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Amazon.com and Illinois affiliate websites

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Amazon.com and Illinois affiliate websites

Mar-27-2011 at 11:56 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Last edited on 11/07/2012 at 02:14 AM (UTC3 Assyria)
 
Amazon — Earth's most customer-centric online company.
Small Parts — the hardware store for researchers and developers.
On March 10, 2011, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (IL-Democrat) signed into law a bill designed to collect a sales tax for online purchases, a move which affects Amazon.com Inc. and their affiliates located in Illinois.

As a result of this new law, contracts with all Illinois affiliates of the Amazon Associates Program will be terminated and those Illinois residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, or SmallParts.com.

The Atour server (www.atour.com website) is located in Illinois and is also an Amazon.com affiliate, therefore it will no longer receive the small advertising fees for the links provided on web pages on this website. These links are provided for the convenience in purchasing Assyrian-related items and helping our website remain online at the same time. Please note, these and future web pages will not affect consumers purchasing Amazon.com items through those links, only the relationship between Amazon.com and their affiliates.

Examples:

Facing Extinction: Assyrian Christians In Iraq
http://www.atour.com/news/assyria/20091010a.html

Dragons & Violins: A Memoir of War and Music
http://www.atour.com/library/government/20110201a.html

A Compendious Syriac Dictionary
http://www.atour.com/library/education/20100903c.html

Compendious Syriac Grammar
http://www.atour.com/library/education/20100903a.html

Life. Assyrian Poetry: Musings on God, love and loss. (Volume 1)
http://www.atour.com/library/education/20100816a.html

Assyrian Costumes and Jewelry
http://www.atour.com/library/education/20100426a.html

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1. Amazon.com Affiliates Program

Mar-28-2011 at 00:00 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Message from Amazon.com concerning this new law

Amazon.com Affiliates Program

Hello,

For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of Illinois residents. Unfortunately, a new state tax law signed by Governor Quinn compels us to terminate this program for Illinois-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers - including but not limited to those referred by Illinois-based affiliates like you - even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It was supported by national retailing chains, most of which are based outside Illinois, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that its enactment forces this action.

As a result of the new law, contracts with all Illinois affiliates of the Amazon Associates Program will be terminated and those Illinois residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to April 15, 2011 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of April 15, 2011, any final payments will be paid by July 1, 2011.

You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of Illinois. If you are not currently a permanent resident of Illinois, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state after April 15, please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.

To be clear, this development will only impact our ability to continue the Associates Program in Illinois, and will not affect the ability of Illinois residents to purchase online at www.amazon.com from Amazon’s retail business.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Illinois-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to Illinois residents.

Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team

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2. Illinois enacts Internet sales tax law

Mar-28-2011 at 00:02 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn
(Photo: Abel Uribe, Chicago Tribune)

Illinois enacts Internet sales tax law
Gov. Pat Quinn signs bill into law, prompting Amazon.com, Overstock.com to say they will cut ties with affiliates in state

by Sandra M. Jones (smjones < a t> tribune.com), Tribune reporter. March 10, 2011.

Gov. Pat Quinn stepped into the Internet tax fray Thursday, signing into law a bill designed to collect a sales tax for certain online purchases, a move that Amazon.com Inc. said it would blunt by severing ties with Illinois affiliates.

The controversial law, which takes effect immediately, makes it tougher for online merchants such as Amazon and Overstock.com Inc. to claim they have no physical presence in a state — something they must do in order to avoid charging their customers sales tax.

"Amazon has basically a 10 percent pricing advantage, and they're fighting like the dickens to keep it," said Fiona Dias, executive vice president of strategy at GSI Commerce, a Pennsylvania-based digital marketing firm.

The move is expected to have little effect on consumers but deals a blow to small Web businesses that count Internet retail giant Amazon and other online merchants as a major source of ad revenue.

Under the new law, called the Main Street Fairness Act, online retailers must collect and remit sales taxes on purchases made by Illinois residents if the online retailer has a physical presence in the state. The new law expands the meaning of "physical presence" beyond a warehouse, factory or office to include affiliate companies, typically deal and coupon website operators that earn commissions for directing shopping traffic to an online store.

