Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Amazon's official word on Big5 state taxes + a Listing of those

I forgot to post the official word from Amazon Kindle Customer Service the other day, at the Amazon Kindle Community Forums, about the state sales taxes that are being added to book orders when one of the Big5 publishers using Apple's "Agency" plan has a physical presence in the book buyer's state.

  When a large publisher now insists on Apple's "Agency" plan, bookstores are, in effect, no longer vendors but "Agents" for the seller.  The Agency-style publisher (who sets the seller prices -- most quite a bit higher now -- is officially the seller.  You'll see, on the book's product page, in those cases, that it's "Sold by" the publisher.  Amazon's announcement:
' Several publishers have recently changed the nature of their relationship with Amazon, moving to a business model whereby the publisher, not Amazon, is the seller of record for their books.  Kindle books sold under this model are subject to sales tax based on the publisher's state tax reporting obligations and the taxability of digital books in those states.  Books where the publisher is the seller of record say "This price was set by the publisher."  Nothing has changed with respect to sales taxes on Kindle books where Amazon is the seller of record. '
  Dictum at the forum posted that Amazon has now updated its sales tax page to include a partial list of "Select Amazon Merchants" "selling items at which may be included in your order, and the states in which they charge sales tax."  You can bookmark the page, shortcut: http;// for reference when deciding on book purchases and total pricing.

  Jedikatie adds that a Wikipedia page, shortcut: has both state and local tax information for each state.

By the way, I had written earlier, sourcing the info, that Apple inserted language into their Agency agreements after solidifying the higher pricing, successfully negotiating that they would be allowed to charge only $9.99 for the "hottest" books.

  These tend to be those in the Top 10 of the NY Bestsellers list and, as Steve Jobs had said in January, "prices would be the same" at both stores.  News reports were that Amazon had then "demanded" that if they agreed to the higher-pricing of the Apple Agency plan, no other store would be able to charge less than Amazon for the publishers' books, the same guarantee Apple "requires" of its publishers.

See the ongoing Guide to finding Free or Low-Cost Kindle books and Sources
  Check often: Latest free non-classics, shortcut
Also, a page of links that confine searches to mid-range priced e-books. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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  1. Hey it's a picture from the Field Museum of Natural History. I feel like I'm at home.

    Sorry, got distracted there. Taxes? grrr...

  2. I love that picture! Thanks for identifying it. I was looking for 'Battle of the Titans' when I saw that :-)


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