Amazon Shuts Down Colorado Affiliates

by gacott
118 replies
Amazon has been a very good source of income for me in the past. I was quite disappointed to get this email this morning, don't let it happen where you live.

Dear Colorado-based Amazon Associate: We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to inform you that the Colorado government recently enacted a law to impose sales tax regulations on online retailers. The regulations are burdensome and no other state has similar rules. The new regulations do not require online retailers to collect sales tax. Instead, they are clearly intended to increase the compliance burden to a point where online retailers will be induced to "voluntarily" collect Colorado sales tax -- a course we won't take.

We and many others strongly opposed this legislation, known as HB 10-1193, but it was enacted anyway. Regrettably, as a result of the new law, we have decided to stop advertising through Associates based in Colorado. We plan to continue to sell to Colorado residents, however, and will advertise through other channels, including through Associates based in other states.

There is a right way for Colorado to pursue its revenue goals, but this new law is a wrong way. As we repeatedly communicated to Colorado legislators, including those who sponsored and supported the new law, we are not opposed to collecting sales tax within a constitutionally-permissible system applied even-handedly. The US Supreme Court has defined what would be constitutional, and if Colorado would repeal the current law or follow the constitutional approach to collection, we would welcome the opportunity to reinstate Colorado-based Associates.

You may express your views of Colorado's new law to members of the General Assembly and to Governor Ritter, who signed the bill.

Your Associates account has been closed as of March 8, 2010, and we will no longer pay advertising fees for customers you refer to Amazon.com after that date. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to March 8, 2010, will be processed and paid in accordance with our regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of March 8, any final payments will be paid by May 31, 2010.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Colorado-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.

Best Regards,
The Amazon Associates Team
#affiliates #amazon #colorado #shuts
  • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
    So, I guess that now includes North Carolina and Colorado, huh? Any other states that I am missing?
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  • Profile picture of the author captivereef
    Gotta love how Government always screws things up!
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by captivereef View Post

      Gotta love how Government always screws things up!

      And during a DEPRESSION! Did you hear? The government is highering, and the average pay is about $7000 higher than the national average!

      So when I was paying like $7000 income tax, it wasn't to cover costs, etc... It was basically so I could pay for some ELSES better lifestyle! And I was making less than they were!

      Yeah, they are comming up with ALL SORTS of STUPID ideas! There has EVEN been talk of a "VAT TAX"!

      Stephen
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      • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
        They tried to pass this Amazon tax here in Minnesota luckily our Governor (Tim Pawlenty) vetoed it but this is his last year since he didn't seek a third term, I'm sure the dumb-asses in the state legislature are waiting to try again with a new Governor.

        State legislatures see it as a way to put the squeeze on Amazon they just see the big company they want to bully and don't even think of all the regular folks they wipe out in the process.
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        • Profile picture of the author Rita012
          I made decent money with Amazon, so this really sucks!

          Just emailed the Denver Post, and a bunch of lawmakers to let them know that we all received our pink slips.
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by Alan Petersen View Post

          They tried to pass this Amazon tax here in Minnesota luckily our Governor (Tim Pawlenty) vetoed it but this is his last year since he didn't seek a third term, I'm sure the dumb-asses in the state legislature are waiting to try again with a new Governor.

          State legislatures see it as a way to put the squeeze on Amazon they just see the big company they want to bully and don't even think of all the regular folks they wipe out in the process.
          This just makes things FAR harder for amazon. The ones it HURTS are their CONSTITUENTS! The buyer has to pay the tax(if amazon goes ahead), and the affiliate loses money(if amazon doesn't).

          It is far harder for amazon as it is LUDICROUSLY unreasonable to expect a business located elsewhere to collect local tax. Collected based on different criteria, different amounts, applied for, and paid to, different places, etc.... It it may be broken down by state, and/or county, and/or city. Just look at places like CA! I was brought up calling it, and thinking of it, as CA sales tax! That was a LIE! I don't know WHAT the tax was when I was a kid, but the REAL CA tax when I got my tax permit was 5%, as I recall. About 1% was for the city, and the rest for the county. NO WONDER why long beach, LA, and thousand oaks have DIFFERENT tax rates. It is just plain LUDICROUS! It would have been hard enough to sell all over CALIFORNIA! At least THERE the tax was paid to the same place.

          Steve
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          • Profile picture of the author bigbyte
            I just lost 25% of my business income because of this.

            I wonder if this is Amazon's way out of affiliate marketing. They started with high commissions back in the day to get the word out and have lowered it over the years again and again. Now Amazon is a brand name and they do not need affiliates as much anymore as they did before.
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          • Profile picture of the author Hereandthere
            I am seriously considering starting a corporation or LLC in another state, as I am currently based in Colorado. This isn't an easy or fun thing to do, but I earn enough through Amazon to have me thinking hard this morning.

            Or maybe this will be what motivates me to really create my own info products a lot more...
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            • Profile picture of the author Rita012
              Here's an update that just came out from the Performance Marketing Association:

              Colorado – bad turn by Amazon

              Amazon didn't fire us because of an 'affiliate' tax, they fired us to make a point about the language in the new law, as it puts a burden on merchants in general to comply. It has absolutely nothing to do with affiliates.

              We're just a pawn.
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            • Profile picture of the author bigbyte
              Originally Posted by Hereandthere View Post

              I am seriously considering starting a corporation or LLC in another state, as I am currently based in Colorado. This isn't an easy or fun thing to do, but I earn enough through Amazon to have me thinking hard this morning.

              Or maybe this will be what motivates me to really create my own info products a lot more...
              As long as you are still staying in Colorado, this might not be enough from a legal perspective. You might also set yourself up for a tax audit. Seek help from a tax attorney.

              I am in the same boat. It is a significant amount of my income. PM me and we can maybe discuss offline via email or so.
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              • Profile picture of the author Hereandthere
                Originally Posted by bigbyte View Post

                As long as you are still staying in Colorado, this might not be enough from a legal perspective...
                I *am* aware that I would have to let Colorado know that my "foreign" corporation from WY was operating in part in CO. But if I stay totally legit and upfront, I think it could work. Amazon isn't likely to track down that my WY corporation also has an office in my living room in CO.
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              • Profile picture of the author seasoned
                Originally Posted by bigbyte View Post

                As long as you are still staying in Colorado, this might not be enough from a legal perspective. You might also set yourself up for a tax audit. Seek help from a tax attorney.

                I am in the same boat. It is a significant amount of my income. PM me and we can maybe discuss offline via email or so.
                You make a good case. Sales taxes used to, and still have to be, collected by ANY business PHYSICALLY located in the state. It doesn't matter if that presence is simply a warehouse!

                THESE laws simply tweak the law to consider an AFFILIATE a physical presence! SO, if YOU are a presence for AMAZON, wouldn't YOU be a presence for your corporation, and thus for amazon?

                Steve
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                • Profile picture of the author affenpinscher
                  If I were going to start an online business or incorporate, I would look at states that don't collect sales tax at all so you don't face this in the future. Currently those states are Delaware, Alaska, Oregon, Montana, and New Hampshire.

                  It's amusing that states pass these types of laws and then seem surprised that companies and people find a way to avoid them.

                  I also would be more inclined to 'open' my online business in a business-friendly state such as Delaware (here incorporation fees are such an important portion of state budget) rather than Oregon or possibly Montana.

                  I live in Texas and even though we have a sales tax, I'm comfortable that the current political climate here will remain business friendly (until the other political party takes over) and we won't have the anti-Amazon, et al online sales tax.

                  P.S. The governor of Hawaii vetoed the online sales tax and I believe Amazon is accepting affiliates from Hawaii.
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              • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
                Originally Posted by bigbyte View Post

                As long as you are still staying in Colorado, this might not be enough from a legal perspective. You might also set yourself up for a tax audit. Seek help from a tax attorney.

                I am in the same boat. It is a significant amount of my income. PM me and we can maybe discuss offline via email or so.
                A corporation is a separate legal entity. An LLC may not be the right type of corporation because it's basically a pass through tax vehicle used for avoiding the issue of double taxation that occurs with a C corp.

                As the poster suggests, seek advice from a qualified tax consultant.

                Tsnyder
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            • Profile picture of the author HRReader
              I got hit with this one this morning too. Not a fun way to wake up...I think I need to stop checking my emails and accounts before I have my coffee!
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  • Profile picture of the author gacott
    Hmm,

    This looks to be the list to me: Rhode Island, New York, North Carolina, Hawaii and now Colorado.

