*(From TheWrap.com) The ever-louder ka-ching, ka-ching of online cash registers has many state governements rushing to skim off the top of the digital renaissance.
States’ attempts to tax digital business have many internet companies up in arms.
A recent legal standoff between North Carolina and online retailer Amazon shows that the industry is not going to go gently into taxation.
North Carolina is trying to audit the bookseller, suspecting that Internet shoppers owe it millions of dollars in unpaid taxes. Currently, online retailers only have to collect taxes if they have a physical presence in a particular state. Since retailers don’t collect sales taxes, buyers are supposed to voluntarily pay them. Unsurprisingly, that’s a check that few people write.
“This is really an issue of fairness and equity for small businesses, the brick-and-mortar, corner-store operations.,” Kenneth R. Lay, North Carolina’s secretary of revenue, said in a statement. “These businesses are at a competitive disadvantage when they have to collect sales taxes that other businesses do not.”
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