The average combined sales tax on goods purchased in the U.S. jumped to a record high of 9.64 percent in 2010, from 8.63 percent in 2009, according to Vertex Inc., as cash-strapped city, county and state governments sought new revenue. The average state sales tax rose to 5.52 percent in 2010 from 5.48 percent in 2009. The state sales tax in Illinois is 6.25 percent.

Amazon and Overstock said they would avoid the sales-tax issue by dropping their affiliates in Illinois. Amazon declined to disclose how many of its affiliates are in Illinois, but Overstock said it did business with "well over 100." Amazon and Overstock have relationships with thousands of affiliates across the country.

Illinois is among a handful of states — including New York, Rhode Island and North Carolina — that have instituted similar laws to extract sales taxes from online merchants and boost depleted state coffers.

"Illinois' Main Street businesses are critical to ensuring our long-term economic stability, which is why they must be able to compete with every company doing business online in Illinois," Quinn said. "This law will put Illinois-based businesses on a level playing field, protect and create jobs, and help us continue to grow in the global marketplace."

The Illinois Department of Revenue estimates it misses out on $153 million to $170 million in uncollected sales taxes each year from online purchases. The uncollected taxes of goods sold online and through catalogs totaled $8.6 billion in 2010 nationwide, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that companies without a physical presence in a state aren't required to collect state sales taxes.

Amazon, based in Seattle, sent a letter to its affiliates in Illinois on Thursday telling them that the company will terminate their contracts April 15. Its affiliates will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com or SmallParts.com, the letter said.

Overstock also sent a letter to its Illinois affiliates Thursday, saying it will sever its ties with them as of May 1 unless the law is repealed or the affiliates move to another state where no such law exists.

"We think that states that do this are making a mistake," said Jonathan E. Johnson, president of Salt Lake City-based Overstock. "We think this kind of law doesn't really hurt Overstock that much. The affiliate business can be borderless. If a Web shopper is looking for a coupon, they don't care if they get it from an Illinois-based affiliate or an Indiana-based affiliate."

Scott Kluth, founder and CEO of Chicago-based CouponCabin.com, called the new law "deeply disappointing" and said his company is "actively exploring" moving to Indiana.

"It's a shame we have to consider leaving our longtime home in Illinois, but we will do what is best for our business," Kluth said.

Brad Wilson, founder of BradsDeals.com, is staying in Chicago for now but predicted the new law will stunt the growth of the deal-site industry that has sprouted in Illinois.

"Chicago doesn't lead on the Internet in many things, but this space is one of the things that we do, and the state should cherish that and foster that," Wilson said. "These are modern business models. They don't require factories or fixed investments. They require smart people. And you can find smart people anywhere. They're legislating (this industry) out of the state."

Rival retailers saddled with brick-and-mortar stores, for their part, cheered the new law.

As the biggest online retail company, Amazon's ability to avoid collecting and remitting state sales taxes has been the envy of brick-and-mortar retailers. Retail margins are so slim, typically less than 5 percent, that not charging sales tax amounts to a price advantage.

In the past few weeks, Sears Holdings Corp., Best Buy Co., Barnes & Noble and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., among others, launched an effort to poach disgruntled Amazon affiliates in states the online retailer has threatened to leave.

Wal-Mart said in a statement Thursday that the new law "will help create a level playing field between online-only retailers and brick-and-mortar retailers."

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3. Reactions from Illinois affiliate websites

Mar-28-2011 at 00:23 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Last edited on 03/28/2011 at 01:10 AM (UTC3 Assyria)
 

There seems to be so much confusion over this bill. This has nothing to do with fairness or online sales advantage. Plain and simple, if this bill passes, Amazon will terminate all affiliates in the state (they have already done it in CO, NC and RI. They aren't bluffing.) Then they will have no sales tax to collect. So it's a lose for IL all the way around - no sales tax and no state income tax from affiliates. How is this a good idea?

I run a blog. Amazon affiliate revenue is about 40% of my income, as it is for 1000s of small internet businesses in IL. This is not a scare tactic -- when Colorado passed a similar bill, Amazon simply dropped their affiliate program in CO, cutting off all of their affiliates' income. Here's the deal: Amazon drops IL affiliates, who no longer have that income, so don't pay their (75% higher than last year!) income tax on it. IL rakes in no new revenue cause, hey, Amazon dropped its affiliates so there are now no transactions to tax. How does this help anyone, exactly?