    Garret
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    • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
      Originally Posted by gacott View Post

      Hmm,

      This looks to be the list to me: Rhode Island, New York, North Carolina, Hawaii and now Colorado.

      Garret
      Wow. I did not realize it was spreading ... scary. You would think the Govt. would want to build not destroy business!
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    • Profile picture of the author thecableguy
      Originally Posted by gacott View Post

      Hmm,

      This looks to be the list to me: Rhode Island, New York, North Carolina, Hawaii and now Colorado.

      Garret
      Not Hawaii, the bill was vetoed. Still lost about 3 weeks of commissions while they decided. For a while there I was looking at incorporating in another state.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rita012
        Here's a ray of hope.

        Senator Greg Brophy ( Home Page ) in a tweet

        "I have call into Amazon about affiliates - will seek emergency legislation if necessary to fix ."


        We need to support this.
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      • Profile picture of the author lukyjoe
        I'm in Colorado too and I got the same message today.
        should we expect other affiliates and Google adsense program to do the same?
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        • Profile picture of the author ronr
          In time almost every state will pass these laws to collect sales tax.

          I wonder what Amazon will do then?
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          • Profile picture of the author Rita012
            I can see why states need to collect sales tax from online retailers. The question is how.


            I urge you to read the response that Michael Campbell made on the Denver Post
            column that came out last month.

            http://neighbors.denverpost.com/view...&sd=a#p1277027


            Michael Campbell is the Chief Executive of the Federal Tax Authority.

            I think that he has a very interesting solution.
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          • Profile picture of the author Terry Edwards
            Originally Posted by ronr View Post

            In time almost every state will pass these laws to collect sales tax.

            I wonder what Amazon will do then?

            That's my thoughts as well. Other states will see this as an easy "cash grab" of sorts and follow suit. I haven't heard anyone mention if this is causing other network affiliate programs to pull out of these states or not?
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            • Profile picture of the author Rita012
              Things are happening. I'm hoping to see a bill soon-

              From Twitter;

              @SenatorBrophy: @jgoode contact CO Sen Pres & CO House Speaker in support of late bill to solve this problem
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    If the amount of income you derive from Amazon justifies the cost
    look into getting a mailing address with mail forwarding in Nevada
    or, I guess, any other state not affected by this ruling.

    Tsnyder
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    • Profile picture of the author mikegates
      Hi Garret,

      I am also a Colorado resident, in Fort Collins too, and received the same message. Luckily my Amazon commissions are very low, so it doesn't hurt me much. I'm just concerned about how this law is going to affect other affiliate networks.

      We need to work to get the idiots in the state legislature voted out ASAP. My representative told me it was passed along party lines, you can probably guess which party passed it.

      It amazes me that government wants to hurt the people they serve and collect taxes from.

      Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

      If the amount of income you derive from Amazon justifies the cost
      look into getting a mailing address with mail forwarding in Nevada
      or, I guess, any other state not affected by this ruling.
      Every affiliate marketer should be following these laws and planning a contingent strategy, such as a mail forwarding service.

      An interesting problem will be if California votes in a Democratic governor who would sign such legislation. A past proposed bill in California would have affected not only California-based affiliates, but also the affiliate networks (Commission Junction, Google Affiliate Network, etc.). Then, it may not matter if you have a Nevada address - anyone doing business through the affiliate network triggers the tax collection.

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author Rupps
    Never underestimate the lust of legislators to figure out ways to get more of your money.

    Anyhow, Tsnyder does give you an option you could pursue.

    Also It doesn't hurt to write your legislator and thank them for supporting this law that takes your income away and include the letter from Amazon.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    Amazon still allows affiliates in NY (i am one).

    Although I'm still waiting for my first check (due this month)

    I'll report back.

    Greedy gov't tools
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    • Profile picture of the author TinkBD
      I am in awe of the timing on this...

      I put an Amazon widget on a client's site late last night and I have a Skype call with her coming in in 20 minutes...

      Three guesses on where she lives.... (The first two don't count)

      Yeesh!


      Tink
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    • Profile picture of the author mash
      Our Governor can't even ride a bicycle without almost killing himself. We Coloradans will be waiting for a new State administration after Ritters' run on taxation, to appeal this and his new tax on soda and candy-bars......
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      • Profile picture of the author gacott
        Originally Posted by mash View Post

        Our Governor can't even ride a bicycle without almost killing himself. We Coloradans will be waiting for a new State administration after Ritters' run on taxation, to appeal this and his new tax on soda and candy-bars......
        LOL, got to love that don't you?

        Garret
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      • Profile picture of the author NicheCowboy
        Originally Posted by mash View Post

        Our Governor can't even ride a bicycle without almost killing himself. We Coloradans will be waiting for a new State administration after Ritters' run on taxation, to appeal this and his new tax on soda and candy-bars......
        At least your governor isn't out seeing his mistress on the taxpayers dime...more than I can say for mine!
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Interesting. I wonder how this will affect Jeff Walker's affiliate marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author scrofford
    I am so sick of the US and all of the State's governments garbage and stupidity! Washington State is trying to impose a few different new taxes in various things here. It's just all about greed. Fortunately A tax like Colorado's hasn't hit yet, but it wouldn't surprise me it it did...and Amazon is based here!
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  • Profile picture of the author desanctifier
    My question is:

    Since I'm in Colorado, will it still be worth it to be an affiliate? I am hearing talk that other affiliate programs will be pulling out as well -- the law has very broad implications, applying to pretty much any online purchase.

    And since it was mentioned, can anyone point me to info regarding how to incorporate in another state and run your business through that kind of loophole? I know there's more to it than just an out of state incorporation.

    Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Blondmoo
    Not New york yet either for Amazon, although it applies to some other affiliate programs I can not get into.

    The solution per Jerry West is to set up your LLC in another state ( mine is Wyoming because it is has the most protection/privacy and I am big into asset protection) and then set up an "office" of sorts to establish presence. I always thought a virtual assistant located in that state would do the trick and be able to forward any mail etc. It makes me nervous to focus on any Amazon driven niche sites but then as they always say have plan B ready.

    I would immediately implement Jerry's strategy if I got one of those letters, if I was smart I would set up another one now and have it ready to go.

    Anyone can PM me if you want to find out where I get my LLC's done and the asset protection they include....
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  • Profile picture of the author JonMills
    Looks like this is happening a lot, might be the new thing. Hope it dont reach canada
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  • Profile picture of the author bigbyte
    Another question would be, how willing is Amazon to work with us if we use a LLC or INC registered in another state with a mailing address in another state even though we still live in CO?!

    I have never seen much information about that from NY, NC, RI affiliates.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blondmoo
    BLONDE MOMENT ALERT

    I just checked my LLC and it is New Mexico that has the best protection....for some reason I always want to call it Wyoming, LOL, just one of those states over there I guess...no offense to those states "over there"

    'This state does not require the names of the owners therefore your name does not show up on the public records! In fact, your name is not on any document other than your Private Operating Agreement which you control. The mailing address of the principal office can be anywhere in the world. There are no annual fees or reports which means changes in ownership are not of public record. This is significant when compared to states like California that charge a minimum $800 annual franchise tax! "

    So first it's cheap (no fees), second there are no reports ( guess that's why I can't remember what state it's in half the time,lol) and third no names are public and address can be anywhere in the world (think about how that can benefit the affiliates in trouble)

    I really believe EVERY Internet Marketer should have the protection of an LLC 100% and since I am in NY I am getting worried this will affect me more and more.

    I am frantically looking for the information I have from Jerry on how to do this with and "office" in another state, I believe it is really easy from what I remember, I will post it when I find it (my computer suffers from information overload)

    This is the first time I have really been able to "Give Back" so to speak, I hope I can help a few people. I put a lot of time and effort into finding my asset protection guy a few years back and long story but it saved me in the six figure range (offline)....I will never file a corporation in my home state again, or Nevada or Delaware for that matter.

    anyone can pm for the Jerry West info too when I find it ( he laid it out step by step) but for now I have to get back to some work!
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    • Profile picture of the author jonb
      I'm in CO, so I'm affected by this. Fun!

      My guess is that Amazon is banking on enough outrage to sway the wording in the final bill. When that happens (and I believe -- or at least hope -- it will) Amazon will welcome their affiliates back. Meantime, I'm off to find an alternative affiiliate program for books (any suggestions?)
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      • Profile picture of the author Hereandthere
        Originally Posted by jonb View Post

        I'm in CO, so I'm affected by this. Fun!

