party as an anonymous post.