All of our customers will not be going to brick and mortar stores to buy their items... they will simply be going to other Amazon retailers to buy their items. Thus, less revenue coming into the state of Illinois. Shame on our legislators.

Amazon isn't worried about lost sales volume. They don't want to be penalized by a tax that's pretty much illegal.

Their affiliate system does not give them nexus with the state.

You're posting a link and referring people to Amazon, you're not employed by the company.

Amazon will 100% drop their affiliate program in Illinois and all the small businesses that depend on the revenue will close or move across state lines.

This tax has actually hurt other states who passed a similar law. It ended up being revenue neutral or they actually lost tax revenue. Illinois will have severely impacted their internet economy without even collecting anymore sales tax. As companies like Amazon WILL abandon their affiliate system in Illinois as they have done in other states.

Just because you only make $10 a month, doesn't mean there isn't a strong internet economy in Illinois that could cost us tens of millions in tax revenue.

This bill applies a tax to "referring entities".

It would be like taxing the Tribune for generating a sale from an advertisement in the Auto section. You couldn't apply the logic of this tax fairly across commerce even if you tried.

The tax would help no one and frankly, it is just really strange that someone would think otherwise.

Unfortunately, the bill would not "level the playing field" - if Amazon.com and Overstock.com and others terminate their affiliates in Illinois (as they have threatened to do, and as they have done elsewhere) then they would still not collect this tax, and hence would still keep the current advantage.

It would also, therefore, not result in added revenue for the state.

A dumb idea, poorly executed by the legislature.

Retailers out of state do not place regulatory burdens on the local economy and there's no reason to require them to have inspection or a business license. Likewise, they should not be burdened by the paperwork associated with collecting and filing sales tax for other states. Especially for micro affiliates making $10 per month.

Brick and mortar stores get 90% of local business. That's discrimination against online businesses. Should we tax brick and mortar more to help out the online businesses?

This tax you want to collect for your local economy is already due on the buyers. It the people of Park Forest not paying their use tax it isn't Amazon's duty to collect it. This is just lawmakers doing another tax grab instead of cutting spending. This is an attempt to use Amazon as a tool against people of this state.

Lets be clear. Amazon doesn't pay this tax. The buyer does. Amazon is being forced by bills like this to maintain records, file paperwork, collect and remit taxes on their sales. If they were willing to do so, for no legal reason, I'd be amazed. Extend this forward 5 years and you might see Amazon being obligated to file and track for 50 states. We have laws against interstate tarriffs for a reason. What's next? checkpoints at every Illinois border crossing? No, some states have actually sent bills to Amazon for back taxes. How is Amazon going to collect that tax if the states can't collect it themselves?

Here's what will happen: Amazon will cancel the affiliates in Illinois. Buyers, disgusted with local brick and mortar bookstore prices will shop elsewhere - online. Companies with significant sales in Illinois will either move across the border into a neighboring state, or start a Nevada corporation and re-apply to Amazon.

I work with Amazon affiliates, so I'll quote some numbers: Affiiaites make around 6% at Amazon. A small affiliate making $10/month is selling $167/month or $2000/year. A national affiliate would drive about 5% of his business to Illinois. Your account is probably significantly higher percentage to Illinois because of your local focus. But a national seller would also drive more sales yearly, so lets use $2000 for this example.

On $2000 yearly sales to Illinois customers, you earn 6% or $120. Illinois income tax is $4.80. Illinois can then collect sales tax if you spend that locally of up to $8.40. So Illinois gets $13.20. They also get a variable portion of income tax collected on the local businesses where you spent the money that amounts to pennies. The source of this money is buyers in Illinois (not Amazon). It's important that people understand they are volunteering to be taxed more when they support this bill.

When Amazon cancels all the affiliates, which I support, Illinois will get nothing. That's a loss of $13.20 a year on your account alone, for passing this bill.

It's also important to understand that this is not a tax on goods sold. As an affiliate, you don't handle goods or process orders. Those goods don't come into your store or warehouse. The brick and mortar portion of that business is located in another state, where it is taxed and regulated. It isn't a tax free operation.

Your relationship to Amazon is strictly an advertising relationship. This is no different than national TV advertising. Should anyone advertising in Illinois be required to collect and pay sales tax to shipments in Illinois? After all the TV stations are located here.