        My guess is that Amazon is banking on enough outrage to sway the wording in the final bill. When that happens (and I believe -- or at least hope -- it will) Amazon will welcome their affiliates back. Meantime, I'm off to find an alternative affiiliate program for books (any suggestions?)
        The bill passed.
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  • Profile picture of the author jan roos
    Originally Posted by paytonlowe View Post

    Move to California, we have superstars running our state!
    LOL. That's the funniest thing I've heard all day
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  • Amazon is not going to win this one. More and more States are in the Red and this is an easy "fix" that the vast majority of the States Population will endorse because it doesn't effect them.
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    These big plans to raise revenues by raising taxes seldom work out as planned. Back when the income tax was first started, in the early 1900s, the rate was set at 6% and 1% and was not supposed to ever increase. But about six years later the President decided that they needed more money so they increased the rate. The upper income folks got their increase to 75% and I think the lower bracket went to 16%. The amount of revenue not only went down, it went down tremendously. I don't remember the numbers, but the revenues from the upper bracket were something over a billion dollars, and then after the raise in rates, the revenues to the treasury were something a little over $100 million. The revenues from the lower bracket had a similiar result. So much for raising tax revenue.

    When John Kennedy lowered tax rates, the revenues to the treasury increased dramaticly. Seme thing when Ronald Regan lowered taxes, the revenue to the treasury aproximatly doubled. Same thing happened when Georgr Bush lowered rates, revenue to the treasury increased dramatically.

    Elected politicians somehow can not understand that, and always think that lowering taxes will lower revenues, and raising taxes will increase revenues, when in practice the opposite happens.

    I wish everyone in Colorado, and the other states that have done this, good luck in getting it undone. You need to try and get more conservatives elected into these offices. Democrats seem to have a propensity for raising taxes. Republicans aren't much better, but they tend to be conservative most of the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author aldowins
    I hate to intrude on your thread here and I feel stupid for asking this but, how do you start a thread, I have been looking at all the controls for close to an hour and cannot figure out how to start a thread. I want to take action and start working on developing an IM career but I have questions and need to be able to start a thread to get them answered.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
      Originally Posted by aldowins View Post

      I hate to intrude on your thread here and I feel stupid for asking this but, how do you start a thread, I have been looking at all the controls for close to an hour and cannot figure out how to start a thread. I want to take action and start working on developing an IM career but I have questions and need to be able to start a thread to get them answered.
      Upper left corner, a little black button says "New Thread."
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      • Profile picture of the author bigbyte
        Originally Posted by Marhelper View Post

        Upper left corner, a little black button says "New Thread."
        Now you wish it would be that easy with a tax bill, too. Click here and a new tax bill is generated ...
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        • Profile picture of the author aldowins
          Originally Posted by bigbyte View Post

          Now you wish it would be that easy with a tax bill, too. Click here and a new tax bill is generated ...
          New question, why is there no "New Thread" button here for me?
          I just have post reply.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    I find it interesting that Federal Government anagrams to Large Fervent Demon.

    The government is an overgrown, out of control, greedy monster that feeds on hard working men and women; the elected officials of which should be replaced enthusiastically and often.
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    • Profile picture of the author Peggy Baron
      Waah, I got my pink slip from Amazon today too.

      If Amazon is laying off affiliates in each state as they come aboard the taxation boat, and they have fewer and fewer affiliates, won't that affect their bottom line at all?

      Grrr... I'm off to remove my Amazon affiliate links. What should I replace them with?
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      • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
        Originally Posted by Peggy Baron View Post

        Waah, I got my pink slip from Amazon today too.

        If Amazon is laying off affiliates in each state as they come aboard the taxation boat, and they have fewer and fewer affiliates, won't that affect their bottom line at all?

        Grrr... I'm off to remove my Amazon affiliate links. What should I replace them with?
        Ebay is the only logical solution as that is the only physical product network out there that has nearly enough products.

        I am sure they are working on it.

        I have a strange feeling that all of the states are going to jump on this stupid bill overtime.

        Eventually they will have to adapt and change their affiliate system or they will lose a lot of market share.

        I heard Walmart is already gunning for them - and what do you know, they have an affiliate program:

        Home - Affiliate Program - Walmart.com

        Don't know if they allow Colorado folks or not.
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        • Profile picture of the author Hereandthere
          Originally Posted by Daniel Brock View Post

          Ebay is the only logical solution...
          Maybe you aren't aware that eBay kicked out gazillions of affiliates AND greatly reduced what it's paying by shifting to a ppc model a few months back. Purchases that used to make me maybe $2 or more are making me a few cents now. I am from Colorado and eBay hasn't emailed me a goodbye note today, but I'm not going back to eBay.
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          • Profile picture of the author Tyler Jonsson
            Originally Posted by Hereandthere View Post

            Maybe you aren't aware that eBay kicked out gazillions of affiliates AND greatly reduced what it's paying by shifting to a ppc model a few months back. Purchases that used to make me maybe $2 or more are making me a few cents now. I am from Colorado and eBay hasn't emailed me a goodbye note today, but I'm not going back to eBay.
            Yep. eBay's affiliate program used to be a huge money maker for me. Now it is just a sad, silly shell of its former glory.

            I've 100% discontinued using their program, and recommend everyone does the same.
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      • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
        Originally Posted by Peggy Baron View Post

        If Amazon is laying off affiliates in each state as they come aboard the taxation boat, and they have fewer and fewer affiliates, won't that affect their bottom line at all?
        That's what I was thinking. They're gonna get far less revenue it would seem.
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      • Profile picture of the author bigbyte
        Originally Posted by Peggy Baron View Post


        Grrr... I'm off to remove my Amazon affiliate links. What should I replace them with?
        CJ.com has tons of merchants that will work with you. I am replacing links as we speak. Click on links and search for a product name. Not a perfect solution, but what is?! At least I got a few choices so that I can do A/B split testing to see which merchant converts better.

        I am stunned by the stupid response from the governor's office. It is disgusting. I hope the CO government gets burned when a federal court marks this law as unconstitutional.
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        • Profile picture of the author brchap
          Hello, Colorado neighbors.

          I am part of the Amazon Associate program, but I have not received my e-mail apparently. But, I suppose this affects me too.

          I guess it's not the end of the world, as I have only made about $20 so far with my Amazon affiliate Hubs over on Hubpages... but, there goes all the hard work I've been doing for the past couple of months.

          All of my content was written by me, all the SEO was done by me... all of that time... wasted. I even outsourced the creation of quite a few backlinks to these hubs last month!

          And I was really hoping to do something with this.

          Who wants to buy a Hub Pages account with about 50 optimized affiliate hubs?
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        • Profile picture of the author rhj12345
          Originally Posted by bigbyte View Post

          CJ.com has tons of merchants that will work with you. I am replacing links as we speak. Click on links and search for a product name. Not a perfect solution, but what is?! At least I got a few choices so that I can do A/B split testing to see which merchant converts better.

          I am stunned by the stupid response from the governor's office. It is disgusting. I hope the CO government gets burned when a federal court marks this law as unconstitutional.
          At least CJ knows the value of there Colorado Affiliates. Here is an E-mail response from them I sent asking about doing to us what Amazon did. Thank you, CJ for being on our side!

          Thank you for your inquiry. Commission Junction has no intention of breaking affiliations with clients in Colorado, or any other state currently experiencing Internet sales tax. Advertisers within our network however, may expire relationships at their own discretion. Keep in mind that you are allowed to have as many advertiser relationships as you wish, so if an advertiser expires your relationship due to this, there are other advertisers in our network that you can apply to.

          For further information regarding the status of Internet Retail Tax within your own state or others, and what Commission Junction is doing in regards to this issue, feel free to visit: http://www.cj.com/news/internet_tax.html for more information.

          We hope this answers your question. If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

          Sincerely,
          Commission Junction Client Support
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          • Profile picture of the author seasoned
            Originally Posted by rhj12345 View Post

            At least CJ knows the value of there Colorado Affiliates. Here is an E-mail response from them I sent asking about doing to us what Amazon did. Thank you, CJ for being on our side!
            MAN, don't you guys get it? CJ does NOT have affiliates! They sell NOTHING! So their claim is so much hot air! In fact, it is effectively a #$%^&*!

            AMAZON sells stuff, may owe sales tax, etc.... That may affect prices of the BUYER! THEY are subject to the laws!

            CJ does NOT sell stuff, likely does NOT owe sales tax! If they owe sales tax it is on the SERVICES to the merchant!

            NOW, and here is the rub! CJs MERCHANTS sell stuff, may owe sales tax, etc.... That may affect prices of the BUYER! THEY are subject to the laws! ****THEY**** may cancel you, and CJ has ALWAYS allowed them to do so. So don't be surprised if some CJ MERCHANTS drop you.

