Here is a little piece from Salon (thanks Cliff for bringing this to my attention) on the issue of state sales tax remittance on purchases from online retailers with and without “nexus” – or substantial brick and mortar presence in a state – timely both in terms of our class and in terms of the winter shopping season. There is a very interesting bit of insight into Amazon’s firm location decision (Seattle vs. other possibilities) – the ways in which taxes shape behavior by changing incentives are many – for firms and individuals.
See also the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Initiative for more information on how states are trying to coordinate (or “harmonize” for the Euro-crowd) their own behavior to address the existing incentives created by a patchwork of diverse tax structures which give retailers an excuse of hardship in remittance compliance.
Every Day’s a Tax Holiday
How Amazon.com undersells Best Buy, the Apple store, and almost everybody else.
By Farhad Manjoo
Posted Friday, Nov. 19, 2010, at 4:56 PM ET