The law only applies to those affiliates above $10,000 in sales (not commission). So for every large affiliate affected, there are probably hundreds that aren't. That means people in Illinois are only taxed if they buy from certain online sites and not others. That's discriminatory.

And also be clear of this. This is not a scare tactic. Amazon will do what they say. They've already done so in several states. They aren't stopping sales to Illinois, they are eliminating the nexus interpretation that burdens them with paperwork.

This country should support online business fully, not attempt to tax them. Online business significantly reduces energy consumption by eliminating shipping expenses. Products shipped directly from distributors or manufacturers spend less time on the road before sale.

More politicians to add to the vote-out lists. Visit ilga.gov and search HB3659 for a list of names.

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4. The Bad Math of the 'Amazon Tax'

Mar-28-2011 at 01:22 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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The Bad Math of the 'Amazon Tax'
The Chicagoist. January 08, 2011.

http://chicagoist.com/2011/01/08/the_bad_math_of_the_amazon_tax.php

Amongst the various bills that have been pushed through during the Illinois legislature's lame duck session is the so-called "Amazon tax" which changes the rules regarding whether or not an out-of-state retailer is required to collect "use tax" of 6.25%. The tax currently is supposed to be reported and paid by the purchaser if none is collected by the seller. Despite things like "Sales Tax Amnesty," however, few tax payers go along with this rule (if they're even aware of it) and the hard-to-enforce tax goes largely uncollected.

So in the name of "leveling the playing field" with brick-and-mortar stores along with making the out-of-state retailers the enforcers of the use tax, an "affiliate nexus" was added to House Bill 3659 that expands the definition of what constitutes a business' presence within the state. Previously, an out-of-state retailer would have to have physical stores, a warehouse, or a sales office within the state to be required to collect use tax on shipments of product to Illinois, but the new bill includes "affiliates" -- online marketers that add links to their websites, driving traffic to the retailer and getting a small percentage of any subsequent sale. Affiliates range from stay-at-home moms making a few extra bucks to companies whose business model relies heavily on affiliate income. State Senate President John Cullerton claims that the new law would net $150 million in new revenue.

But will it? Amazon.com really doesn't want to collect that tax, as it takes away its competitive advantage with "tax free" sales. Fortunately for them, it's easy to skirt around the requirement -- simply sever any and all agreements with its approximately 9,000 Illinois affiliates. The company has already distributed an email stating that if the "unconstitutional tax collection scheme" is signed into law, Amazon.com will have "little choice but to end its relationships with Illinois-based ." And Amazon.com isn't the only one -- Overstock.com has sent out a similar letter to their Illinois affiliates, and other online companies are expected to join them. Both Overstock.com and Amazon.com have followed through on their threat in other states that have enacted similar laws, such as Rhode Island and North Carolina.

What that means is that if out-of-state online retailers continue business as usual, the total increase in use tax collected will be zero. Also, those affiliate dollars earned are taxable, so the state loses out on that income tax as well, resulting in a net loss in revenue.

To make matters worse, companies like BradsDeals.com and FatWallet.com, which make most of their income from affiliate marketing, have indicated that if the bill goes through they'll be forced to leave the state, taking their money and jobs with them. Chief executive of Fat Wallet Tim Storm was quoted as saying, "The reality is that as a business owner with 52 employees, we're not going to just get shut down because of a law Illinois passes. Our customers don't care whether we're in the state of Illinois."

Amazon.com and others are expected to legally challenge the bill if it is signed into law. A spokesperson for Gov. Quinn told the Sun-Times that Quinn "will review the legislation once it arrives on his desk."

Disclosure: The author of this post makes a nominal portion of his earnings through affiliate marketing.

Contact the author of this article or email tips < a t> chicagoist.com with further questions, comments or tips.

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5. Amazon Closes Illinois Affiliates After Quinn Signs ...

Mar-28-2011 at 01:32 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Amazon Closes Illinois Affiliates After Quinn Signs Online Tax Bill
The Chicagoist. March 11, 2011.

http://chicagoist.com/2011/03/11/amazon_closes_illinois_affiliates_a.php

Online retailer Amazon barely waited for the ink to dry on Gov. Quinn's signing of HB 3659 into law by dropping its Illinois-based affiliates. HB 3659 requires all online retailers with a business presence in Illinois, like Amazon's affiliate program, to collect state sales tax on online purchases. In a statement to its Illinois affiliate owners, Amazon said, “We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. We deeply regret that its enactment forces this action.”