            ALL CJ does is act as an INTERMEDIARY! They line up people with companies. Hey, banner companies, adwords, surf sites, etc... ALSO probably won't cancel you. They do the SAME thing as CJ.

            Steve
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            • Profile picture of the author rhj12345
              Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

              MAN, don't you guys get it? CJ does NOT have affiliates! They sell NOTHING! So their claim is so much hot air! In fact, it is effectively a #$%^&*!

              AMAZON sells stuff, may owe sales tax, etc.... That may affect prices of the BUYER! THEY are subject to the laws!

              CJ does NOT sell stuff, likely does NOT owe sales tax! If they owe sales tax it is on the SERVICES to the merchant!

              NOW, and here is the rub! CJs MERCHANTS sell stuff, may owe sales tax, etc.... That may affect prices of the BUYER! THEY are subject to the laws! ****THEY**** may cancel you, and CJ has ALWAYS allowed them to do so. So don't be surprised if some CJ MERCHANTS drop you.

              ALL CJ does is act as an INTERMEDIARY! They line up people with companies. Hey, banner companies, adwords, surf sites, etc... ALSO probably won't cancel you. They do the SAME thing as CJ.

              Steve
              Little too much caffeine?

              My point was others will not let us down like Amazon did. The other thing is build your core business on helping local offline businesses to succeed. This is what I have done for 15 years, so all the talk about loss of income on the affiliate side won't affect me as much, nor should it affect you.

              There is so much un-tapped money to be made in the offline world it's crazy. Just create a Rent-a-site model, sign up businesses as monthly recurring revenue, and go for it.

              Then the next time one of these spineless companies like Amazon wants to drop us, you can roll your eyes, and just move on.
              Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author mikefort
    And I thought we had problems with a stupid Govt over here in the UK?
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  • Profile picture of the author Peggy Baron
    9News post about it:
    http://www.9news.com/news/article.as...4151&catid=339


    And I was also about to roll out an aStore for our school district to help them through yet another round of massive budget cuts. What a shame.
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  • Profile picture of the author gacott
    Yeah, what really gets in my crawl is all the stinking websites I have to go through and completely reconfigure now. All of those WP blogs . . . ahhhgghhhh.

    Garret
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    • Profile picture of the author Peggy Baron
      Originally Posted by gacott View Post

      Yeah, what really gets in my crawl is all the stinking websites I have to go through and completely reconfigure now. All of those WP blogs . . . ahhhgghhhh.

      Garret
      I know!
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  • Profile picture of the author Chuck Burke
    I live in North Carolina, so I got it with no kisses earlier.
    I think all states will eventually do this. Tax happy *******s.
    No, I don't have a quick fix.

    I love my country. I hate my government.

    Chuck
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      It's a grab for money but it's promoted as leveling the playing field for brick and mortar businesses. The tax has to be passed on to the customers -
      would you buy from an affiliate link where tax was added when you could go to another link where it wasn't? Don't think so.

      Amazon pricing is low and their commissions are too low for affiliates to pay the sales tax themselves. The state "heads" can bluster all they want but they just put people out of work in their state trying to get more taxes. Won't work out as they hoped.

      Affiliates in other states will pick up more sales - and non-US affiliates will move into markets, too. I doubt it will hurt Amazon at all. It will hurt a lot of affiliates who rely on the income and that's sad.

      The idea that offline businesses must be protected from nasty online sellers is ridiculous to me. You can't force people to pay the higher prices in an offline store when they can buy cheaper online. Amazon knows that even if state legislators don't.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author pcpupil
    What if we all had a standard website.
    Gave out a free ebook.We also had a couple related products on the page but didnt take online payments.
    Just put a friendly paragraph on how to send using a MO or check.
    Then theres no trail,so then nobody has to report it.
    Maybe thatll teach em.Also when you mail to your list,do the same.
    Suggest that with all the identity theft,its better to send the above anyway.
    Matt
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by pcpupil View Post

      What if we all had a standard website.
      Gave out a free ebook.We also had a couple related products on the page but didnt take online payments.
      Just put a friendly paragraph on how to send using a MO or check.
      Then theres no trail,so then nobody has to report it.
      Maybe thatll teach em.Also when you mail to your list,do the same.
      Suggest that with all the identity theft,its better to send the above anyway.
      Matt
      MAN, DUMB IDEA! HERE'S WHY!

      1. A check, or M.O. will GREATLY limit sales!

      2. A check will limit turn around! I have even seen CASHIERS checks bounced, so don't talk about THAT!

      3. There is a FEDERAL law that ALL checks(OR Money orders! Actually, ANY non credit draft that hits the bank system) above $5000, maybe LOWER now, MUST be microfiched! Failure to do so can be met with HARSH penalties! Ever since that law went into place, DECADES ago, banks microfiched ALL checks! It was just EASIER! TODAY, as a service, they often have pictures ONLINE! So there definitely IS a trail! ALSO, NOBODY is STUPID enough to complicate matters by doing EVERYTHING themselves 100% manually, so it goes through the A.C.H., and is replacated using MICR and a couple simple entries. That means MORE records, a central location, and BETTER federal control. It is easier, cheaper, faster, and safer for the banks.

      4. Check problems have been exploited by the likes of frank abignale, and even TODAY with the 419 scheme, so your claim that they prevent identity theft is a LIE! Actually, credit card charges are easier to dispute, details are easier to change, and personal details are better hidden. Paypal further isolates this. NO paypal merchant(outside of some paypal pro purchases) knows ANYTHING about where the money came from.

      OH YEAH, #5. You are STILL breaking the law,

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    Let's all move to Costa Rica, do business, eat good food... lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikkosant
    Time to create your own line of products direct to paypal I suppose. Or use an address workaround that was previously mentioned. I know you can't create the products listed on amazon, but you can atleast prevent some sort of affiliate marketing destruction by marketing and creating your own products.

    I hope this doesn't happen in California too.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarketingSPY
    Most government elected officials have never sold a product, never owned a business and do not understand business. They simply do not understand how money works. Whenever you vote for anyone who wants to work within our governement ask or make sure he/she has had business experience in the real world and not just some "fool" trying to collect a nice paycheck for screwing up businesses. These "idiots" are bankrupting their own states and our entire nation. What a shame!

    Happy Trails.
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  • Profile picture of the author shaunjamie2005
    They are working on Illinois now. I have no faith in this state. Blago royally screwed us, so we have to make up for it some how. Fortunately, I haven't ever really gotten into Amazon. I am just worried about other affiliate programs.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    What they need to do is treat politicians like U.S. citizens! YOU KNOW, PAY their own TAXES, DO their own BOOKS, DO EVERYTHING THEMSELVES, NOT RUN CAMPAIGNS FOR MONEY, NOT GIVE THEM SPECIAL INSURANCE, NOT GIVE THEM SPECIAL PRIVILEGES, NOT GIVE THEM PENSIONS. NOT GIVE THEM OFFICES. HAVE THEM WORK 40 hours/52 weeks a year. PROSECUTE THEM like citizens!

    THEN they can get a taste of reality, and maybe plan things accordingly. Too bad that THEY have to be the ones to legislate that.

    Unless you have collected sales taxes for a place like california, or a number of states, this looks like a non issue. The fact is that it is FAR worse than it appears.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      If you want to get a realistic view of may happen, look at where credit card companies are "located".

      There are several states with weak usury laws that allow very high interest rates - and almost all credit card lenders are incorporated in those few states. Small affiliates won't want the hassle and cost of incorporating but affiliates with substantial business will find ways to keep selling.

      "All" states will not follow this Colorado example. A few states will see the advantage of becoming a "haven state" and will benefit from that.

      The problem is caused by the gvts we elect - who traditionally seek more and more income rather than cutting costs to meet the income level they have. We understand basic budgeting - we need to stop giving power to those who don't.

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Hereandthere
        I am wondering if there are Amazon affiliates from NY or NC or any other states that Amazon dropped, who figured out a way to carry on with an address in another state.

        If you started up a NEW LLC or corporation or personal account, were you able to swap out your old whatever-20 for your new one and carry on? I'm not asking here about the mechanics of doing it on the webpages but.... did Amazon accept the new links and did your income return?

        (Please PM if you are not comfortable posting details in a public thread that gets indexed by GG!)
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        If you want to get a realistic view of may happen, look at where credit card companies are "located".

