Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kindle News: Amazon vs eBay on the Internet State Sales Tax Bill. Amazon for Android Updated.

Amazon vs eBay on the online sales tax bill

Politico's Anna Palmer and Laurence French say that Amazon "flipped" on the sales tax fight and "now says it's OK to levy sales tax on Web companies" while "eBay still says, no way..."

But that's a very common, rather-strong misunderstanding of Amazon's stance on this.  The new bill is something Amazon has long supported -- a standardized, national bill, as opposed to arbitrary individual state laws based on feeling that the Supreme Court ruling is 'outdated.'

  Clarification added: "Standardized" in this case only in that it must be 'simplified' and guidance given to companies... but the law would be a national one and not one with different stipulations by the individual States except for the percentage of purchase etc. involved.

  I wrote about this on July 2, 2012, almost a year ago, giving a very brief history of the premises behind all this (the states' and Amazon's).  The national bill is the one clearly-legal way for states to get beyond the Supreme Court ruling in 1992 (Quill Corp. v. North Dakota).

  There are some serious considerations involved:
' The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said today they fear it could open the door to a state-level financial transaction tax because states have the authority to select which goods to tax.

“We believe the impact of this legislation on trade in services has not been adequately explored by Congress,” said Ken Bentsen, acting president and chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, in a statement. “The bill could lead to unexpected costs being passed on to consumers of financial services, including sales taxes on services or state-level stock transaction tax.”

The Financial Services Roundtable said Monday it is also concerned about the bill creating a de facto financial transaction tax. '

In the meantime Amazon is allied with the Retail Industry Leaders Association "to push the issue."  The bills is referred to as the "Marketplace Fairness Act."

Here's the full 3-page article at Politico.

The Washington Post's Max Ehrenfreund, in an editorial-style column, points out that "The bill does include an exemption for businesses with less than $1 million in interstate revenue to make it easier for smaller companies to comply."

  He also is a rare one who mentions that "The current system is the result of a decades-old Supreme Court decision that put state taxing authority in doubt, to which Congress never properly responded" and that Congress is finally trying to fix the law.

  He also clarifies that"the law requires states to simplify their tax codes before beginning to collect — and even to assist retailers": and explains that "the Senate’s proposal would merely allow states to apply existing policy universally" rather than create any new taxes to be collected.  They should make that very clear in the bill.

  Personally, I'd prefer not to pay taxes, but I want my local companies to survive too and I'd rather the companies collect existing taxes at purchase than make me log, add, and do it at tax time.

There's a different issue in the UK where Amazon, Google and Starbucks, use tax loopholes to not pay UK taxes -- in Amazon's case by having "a single European headquarters in Luxembourg with hundreds of employees."  If there are loopholes that should be closed, close them.  Stockholders will always strongly prefer that their companies use whatever tax loopholes exist, and companies (along with individual taxpayers) tend to do that.

Amazon's tablet-optimized Mobile App for Android has been updated and is available for China, Japan, and Canada
This applies to NON-Kindle Fire tablets which definitely have the Amazon Mobile (shopping) app built-in.  But they've updated the app to make it available in China, Japan, and Canada, and "have ability to subscribe and save subscriptions to the Your Account page, along with fixing some issues with Bluetooth keyboard input on certain tablets."

Current Kindle Models, worldwide for reference, plus free-ebook search links.

  NOTES on newer Kindles.
Updated Kindle Fire 2 Basic  7" tablet - $159
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB - $199/$249
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16/32GB - $269/$299
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G 32/64GB - $399/$499
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $69/$89
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $119/$139
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi+3G - $179/$199
Kindle Keybd 3G - $139/$159, Free slow web
Kindle DX - $379 $299 Discontinued
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £69
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - ~£89 Refurb'd
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi
Kindle Paperwhite 3G, UK
Kindle Fire 2, UK
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB, UK
Canada - Kindlestore, CDN-$
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - $89
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $139
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi+3G - $199
*OTHER International*
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $89
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Paperwhite WiFi $139, 3G/Wifi $199

France Boutique Kindle
Deutschland - Kindle Store
Italia - Kindle Store
Spain - Tienda Kindle
Brazil - Amazon Brazil
China - Amazon China
Japan - Amazon Japan

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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