Rebecca Madigan of the Performance Marketing Association writes on her blog that Quinn's signing of HB 3659 is "a huge blow" to Illinois business.


"(T)he Governor sided with big-box retailers, who are making this huge ‘e-fairness’ push around the country. It is a huge collaborative effort sponsored by Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Sears and Barnes and Noble, to name a few, to deliberately target Amazon. Unfortunately, they have been extremely persuasive, convincing Governor Quinn that he needed to pass this law. As we have seen in other states, this in fact will not gain the state any new revenue in the form of sales tax collection, because hundreds of online retailers will terminate their affiliates. In fact, the state will lose income tax revenue because affiliates will either see a dramatic reduction in their income (>25% in most cases), or will move out-of-state."

Madigan's analysis closely mirrors Prescott's take on HB 3659. (As Prescott previously noted, some of his income is derived from affiliate marketing.)

One Illinois-based Amazon affiliate owner is not pleased with the decision to drop its programs in the state. Roger Ebert took to his Twitter feed to voice his opinion that Amazon is wrong. Ebert had recently begun using his Twitter feed to sell specific items on his own affiliate program (the reasons for which he eloquently laid out here). Another tweet he posted shortly after Amazon's decision was announced read that the affiliates will run through April 15, certainly an ironic date.

"I have 20 more days to make a fortune," Ebert wrote.

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6. Illinois Passes Affiliate Nexus Tax

Mar-28-2011 at 02:08 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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The 9,000 affiliates generated $611 million in advertising revenue and $18 million in tax revenue in 2009, said Rebecca Madigan, director of an affiliate trade group called the Performance Marketing Association, who estimates the state will lose 25% to 30% of that tax revenue because the affiliates will lose business, cut jobs or move out of the state.
Pat Quinn vs. online consumer (services)
Blithe Spirit

Illinois Passes Affiliate Nexus Tax
by Performance Marketing Association. March, 2011.

http://www.performancemarketingassociation.com/illinois-passes-affiliate-nexus-tax/

Governor Quinn of Illinois signed the Affiliate Nexus Tax into law today. This is a huge blow. The law hasn’t’ passed anywhere since 2009 (NC and RI). There are 9,000 affiliates in Illinois, it actually has the largest concentration of super-affiliates in the country. Many of you know such industry leaders such as Tim Storm of FatWallet, Scott Kluth of Coupon Cabin, and Craig Cassata of Mr. Rebates. These businesses have some very hard decisions ahead of them.

Tim, Scott and Brian Littleton of ShareASale hired lobbyists, and did an amazing job of advocating on behalf of the industry. They funded a huge effort (9 lobbyists!), and even secured a meeting with the Governor, of which I was lucky enough to join. We presented an extremely compelling case, and the governor got to meet these stellar business owners, who represent hundreds of jobs just within that small group, and are the promise of the new economy for the state.

But the Governor sided with big-box retailers, who are making this huge ‘e-fairness’ push around the country. It is a huge collaborative effort sponsored by Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Sears and Barnes and Noble, to name a few, to deliberately target Amazon. Unfortunately, they have been extremely persuasive, convincing Governor Quinn that he needed to pass this law. As we have seen in other states, this in fact will not gain the state any new revenue in the form of sales tax collection, because hundreds of online retailers will terminate their affiliates. In fact, the state will lose income tax revenue because affiliates will either see a dramatic reduction in their income (>25% in most cases), or will move out-of-state.

The Affiliate Nexus Tax, also commonly known as the ‘Amazon Tax’ or ‘Click-through Nexus Tax’ attempts to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax. Per the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, and upheld in the landmark Supreme Court case, Quill vs. North Dakota (1992), a state cannot require a retailer to collect sales tax on its behalf unless that retailer has a physical presence in the state, known as nexus. The theory behind the Affiliate Nexus Tax is that advertising on in-state affiliate websites would be sufficient to establish nexus for out-of-state retailers, obligating them to collect sales tax.