        There are several states with weak usury laws that allow very high interest rates - and almost all credit card lenders are incorporated in those few states. Small affiliates won't want the hassle and cost of incorporating but affiliates with substantial business will find ways to keep selling.
        CALIFORNIA has a USARY law! It SPECIFICALLY EXEMPTS banks and real estate brokers!!!!!!!! A lot of good THAT does! If I borrow $1000 at 20% interest from a credit card, and charge a friend MY COST for a loan, I get charged with usary, and may be out the 20% OR WORSE! The credit card company can STILL collect it!

        "All" states will not follow this Colorado example. A few states will see the advantage of becoming a "haven state" and will benefit from that.
        But many WILL follow colorado!

        The problem is caused by the gvts we elect - who traditionally seek more and more income rather than cutting costs to meet the income level they have. We understand basic budgeting - we need to stop giving power to those who don't.

        kay
        You have THAT right!
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  • Profile picture of the author DennisM
    I would not blame individual States about this tax. It's the federal government pissing away our tax dollars (Iraq war for starters at Billions per MONTH). With the economy in the toilet there's less sales tax to collect on brick and mortar businesses like me.

    What's the states supposed to do? When you have budget shortfalls you have to find a way to make up the revenue. I'm not saying taxes are always the right answer but when legislators are backed in a corner this is what happens. Laws get enacted on desperation.

    For all of you online "marketers" what's a fair tax to pay? Are you suggesting you never pay some sort of tax for your online business?

    This is squarely to blame on Amazon. Not the State instituting the tax. Amazon would rather take the easy way out and not deal with it (the States) rather then collect tax and forward on.

    Oh, while I'm on a rant here. Are brick and mortars like me (I have 50 employees) supposed to hold the burden? Let me ask you...how many "jobs" has your online business created? And I'm not talking offshore either.

    Regards,
    Dennis
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by DennisM View Post

      I would not blame individual States about this tax. It's the federal government pissing away our tax dollars (Iraq war for starters at Billions per MONTH). With the economy in the toilet there's less sales tax to collect on brick and mortar businesses like me.
      SO WHAT!?!? Start firing useless workers, pay them regular fees/benefits, and CUT BACK! Everyone ELSE has to!

      What's the states supposed to do? When you have budget shortfalls you have to find a way to make up the revenue. I'm not saying taxes are always the right answer but when legislators are backed in a corner this is what happens. Laws get enacted on desperation.
      BULL! They are enacted out of GREED!

      For all of you online "marketers" what's a fair tax to pay? Are you suggesting you never pay some sort of tax for your online business?
      This is NOT about that. Affiliates have to pay income tax! This is about SALES TAX! The affiliate can NOT pay that! You sell an item for $100, the affiliate gets maybe $3, and THEY, in california, have to somehow find the sale is to southgate, and pay the $10.75 in sales tax!?!?!?!? You REALLY believe that? What kind of business ARE you in?

      This is squarely to blame on Amazon. Not the State instituting the tax. Amazon would rather take the easy way out and not deal with it (the States) rather then collect tax and forward on.
      Man, you just DON'T GET IT! BTW, with the new law, and affiliates in the state, ALL colorado people have to pay sales tax! With NO affiliates, NO colorado people have to pay sales tax.

      Oh, while I'm on a rant here. Are brick and mortars like me (I have 50 employees) supposed to hold the burden? Let me ask you...how many "jobs" has your online business created? And I'm not talking offshore either.

      Regards,
      Dennis
      You have 50 employees, does that mean one location? If so, you are subject to ONE tax, unless it is within a state like california, and you ship to other places in the state with a different tax rate, unless the items are not taxable! I doubt you have ANY idea!

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
        Ultimately, I think one of two things will happen:

        California passes a law and due to the sheer number of large affiliate networks, online businesses, and affiliates in CA, it becomes a de facto national standard as other states fall in line. There will no safe harbor by residing in some states because the networks will be in states with this tax law, or

        A national 'uniform online tax fairness law' is passed. I'm somewhat surprised Pelosi hasn't already introduced a bill.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by DennisM View Post

      What's the states supposed to do? When you have budget shortfalls you have to find a way to make up the revenue. I'm not saying taxes are always the right answer but when legislators are backed in a corner this is what happens. Laws get enacted on desperation.
      Legislators are backed into corners because they painted themselves there. Money comes in, they spend it. They don't save anything for a rainy day. They can't let money remain unspent. They don't think to put anything aside. It comes in; it goes out. They even spend money they don't even have yet, based on what they think they will collect in revenues. Then, when there are tough times, they don't have any money set aside to cover.

      For all of you online "marketers" what's a fair tax to pay? Are you suggesting you never pay some sort of tax for your online business?
      If politicians want a sales tax on Internet sales, it should one rate across the country. That would be fair and relatively easy for sellers to calculate and collect.

      However, the "Streamlined Sales Tax Initiative" these pinheads came up with is anything but. They want sales tax calculated based on the destination, which can only be figured on a per address basis. Sales taxes can vary within a zip code, within a state, and, while things are computerized, politicians don't understand the complexity of such a system and the real burden it has on sellers, especially those that are small.

      Consider the state of Ohio. We already have destination-based sales tax. So, anytime I get an order from anywhere in the state, I have to calculate and charge the sales tax based upon where it is going. There are 88 counties in the state, each of which may have a different sales tax rate. Plus, within a county, there may be cities and jurisdictions that have their own sales tax rates. So, this all needs to be looked up in order to calculate the sales tax.

      And, for our work as tax collectors, we get compensated a whopping 3/4ths of a percent, which has always worked out to be less than the state's minimum wage when I figure how much time it takes me to do all this.

      Yet, that is the system they want to spread across the country. You would have to calculate the sales tax rate based upon where it is going. And then you'll have to keep track of all that and report it. Let's say you have an average of 50 sales tax districts per state; that works out to be 2,500 nationwide. And, that's probably a low figure.

      So, what would be fair and "streamlined" would be one rate for all. Not a conglomerated mess.

      This is squarely to blame on Amazon. Not the State instituting the tax. Amazon would rather take the easy way out and not deal with it (the States) rather then collect tax and forward on.
      Of course Amazon would prefer to take the easy way out! Who wouldn't?

      Oh, while I'm on a rant here. Are brick and mortars like me (I have 50 employees) supposed to hold the burden? Let me ask you...how many "jobs" has your online business created? And I'm not talking offshore either.
      Most bricks and mortar businesses don't have to calculate and collect sales taxes on over 88 tax districts. Someone comes into your business and makes a purchase, you charge them one sales tax rate. But, when someone comes to my website, I cannot do the same? How am I supposed to hold the burden for collecting sales tax on 88+ taxing districts? How am I supposed to hold the burden for collecting sales tax on 2500+ taxing districts?

      Politicians can cry all they want about this "leveling the playing field," but that is not their interest or goal. They are purely interested in the money. Already, the playing field is reasonably level. Someone buys from a B&M, they have to pay for the product plus sales tax. Someone buys from a website, they have to pay for the product plus shipping. It's pretty even already. But, now politicians want it so that if someone buys from a website, they have to pay for the product plus shipping plus sales tax.

      So, it's not about fairness. It's about money. It's about the politicians continual inability to live within their means, to maintain a budget, to set aside for a "rainy" day. Sadly, most politicians are completely clueless when it comes from business and have absolutely no conception of what is involved.
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    • Profile picture of the author Taylor French
      Originally Posted by DennisM View Post

      For all of you online "marketers" what's a fair tax to pay? Are you suggesting you never pay some sort of tax for your online business?
      Are you serious? :confused:

      Aren't we already paying a massive sum in FEDERAL taxes?

      Let the damn government figure out how to budget for once. They're sure as hell forcing all of us to.
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  • Profile picture of the author DrGUID
    I guess you Americans are starting to wake up to the fact that useless wars and other things aren't cheap.

    I am starting to realise that the US, UK etc. are stuffed - look at how many affiliates are now based overseas. Look at how good Indians are getting at monetising the web. Our factories have gone to Asia, now all our jobs (except haircutting and shelf stacking perhaps) are going to Asia.

    I am working on my own plan to move to the far east.
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by DrGUID View Post

      I guess you Americans are starting to wake up to the fact that useless wars and other things aren't cheap.

      I am starting to realise that the US, UK etc. are stuffed - look at how many affiliates are now based overseas. Look at how good Indians are getting at monetising the web. Our factories have gone to Asia, now all our jobs (except haircutting and shelf stacking perhaps) are going to Asia.

      I am working on my own plan to move to the far east.
      WRONG, EVEN haircutting and stocking shelves is going to asia! HOW you say? LUDICROUS you say? FIRST of all, more workers in asia, and some warehousing moved there. SECOND, they are moving HERE!

