Amazon is not required to and they do not collect sales tax on internet purchases. But the Democrats in the Colorado legislature recently enacted, and Governor Ritter signed, HB 1193 which requires every Colorado resident who purchases over the internet to file a sales tax return at the end of the year and to pay Colorado sales tax on all of his or her internet purchases during the year. If they could force the seller to collect the tax they certainly would have done so, but United States Supreme Court rulings have held that states do not have that authority unless the seller maintains a brick and mortar store in the state.
June 15, 2010 will be the 795th anniversary of the day another rapacious tyrant, King John I, signed the Magna Carta (Great Charter of Freedoms) at Runnymede. The King, like modern tyrants, had squandered with profligate spending every shilling he had collected in taxes and, also like modern politicians, sought to replenish his coffers with yet heavier taxation. Those who toiled to produce the goods from which the taxes were levied revolted. The King was made to sign the great charter, and soon sought to take revenge against those who had revolted. But he forgot the warning that Confucius gave 1,700 years earlier, “Before you embark on revenge, dig two graves.” As soon as the Barons left London King John renounced the Magna Carta and plunged England into a civil war. By October of 1216 he was dead, having died an ignoble death of dysentery.
A more civilized remedy is available these days. Governor Ritter has already announced that he will not seek re-election. Amazon now includes the statement reproduced below with every internet purchase, which also lists the names of every Colorado State Senator and Representative that voted for this tax grab of even more of their constituents money. Coloradans can note their displeasure with out-of-control government taxing and spending this coming November by voting against every one of those named below who voted for HB 1193.
The Amazon statement included with every purchase by Colorado residents:
Colorado Sales Tax
For those customers purchasing from Amazon.com LLC, Amazon Digital Services, Inc. or Warehouse Deals, Inc. and shipping to Colorado:
We are not obligated to, and do not, collect Colorado sales tax. Your purchase is subject to Colorado sales tax unless it is specifically exempt from taxation. The purchase is not exempt merely because it is made over the Internet or by other remote means. The State of Colorado requires that the taxpayer file a sales/use tax return at the end of the year reporting all of the purchases that were not taxed and pay tax on those purchases. Retailers that do not collect Colorado sales tax are obligated to provide purchasers an end-of-year summary of purchases in order to assist purchasers in filing their tax report. Details of how to file this return may be found at the Colorado Department of Revenue’s website, www.taxcolorado.com. Retailers that do not collect Colorado sales tax are required by law to provide the Colorado Department of Revenue with a report of the total amount of all of your purchases at the end of the year above certain thresholds set by the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Some customers have asked why these new requirements exist. We are required to provide the notice and the reports described above based on a Colorado law (HB 1193) enacted in February 2010 over our strong objections. It was signed by Governor Ritter, and the legislators who voted for this law are: Senators Bacon, Boyd, Carroll, Foster, Gibbs, Heath, Hodge, Hudak, Johnston, Keller, Morse, Newell, Romer, Sandoval, Shaffer, Steadman, Tapia, Whitehead, and Williams, and Representatives Apuan, Benefield, Carroll, Casso, Court, Ferrandino, Fischer, Frangas, Gagliardi, Hullinghorst, Judd, Kagan, Kefalas, Andy Kerr, Labuda, Levy, McCann, McFadyen, Merrifield, Middleton, Miklosi, Pace, Peniston, Pommer, Primavera, Riesberg, Ryden, Schafer, Solano, Soper, Todd, Tyler, Vigil, and Weissmann.
Ritter and the Democrats in the Colorado legislature predicted the Amazon tax will raise $5 million in revenue. It will probably be closer to zero in revenue raised, and it has killed jobs in Colorado. Naturally, Democrats blame the job loss on “corporate greed.”
Colorado was the fourth state to attempt to tax the internet, after North Carolina, Rhode Island and New York. To date, those states have seen no increase in tax revenue attributable to this nonsense, and have only succeeded in yet more stifling of job-growth.
Remember in November.