Amazon Shutting Down Colorado-Based Associates Over Sales Tax Issue
from the tax-avoidance dept
You may remember last summer that Amazon shut down its affiliate programs in North Carolina, Hawaii and Rhode Island in response to new laws being put in place in those states, which would effectively make any Amazon affiliate an “official” representative of the company in that state, thus requiring that Amazon start collecting sales tax. This followed a similar mess in New York the year before. This is really short-sighted on the part of the states, pushing for additional tax revenue (of course). But it stretches the definition of what it means to have a physical presence in a state to the point where someone who is running an ad for you (all that an affiliate really is) is treated as an employee.
It appears that some states still haven’t gotten the message. Michael Long sends over the email he received from Amazon, alerting him that Colorado has now passed a similar law, meaning that no one in Colorado can be an Amazon affiliate any more. Though Amazon is being a bit disingenuous in saying “no other state has similar rules,” when other states have, indeed, passed similar rules, and many others are considering similar rules as well.
Of course, this strategy does risk backfiring on Amazon, as it’s effectively using its affiliates as pawns in trying to get the state government to repeal this law. The alternative, of course, is that the affiliates just jump ship to another provider.