      And this has NOTHING to do with the wars! SURE they are expensive, but we are talking about stuff FAR into the future. I WOULD go farther, but....

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author DennisM
    Seasoned,

    You do have some valid points. I never thought about the tax on affiliates themselves.

    I guess it comes down to me personally not having a full understanding of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is not a real business. AM's are just glorified sales reps pushing eyeballs to an offer for a commission but that's just my opinion.

    Your comment about me firing employees has nothing to do with this. I never said I was a struggling business. As a matter of fact, I'm holding my own as my training business is doing fairly well.

    We can agree to disagree on a few things. Again, you make some valid points.

    Regards,
    Dennis
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    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by DennisM View Post

      Seasoned,

      You do have some valid points. I never thought about the tax on affiliates themselves.

      I guess it comes down to me personally not having a full understanding of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is not a real business. AM's are just glorified sales reps pushing eyeballs to an offer for a commission but that's just my opinion.
      ACTUALLY, I agree with you there! MANY B&M stores now call their salespeople and clerks "AFFILIATES". AND, ironically enough, places like amazon make it clear that "affiliates" are NOT affiliated with them. They don't want to have to deal with false advertising from others.

      Originally Posted by DennisM View Post

      Your comment about me firing employees has nothing to do with this. I never said I was a struggling business. As a matter of fact, I'm holding my own as my training business is doing fairly well.
      You misunderstood. I meant the GOVERNMENT should. Glad to hear that YOU are doing well BUT, if you weren't, would you REALLY raise prices? Cutting back on luxuries is ****ALWAYS**** the surest way to improve profit margins. Raising prices will often REDUCE sales, and may upset customers. If you double prices, you can actually LOSE MONEY. If you can make the same product for a LITTLE less, it can greatly increase your margin. Say a product costs $5 to make, and you have $1 profit. A reducion in cost of $.50(12.5%) increases your profit 50%! Raising the price by even 10% could mean you lose business, etc... And a 10% increase is only the same dollar amount, but still a lower profit margin.

      The government always thinks that raising taxes is the answer. HEY, if they lowered costs to zero, everyone would be happy, etc... BALANCED BUDGET! YEAH!!!!!! Say they charged 99% tax, and felt they needed more money. They raise it to 100%! Would they make more money? NO WAY! Most people would just quit their jobs. Why work for NOTHING! You would think people would realize that! SOME might claim that they can't operate with a 0% income tax, but they DID, for quite a while. They simply followed the constitutional idea of impost/excise taxes. For SOME reason, the US doesn't want to do that, so they actually passed NAFTA AND GATT! AND, of course, there are now lots of other taxes also.

      Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author Hereandthere
        As a Colorado resident and webmaster with hundreds and hundreds of Amazon links in total on my various sites, I am really interested in the nuts and bolts of what can be done to save a big chunk of my business.

        An online Colorado friend of mine emailed State Sen. Morse (Senate majority leader) and got this reply, reprinted here with my friend's permission so long as I didn't use his name.

        I keep wondering what paths may be open to me as a result of focusing in on exactly what this says...

        ===========
        Mr ZZZ,

        This may qualify as an understatement, but I see we disagree. I get your frustration and I get that you are entitled to it. What you are not entitled to are you own facts.

        Before we passed HB 10-1193 Amazon.com <http://Amazon.com/> paid zero in sales or use tax to Colorado. After we passed the bill they are required to pay zero in sales and use tax. What the bill did was require them to notify the state and their Colorado customers as to the total amount of purchases from them and any other on-line retailer who elects not to collect sales tax at the point of sale on an annual basis, similar to a 1099 or W-2 that is submitted to the IRS. What Amazon's affiliates have to do with this is... well nothing. Eliminating the affiliates saves Amazon exactly zero in tax since they still owe zero in tax. What it saves them in administrative burden is zero since they still have to comply with the new law and notify Colorado customers and the State of Colorado of the total amount of on-line purchases. That means they cancelled their affiliate contracts for no valid business purpose. It had to be just because they could and they wanted to intimidate any other state that might think it wants to collect a tax that is already legally owed by consumers.

        This action is arbitrary and capricious, and metaphorically, that is the equivalent of spitting in our face as this will cost some of our residents income for no valid business purpose.

        In any event, Colorado is on the brink of having to close schools, prisons, and colleges, so in my view, I have a duty to collect all tax that is legally owed. That is what this bill did, but in the process we angered a large corporation that made $902 million last year. They have plenty of weight to throw around and are doing so.
        I appreciate your comments and our right to disagree.


        --
        Senator John P. Morse
        Senate Majority Leader
        State Capitol Building
        200 E. Colfax Avenue
        Room 263
        Denver, CO 80203
        Office (303) 866-3341
        Fax (303) 866-4543
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        • Profile picture of the author Hereandthere
          Another thing, from another online friend, quoted w permission:

          =======
          Amazon still has to comply with the law whether the sales comes through an affiliate referral or not. If I, in New Jersey, refer a Colorado customer, they still have to do the same paperwork as if a Colorado affiliate sent the customer. They didn't fire me. It sounds like a class action suit waiting to happen.
          ===========

          That last line encouraged me for a moment but I wonder if it would work since our TOS as Amazon affiliates basically say A can do what it wants.
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    • Profile picture of the author jan roos
      Originally Posted by DennisM View Post

      Seasoned,

      You do have some valid points. I never thought about the tax on affiliates themselves.

      I guess it comes down to me personally not having a full understanding of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is not a real business. AM's are just glorified sales reps pushing eyeballs to an offer for a commission but that's just my opinion.

      Your comment about me firing employees has nothing to do with this. I never said I was a struggling business. As a matter of fact, I'm holding my own as my training business is doing fairly well.

      We can agree to disagree on a few things. Again, you make some valid points.

      Regards,
      Dennis
      I don't understand how you can say Affiliate marketing is not a real business. Do you have sales people in your business? If you look at Brick and Mortar businesses, often the sales people are the ones that make the most money. Why? Because without sales there would be no business.

      We are the sales people on the internet. Think about it mate..
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  • Profile picture of the author kyhell
    IMHO a Las vegas loan shark has more business sense then old uncle sam.
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  • Profile picture of the author JonathanVolk
    It's sad to hear things like this are happening. SO glad the similar thing didn't pass in CA. I would have no choice but to move away.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hereandthere
      Originally Posted by JonathanVolk View Post

      It's sad to hear things like this are happening. SO glad the similar thing didn't pass in CA. I would have no choice but to move away.
      Jonathan, if that CA is Canada you are probably fine but if it is California I think there is a good chance you'll need some packing boxes sooner or later. OR to create a business in another state, which might be a whole lot easier!
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    OK, HERE is what *I* have to say to Morse!

    What Amazon's affiliates have to do with this is... well nothing(WRONG! Get a real job, and maybe we can talk! They had to get rid of affiliates to keep the business, and avoid your harsh requirements!). Eliminating the affiliates saves Amazon exactly zero in tax since they still owe zero in tax.(WRONG AGAIN! It saves them an unjust burden, and possibly their customers from undue hardship. After all, one has to believe, as you later imply, that you WILL seek the taxes!) What it saves them in administrative burden is zero since they still have to comply with the new law and notify Colorado customers and the State of Colorado of the total amount of on-line purchases. (PLEASE read: http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2010a/csl.nsf/billcontainers/B30F574193882B4B872576A80026BE0C//1193.eng

    Section 1 of the bill relates to current law requiring a retailer to collect sales tax from a person residing in this state only if the retailer has sufficient connections with this state.

    (II) (A) Commencing March 1, 2010, if a retailer enters into an agreement with an affiliate under which the affiliate, for a commission or other consideration, directly or indirectly refers potential customers, whether by a link on an internet web site or otherwise, to the retailer, then the affiliate shall be presumed to have solicited business on behalf of such retailer and such retailer is deemed to be doing business in this state.

    (B) For purposes of this subparagraph (II), "affiliate" means a person residing in this state that publicly, not including electronically, solicit business by means of their physical presence in this state.

