Tags: amazon | sales | taxes | states

Amazon Laughs at Your 'Sales Taxes'

Amazon Laughs at Your 'Sales Taxes'

By    |   Friday, 22 June 2018 08:02 AM

It’s almost hard to remember now, but for a long time Amazon.com Inc.’s major edge on brick-and-mortal rivals was price. That advantage mostly went away a while back, and today the Supreme Court carved off more when it ruled states can collect taxes on online sales.

And yet Amazon (AMZN) will likely have no trouble continuing to vacuum up your shopping dollars, writes Sarah Halzack. That's because its advantage these days is less about price and more about convenience. The same goes for other online retailers, Sarah suggests; like furniture-seller Wayfair Inc., for instance, whose “outstanding user interface, huge assortment of merchandise and a supply chain designed for delivering bulky goods” probably outweighs any downside from suddenly having to collect a little more in taxes.

The Supreme Court has played a huge role in this saga. Today’s decision reversed decades-old rulings that first exempted online retailers from state taxes. The court’s moves seem almost perfectly designed to first help a fledgling industry and then take off the training wheels once it could cruise on its own, writes Justin Fox.

Of course, physical retailers (and President Donald Trump) would argue those training wheels came off way too late. It might have happened sooner if Congress had passed some similar measures it’s kicked around for years. But Congress, it may shock you to learn, is essentially useless. So the high court did its dirty work. That's not exactly healthy for our democracy, Justin suggests.

Trump has not yet tweeted about the Supreme Court decision, though you imagine he’s pleased, given his many complaints about Amazon’s competitive advantages. Of course, he's probably upset about more than just sales taxes.

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Friday, 22 June 2018 08:02 AM
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