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Mon May 6 2019 23:58:55

How One Retailer Is Combating Online Sales Tax

By: Ina Steiner

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A New York retailer found an unusual way to combat online sales tax now that it must collect taxes from out-of-state customers. B&H sent a marketing email today stating it came up with a solution to take the sting out of customers having to pay sales tax on their online purchases.

"For 46 years we have been committed to providing unparalleled customer service, and so we began the tedious process of implementing a way to eliminate the impact this ruling would have on our customers," B&H said in the email.

The email was a teaser for something called "Payboo" that it planned to announce tomorrow. But after much speculation in various forums, B&H decided to release the news early on this page of its website.

It turns out that Payboo is a credit card that, when used for purchases on B&H, will provide loyalty rewards in the amount equivalent to the sales tax collected from the buyer. According to the terms:

"When you pay for your entire B&H purchase with the B&H Payboo Card, B&H will issue a loyalty reward in the form of a credit directly on your purchase order, invoice and/or receipt (i.e. this is not a refund or reimbursement of the sales/use tax paid). The loyalty reward is issued based on the cardholder's purchases paid for with the B&H Payboo Card after collection and remittance of the legally-required sales/use tax in your respective purchase or ship-to jurisdiction in accordance with applicable state and local law."

Oddly, the terms seem to indicate the offer is not valid in a majority of states. The card comes with a very high interest rate (29.99% APR) and is issued by Synchrony Bank.

B&H isn't really "fighting" against sales tax - ultimately, it's collecting sales tax when required, and states still get their sales-tax revenue.
The B&H Payboo card uses an interesting marketing ploy, but how many shoppers will be willing to open up a credit card account in order to feel like they're living in a no-sales-tax world when buying from B&H?



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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 7 06:16:03 2019

Sounds like another one of those on line scams with a twist. Willing to bet more than one person is dumb enough to be using the card and when it grabs them in the pocketbook will be the first to whine about how unfair it is.

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by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 7 07:20:35 2019

Complicated way of doing what SOME Houston Retail Furniture and Electronics stores do ALREADY on Multi-Hundred $ sales for TEXAS and LOCAL sales taxes.  Their simpler manner is to do a ".... WE pay your sales tax ..." by manipulating the SELL PRICE so that AFTER sales tax the Out-The-Door-Cost is as though NO sales tax had been charged to the Buyer, but it WAS paid in full to the State, County, City, Municipal Utility District, School District, Junior College District, Bird and Flower Fund, et. al.  Whew.  NO KIDDING there are parts of Houston where fully SIX different Taxing Authorities have their own "fingers" in the pie.  FORCING Remote Sellers in ONE STATE to collect and REMIT to all of the suitable Taxing Authorities in all 49 OTHER REMOTE states is just WILDLY more unworkable than some seem to think.

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by: leathermermaid8 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 7 09:52:42 2019

Ha, I got that email from that company.  They have a warehouse in my state so I've always paid tax to them.  My bigger concern is being charged tax FOR other retailers/sellers BY eBay in categoeis that aren't taxable in MY state.

...and I don't trust eBay to get that right all the time.  It's unfortunate that a company this size's programming is so glitchy at times that you can't trust it.  And I have no desire to just give money away if I don't have to.

And if they DO manage to collect tax for something they aren't supposed to (for my state), I can only imagine  the process for getting it refunded if it happens at all.  So far, I have only backed out of one BIN when I saw the tax..because I know that non luxury clothing isn't taxable here.  I suspect it might have been in the seller's state.

Since I've cut back on spending there, it's not a big deal.  But I would imagine once it sinks in that eBay isn't the tax haven, so to speak, it was, sales will drop here and there.  We all have to pay taxes one way or another , understood.   I just don't trust eBay to get it right.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 7 16:08:45 2019

The best way to fight out of sales tax is to just charge your cities tax. Tax isn't a stores responsibility to pay, just collect and give to the city that has jurisdiction. No mattert what the supreme court says, other states do not have jurisdiction to collect tax from you just because their citizen buys from you, but you have every jurisdiction to charge tax from where your business is located.

Of course, people need to group up and fight it or else it will never change, and I gaurentee eventually greedy states ( liek california trying to make it regressive) will come up with horrendous ways to try and steal your money using this idiotic supreme court ruling...so its best to fight NOW

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by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 8 20:32:49 2019

One thing that works for me in my brick & mortar store is to include sales tax in the price.  I have a sign that says "sales tax is included in the price" and people seem to really like not having that extra charge when they check out.  Needless to say I make sure to include enough to cover what I owe in my part of NY.