    )That means they cancelled their affiliate contracts for no valid business purpose.
    ...
    In any event, Colorado is on the brink of having to close schools, prisons, and colleges, so in my view, I have a duty to collect all tax that is legally owed.(If that is true, WHY does this affect only internet businesses? Why can't you cut back on expenses) That is what this bill did, but in the process we angered a large corporation that made $902 million last year. They have plenty of weight to throw around and are doing so.
    I appreciate your comments and our right to disagree.
    I ALSO find another part interesting:

    (II) (A) Commencing March 1, 2010, if a retailer enters into an agreement with an affiliate under which the affiliate, for a commission or other consideration, directly or indirectly refers potential customers, whether by a link on an internet web site or otherwise, to the retailer, then the affiliate shall be presumed to have solicited business on behalf of such retailer and such retailer is deemed to be doing business in this state. This presumption shall not apply unless the cumulative gross receipts from sales by the retailer to customers in the state who are referred to the retailer by all affiliates with this type of an agreement with the retailer are in excess of ten thousand dollars during the preceding calendar year. This presumption may be rebutted by proof that the affiliate with whom the retailer has an agreement did not engage in any solicitation in this state on behalf of the retailer that would satisfy the nexus requirement of the United States constitution during the calendar year in question. Nothing in this subparagraph (II) shall be construed to narrow the scope of any term for purposes of this article.

    In other words, they want the company to send out a document listing all affiliates that are NOT in colorado, but selling over $10,000 to people in colorado. THIS could be construed as making subparagraph I apply, which is more general.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Rita012
      I received this email from State Representaive Paul Wiseman:

      ----

      We worked with the affiliates and Amazon to amend that bill so that there was no longer a nexus between the affiliates and the sales tax. This bill, as amended and passed, now just has a mechanism where current law can possibly be enforced. Sales and Use tax law has always stated that people owe tax on any purchases, whether locally in a traditional brick and mortar store, in a catalog, or online. The only question was if that tax is collected and paid by the retailer or paid by the purchaser.

      We specifically changed this bill at the urging of the affiliates, and got hundreds of "thank you" emails from the affiliates when we made this change. I am disappointed with Amazon's decision, especially after we worked with the affiliates to eliminate the nexus. The sponsors of the bill intend to contact Amazon to try to resolve this dispute.

      Paul Weissmann
      State Representative
      -----
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      • Profile picture of the author Rita012
        I'd like to post a comment that was made in the Denver Post last month, which is worth a read:



        We generally agree with the spirit of Mr. Carroll's article, that the Colorado Senate should not pass HB 1193 as currently drafted.

        To be blunt, developing a mechanism of taxation which targets a small hand full of Internet retailers based upon their current marketing strategy will simply induce those Internet retailers to modify or eliminate that marketing strategy in the State of Colorado.

        We expect the legislators supporting this Bill have been romanced by the $53 million in new tax revenue captured by the State of New York last year based upon similar legislation which ensnared 30 Internet companies into collecting and remitting local sales tax (but allows the other 3+ million Internet retailers selling to New York residents to continue selling without charging sales tax). While the New York law is being challenged in the courts as unconstitutional, the retailers (specifically Amazon.com and Overstock.com) have agreed to collect and remit local sales taxes pending the outcome of those proceedings.

        Two other states also passed similar legislation last year; Rhode Island and North Carolina. What happened in those states? The few Internet retailers who were using affiliate marketing tactics simply discontinued those programs in those states. Result: No new revenue for those states, and likely more than a few small businesses which relied on web page banner advertisements as a source of revenue suddenly found those income streams dramatically reduced, if not completely eliminated.

        We also previously responded (with even more detail about these so-called "affiliate" taxes: http://neighbors.denverpost.com/view...31691#p1205572) in late December when the Denver Post ran the article "Online shoppers reducing state sales-tax revenue" (Online shoppers reducing state sales-tax revenue - The Denver Post)

        A Solution: If it is Colorado's intent to stimulate revenue through the collection of sales and use taxes already due, then Colorado should take the steps to require all out-of-state retailers to collect and remit local sales tax, just as all local "bricks and mortar" stores do today.

        How?

        Colorado should introduce legislation to conform to the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (Streamlined sales tax), and should support introduction and passage of contemplated Federal Legislation: The Main Street Fairness Act.

        The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (or SSUTA) involves a multilateral forty-four state coalition which has been working together for over ten years to modernize and simplify sales tax codes to ensure consistent collection by all businesses. Curiously, every state in the union which collects sales tax is a participant in this effort except Colorado?!?!

        The SSUTA is an approach to Internet sales tax resulting from 10 years of iterative legislation, negotiation, and development involving a collective effort of vendors, technology providers, industry associations, and forty-four states. SSUTA is designed to simplify and standardize sales and use tax laws (including standard definitions for taxable goods, tax holidays, and rate change notices), with the goal of enabling any out-of-state sellers to easily comply with local sales tax initiatives. SSUTA is also based upon and supported by an extensive body of regulation and case law surrounding sales and use tax jurisdiction and liability.

        How did we get here?

        In 1992, the Supreme Court confirmed in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota that taxation of interstate retail transactions (at the time mail order) were under the control of Congress, and declined to redefine place of business to include Quill Corp. catalog recipients in North Dakota. At that time, it was unrealistic to require remote sellers to keep track of many thousands of state and local tax codes, and thus interstate transactions have not to date been subject to taxation. However, with the rapid evolution of the Internet along with the advanced computing resources and standardized tools available today, the technical capacity to keep track of hundreds of thousands of items, and tens of millions transactions per quarter is no longer in question. We believe the continued commoditization of computing power is precisely what will enable SSUTA to succeed.

        Sales tax, in many places, is the law of the land, and the privilege of a computer, a credit card and an Internet connection should not exempt a purchaser from that obligation. Sales taxes are approved directly or indirectly by the voters of each state, per the laws of that state, to pay for local police, fire and hospitals. These sales taxes are routinely collected by merchants large and small, from the states' residents. This is taxation with representation at its classical best, and is cleanly implemented by the SSUTA approach and supported by a large crowd of commercial and government interests.

        The SSUTA approach enables local sales taxes to be paid by the voters that vote upon, and benefit from, these local sales taxes - the citizens of the states themselves. The initiative supports taxation WITH representation. While some states may choose to also expand the definition of nexus to encompass contractual business relationships, but this should not be conflated with SSUTA.

        In the interest of full disclosure, Fed-Tax.net is currently pending certification as a Certified Service Provider under SSUTA regulations, optimized for the needs of small merchants. Our service will soon be available at zero cost to merchants and only minimal integration required. While our system will enable accurate determination of local sales tax under any approach, we clearly believe the SSUTA model is best for taxpayers, businesses, and the states.

        R. David L. Campbell
        Chief Executive
        The Federal Tax Authority (http://Fed-Tax.net)Fed-Tax.net
        ---
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        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by Rita012 View Post

          A Solution: If it is Colorado's intent to stimulate revenue through the collection of sales and use taxes already due, then Colorado should take the steps to require all out-of-state retailers to collect and remit local sales tax, just as all local "bricks and mortar" stores do today.
          "Just as ... do today" means that ... do the EXACT same thing! LOCAL/LOCAL is NOTHING like OUT-OF-STATE/LOCAL! They are TOTALLY different.

          The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (or SSUTA) involves a multilateral forty-four state coalition which has been working together for over ten years to modernize and simplify sales tax codes to ensure consistent collection by all businesses. Curiously, every state in the union which collects sales tax is a participant in this effort except Colorado?!?!
          MAN is that convoluted! 170 pages, when it could be ONE!?!?!?

          The SSUTA is an approach to Internet sales tax resulting from 10 years of iterative legislation, negotiation, and development involving a collective effort of vendors, technology providers, industry associations, and forty-four states. SSUTA is designed to simplify and standardize sales and use tax laws (including standard definitions for taxable goods, tax holidays, and rate change notices), with the goal of enabling any out-of-state sellers to easily comply with local sales tax initiatives. SSUTA is also based upon and supported by an extensive body of regulation and case law surrounding sales and use tax jurisdiction and liability.
          Too many cooks really DO spoil the broth!

          In 1992, the Supreme Court confirmed in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota that taxation of interstate retail transactions (at the time mail order) were under the control of Congress, and declined to redefine place of business to include Quill Corp. catalog recipients in North Dakota. At that time, it was unrealistic to require remote sellers to keep track of many thousands of state and local tax codes, and thus interstate transactions have not to date been subject to taxation. However, with the rapid evolution of the Internet along with the advanced computing resources and standardized tools available today, the technical capacity to keep track of hundreds of thousands of items, and tens of millions transactions per quarter is no longer in question. We believe the continued commoditization of computing power is precisely what will enable SSUTA to succeed.
          FALSE PREMISE! GIGO! Garbage In/Garbage Out! So they have to somehow get compatible software, etc... and what about REPORTING?

          HEY, want to hear how convoluted and unfair it is?