The retailers’ decision to terminate affiliates is not unreasonable. In addition to the high cost, risk and basic unconstitutionality, it’s a simple matter of return-on-investment. Revenues resulting from affiliate marketing are generally relatively small. As much as we inside the industry believe in the viability and superiority of results from the performance advertising model, it is generally responsible for less than 10% of advertiser sales. The cost of collecting sales tax far exceeds the returns from performance advertising.

And when retailers terminate their affiliate programs, the states do not collect any additional sales tax. However, the state does lose revenue from affiliates, whose incomes are devastated, on average, by 25-35% when out-of-state retailers terminate. That’s a tipping point. Not many people or businesses can survive that dramatic income loss without repercussions like lay-offs or foreclosures.

To our Illinois affiliates: we are extremely sorry this has passed. The PMA will continue to fight this unfair legislation.

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7. Illinois' Internet tax law unconstitutional, Cook County judge says

Nov-07-2012 at 01:42 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Amazon employee Troy Scott packs the the Kindle DX for shipment at the warehouse in Campbellsville, Kentucky. (John Sommers II, Getty Images)
Illinois' Internet tax law unconstitutional, Cook County judge says
Opinion applauded by marketing trade group
retail merchants association says battle has just begun

by Gregory Karp, Chicago Tribune reporter. April 26, 2012.

An Illinois law aimed at leveling competition between online and offline retailers while collecting more state sales taxes is unconstitutional, a Cook County judge said Wednesday.

The opinion is yet another shot in the highly contentious nationwide battle over who should collect online sales tax and how.

Consumers who live in sales-tax states, such as Illinois, owe state sales tax on their Internet purchases, whether they pay it during virtual checkout or when they file their state income tax returns. But few actually pay unless tax is collected at checkout. That has the effect of making online purchases cheaper than those at bricks-and-mortar retailers.

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8. Judge strikes down Illinois' 'Amazon tax'

Nov-07-2012 at 04:01 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Last edited on 11/07/2012 at 04:06 AM (UTC3 Assyria)
 
Judge strikes down Illinois' 'Amazon tax'
By John Pletz. Crain's Chicago Business. April 25, 2012.

(Crain's) — A Cook County Circuit judge ruled against the state of Illinois in its attempt to tax online sales from out-of-state companies.

“It's a victory for us and the small online businesses in Illinois. We figure a third went out of business, a third went out of state and a third saw their revenue decline. These businesses should be able to come back or rebuild their businesses.”

-- Rebecca Madigan

Judge Robert Lopez Cepero today ruled that the 2011 law doesn't pass muster because simply having an affiliated company in the state that makes sales or refers customers to an online retailer doesn't create enough of a presence, or nexus, for tax purposes.

He also ruled that the Illinois law is unenforceable because of a federal Internet tax moratorium that runs through 2014.

The law, often referred to as the "Amazon tax," was an attempt by Illinois to collect sales taxes from out-of-state online merchants such as Amazon for sales made to customers here. The state estimates about $169 million in potential revenue goes uncollected annually, and traditional retailers have long pressed for taxation of online-only rivals as a way to level the playing field between them.

The law caused affiliates that did business with Amazon.com, including CouponCabin, Brad's Deals and FatWallet.com, to relocate operations to Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, respectively.

“CouponCabin is thrilled to hear the news about the affiliate tax being declared invalid in Illinois," the firm's CEO, Scott Kluth, said in a statement. He added that "CouponCabin continues to strongly support a federal solution to the taxation of all online transactions." But the company told Crain's it's too early to decide whether to move employees back from Indiana.

The lawsuit was brought by the Performance Marketing Association, a Los Angeles-based trade group that represents online advertising sites.

"It's a victory for us and the small online businesses in Illinois," said Rebecca Madigan, executive director of the association, who estimates there were 9,000 online affiliate marketers when the law passed. "We figure a third went out of business, a third went out of state and a third saw their revenue decline. These businesses should be able to come back or rebuild their businesses."

“We respectfully disagree with the court's ruling and are reviewing our appeal options with the attorney general's office," a spokeswoman for the State Department of Revenue said. "We need to protect ‘brick and mortar' stores from an unlevel playing field and we need to recoup some of the estimated $153 million that was not paid by online merchants prior to the law being implemented.”

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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