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 9 00:35:45 2019

Payboo? It sounds like something from Fisher-Price. What is with adults coming up with kindergarten names for services, companies, etc.  

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 9 00:50:34 2019

@Flying Childers---  And just how many tax jurisdictions do we have,  here in NY?  My rural county was the "crash test dummy" for higher tax,  we were meant to then get a lower rate--- yesh,  never happened!!! 4% NY State, %3 Washington County.  I believe Albany is a 9% total,  higher in NYC, I believe.  

I once had a.new cashier.question the break down of 4% and 3% on a Walmart receipt--- the older clerk "training" her said--- Oh!  The 4% is New York Tax,  the 3% is WALMARTS TAX!!!!  Don't let any one working for Walmart etc know this,  they will figure out how to make it happen!!!

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 9 03:57:12 2019

What's really nutty is that even if the States collect online sales tax, it WILL NOT PUT A DENT IN THEIR DEFICITS.  Take Illinois where I live.  Our State is so deep in the hole, $6bn, what sales tax that is collected will be a drop in the bucket.

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by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 9 09:31:44 2019

Sales Tax on little people won't plug the LOSS of Fed Funds that normally come BACK to States now that Big Orange has CUT TAXES for the rich & corporations... expect the pain to continue...

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by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 9 10:48:31 2019

@comet  and flying childers - I live in NY as well, in Columbia County (8%). You're absolutely correct - there are DOZENS of taxing jurisdictions within New York - even jurisdictions within jurisdictions, such as a temporary tax within a city that only lasts for a few weeks, even! - example, despite being within Stanford County which has a different rate, the City of Metropolis tax is X.0% except between June 1 and August 7 when it is X.75% ) and yes, NYC is higher.  To correct about Albany County tax, it is 8% (4% state and 4% local tax).

Indeed, ''sales tax included'' does seem to get a happy response from customers and I do that whenever I can; it also helps making transactions clearer and faster, without having to factor in odd penny amounts.

Just to be clear - the amount of sales tax someone pays (at least in New York, others may be different) is what the % is at the location the item is purchased (like a brick & mortar store or a trade show) OR if an item is mailed/shipped, the sales tax collected is for the jurisdiction where the item is shipped to, NOT the mailer/seller's home %.

At least in NY we are fortunate that the online forms work well, I just plug in the amount of sales in each jurisdiction and the system does the math.

Indeed, I don't trust eBay programmers to get sales tax collection right - Beyond the jurisdictions within jurisdictions, there are a ''bazillion'' things in New York that are exempt, on which NO sales tax is to be collected. Is eBay ''really'' going to get that configured in?  I hardly think so ...  especially when a ''definition'' is involved (example, ''food seasoning'' which is a tax exempt item in New York).  

Another and even more complicated problem is that some items are taxed at the COUNTY level but not the STATE!  And an item may be tax free in one COUNTY but not in another ... using Albany County as a real life living example, New York State EXEMPTS clothing costing $110 or more from STATE tax, but counties are allowed to charge COUNTY tax if they wish.  To buy a $120 coat in Albany County I pay no STATE tax, but must pay 4% COUNTY sales tax, because Albany County charges tax on ALL clothing regardless of price. (Buying the same $120 in my home county incurs 0% tax -- LOL so you know where I do NOT buy clothes....)  

Do I really truly expect eBay to get all those little details like that programmed in?  I would bet a pig is going to have to fly before eBay stops charging winning bidders the full tax on every purchase in every county ....

At least Amazon will refund wrongly collected tax - I had that experience and it took a few emails and sending them the link to the NY website list, but I got my money back. But I can't imagine trying to get anything back like this from eBay - and as a SELLER of an item, GUESS WHO will get blamed by the high bidder for wrongly charging tax ???


   


   

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 9 12:13:43 2019

@Comet - Here in California, Pizza Hut has a Pizza Hut tax! I can't find an email copy of any orders but it's about $1 on a $10-$12 order. The fine print says it has to do with the cost of doing business in California. So that is apparently their way of not raising their prices (perhaps a franchise limitation?). I should ask what that fee covers sometime. I will continue to buy their pizza, just wanted to mention this. :-)

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by: Big___Al This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 10 06:45:03 2019

@epuise
I think no amount of facts will persuade you, since you seem to have something stuck in your... uh, craw, but the top earners in this country pay the vast majority of the taxes, an almost unbelievable amount. And even my household, which is on the lower end of the earnings scale, paid less taxes this year. I'm good with that!

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by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 10 10:27:20 2019

Sorry for the mistake - if anyone read my post above, I should have said

"using Albany County as a real life living example, New York State EXEMPTS clothing costing $110 or LESS from STATE tax"

my bad



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