          Arkansas
          An oxygen tank, without a prescription is taxable. If you have a prescription, it ISN'T!
          Dialysis equipment is taxable, unless medicare reimbursed it!
          Telephone service is usually taxable, unless it is 800 or 900!

          Who thinks this stuff up? If I were doing it, I wouldn't have charged for ANY of that. It is NECESSARY, except 800 and 900! If I were going to charge tax, it would be on 900, which bring in money! And WHO would think that a prescription or reimbursment would affect the tax rate? services USED to be NON TAXABLE!

          Steve
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      • Profile picture of the author bigbyte
        Originally Posted by Rita012 View Post

        I received this email from State Representaive Paul Wiseman:

        ----

        We worked with the affiliates and Amazon to amend that bill so that there was no longer a nexus between the affiliates and the sales tax. This bill, as amended and passed, now just has a mechanism where current law can possibly be enforced. Sales and Use tax law has always stated that people owe tax on any purchases, whether locally in a traditional brick and mortar store, in a catalog, or online. The only question was if that tax is collected and paid by the retailer or paid by the purchaser.

        We specifically changed this bill at the urging of the affiliates, and got hundreds of "thank you" emails from the affiliates when we made this change. I am disappointed with Amazon's decision, especially after we worked with the affiliates to eliminate the nexus. The sponsors of the bill intend to contact Amazon to try to resolve this dispute.

        Paul Weissmann
        State Representative
        -----
        Weissmann is an id!0t. I received the same lame, canned response. I told him it is the wrong time to glorify how they worked with us affiliates to "fix" the bill. I told the damage has been done and that we now need politicians who are able to work with each other and to negotiate a deal out of this mess.

        But no matter what you tell these guys, they cannot and will not give in. They moved them self into the corner and if they give in now, they will look like losers. They already do, but since they are not "catering" us for our votes ....
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        • Profile picture of the author Hereandthere
          I am experimenting with a British company called skimlinks at skimlinks.com -- a possible way for Colorado, NC, NY, etc., people to do Amazon, eBay, and many other affiliate links without having your own account with each company. I got their system to work for an Amazon link on one of my html pages, I think, but definitely not yet for my wordpress blog on the same url. Have something in to tech support.

          Found their site annoying basic. Anyone have experience with them?

          Essentially you are using their affiliate ID, they pay you 75% of the revenue you generate. This is ok with Amazon etc, this kind of pass through evidently.
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      • Profile picture of the author mangozilla
        Originally Posted by bigbyte View Post

        Weissmann is an id!0t. I received the same lame, canned response. I told him it is the wrong time to glorify how they worked with us affiliates to "fix" the bill. I told the damage has been done and that we now need politicians who are able to work with each other and to negotiate a deal out of this mess.

        But no matter what you tell these guys, they cannot and will not give in. They moved them self into the corner and if they give in now, they will look like losers. They already do, but since they are not "catering" us for our votes ....
        Originally Posted by Rita012 View Post

        I received this email from State Representaive Paul Wiseman:

        ----

        We worked with the affiliates and Amazon to amend that bill so that there was no longer a nexus between the affiliates and the sales tax. This bill, as amended and passed, now just has a mechanism where current law can possibly be enforced. Sales and Use tax law has always stated that people owe tax on any purchases, whether locally in a traditional brick and mortar store, in a catalog, or online. The only question was if that tax is collected and paid by the retailer or paid by the purchaser.

        We specifically changed this bill at the urging of the affiliates, and got hundreds of "thank you" emails from the affiliates when we made this change. I am disappointed with Amazon's decision, especially after we worked with the affiliates to eliminate the nexus. The sponsors of the bill intend to contact Amazon to try to resolve this dispute.

        Paul Weissmann
        State Representative
        -----
        I've been in touch with Sen. Rollie Heath, sponsor of the bill, who had a similar response, including,
        we met with many Amazon Associates, and as a result of the meetings, we amended the bill to remove all references to affiliates from the text. Amazon decided to drop their affiliates anyway.
        So even though the term "affiliate" doesn't appear, we're still Amazon's nexus through the terms, "indirect representatives" and fact that we engage in "communication media" to "solicit business".

        I wonder who the affiliates are that met with the legislators who thought they weren't soliciting business as long as the word "affiliate" wasn't used. And I'm insulted by the defense that removing the term "affiliate" should have made it all ok. The gov't knew in advance the actions Amazon would take.

        Now Amazon just doesn't advertise in Colorado, so they don't have to collect tax. Meanwhile, affiliates have lost revenue and not paying income tax they otherwise would, Amazon continues to make sales, but without the support of affiliates' promotions, consumers get no product recommendations out of Colorado, and the CO state government spends over $200k appropriated in the bill just to put the system in place.

        I keep looking for a winner somewhere...
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  • Profile picture of the author 4success53
    I was so upset when I received my Amazon letter for my state of North Carolina.

    That was quite a bummer!

    What else is going to happen in the future?
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  • Profile picture of the author whawk57
    Quite silly and very old fashioned! They should just try to make a global internet tax rather than local. How can the internet be local anyway?
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  • Profile picture of the author bigbyte
    The DEMS are selling it as if it would be them who recognized the problem and then "helped" the affiliates. How grateful ... liars. They try to make it look like now that they are the good guys who never had anything else on their mind than to help the affiliates. The biggest Hypocrat has been Michael Johnston (Vice Chair of the Senate's Finance Committee). Rollie Heath - well this guy is well past due date (retirement age I mean). I doubt he ever understood the issue and how an affiliate operates. The Internet for him seems to be the dark side where all the forces of evil come together - how else could it be that he suddenly got flodded with hundreds or thousands of emails by people he never heard of . It must be evil and needs to be taxed to death.

    Winners?

    There are 2 groups of winners:

    1) Amazon Affiliates in the other states that have not been dropped yet
    2) Merchants that are used as replacements for Amazon links
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    With the financial mess that many, if not all, states are in right now, I wouldn't be surprised to see alot more jump on this bandwagon. Frankly, I'm surprised that Michigan (where I live) hasn't already done this. They just passed taxes on service, like haircuts, tanning, tickets to theatres, concerts, etc.

    Ever notice how no matter how much we pay in taxes, they still spend more than they take in? Its never enough, and the internet is virgin territory to start taxing like crazy.
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  • Profile picture of the author bigbyte
    So far none of the replacement merchants has generated a single sale for me. I am mainly going through CJ to find new merchants. I might have to sell of those websites and go into deeper niches if this continues.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hereandthere
      bigbyte and others from CO -- take a look at skimlinks.com, it may work for Amazon indirectly, not sure but worth your time to go see. The site looks kinda hip rather than informative, unfortunately.
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  • Profile picture of the author ArtFlipper
    weak sauce
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  • Profile picture of the author brunski57
    Stop complaining!

    I work hard because parasites who get Gov Handouts Depend on ME!
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    • Profile picture of the author socomplete
      You have to wonder what is going o happen next, if they ban affiliates in colorado what makes you think that they wont ban affiliates in other states. Smart marketers will be ahead of the wave, then you have google who has banned accounts as well.

      Then the FTC coming in like a roaring eagle from hell, which is a good and bad thing ( I hate flogs). While there still is a chance to make money as an affiliate one has to wonder if things will continue to get more and more strict.

      I think the best thing is to diversify and have a plan B. Then, you have the cyber security bill that is being passed as we speak which allows the president turn off the internet whenever the heck he wants. I highly recommend everyone go read the bill and type it into google and read. Internet take over is real, and its time to get prepared folks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
    Hope this doesn't happen to Louisiana.

    The government is really messing up the Internet Marketers. First it was just the FTC and now these stupid laws.

    To make this post FTC friendly I have added a Disclaimer.

    Disclaimer: These comments don't represent the author's will and shouldn't be held against him. Also, the author is just a retard and shouldn't be listened to in any case and that automatically means that he shall not be liable for any loss of business or profits nor any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage resulting from any such irregularity, inaccuracy or use of the Information.
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  • Profile picture of the author elliec
    I'm in North Carolina and am considering setting up an LLC in Georgia for this tax reason. My understanding is though, if you are present in the state, working, doing affiliate business, you are liable to be collecting sales tax. So if your LLC is registered somewhere else and you are physically in said state (NC,CO,NY, etc) it will affect you. Georgia is 15 minutes down the road, time to move maybe?
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  • Profile picture of the author PCRoger
    If you make enough from your business you can rent a phone / office from one of those business incubator locations.

    Phone, Desk, WiFi, - this is where I work and I have gas receipts, whatever to prove I spend time here.

    The best way to vote in America these days is with your feet and your dollars.

    Regards,
    PCRoger.
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