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Woke up this morning to check the e-mail...and it was there.
The dreaded e-mail of notification that my contract would be voided and I would no longer be able to make any money from the affiliate program!
I was hoping something would change. Although it was not any real income to speak of, but any extra change could help.
In a time when Businesses are shutting down, laying off workers or just moving away from Arkansas...the empty-headed greedy Arkansas legislators and Governor Mike Beebe just keep adding taxes to the residents and any business that exists or moves into this State.
Arkansas is a State that keeps a balanced budget, even a huge surplus each year. But, the Greed just keeps growing as they keep raising more taxes on the residents.
As a side note...buy a new vehicle and in Arkansas you now have to go to the DMV and BUY your temporary tags!!! They are no longer provided for free from car dealers. The State needs more money. The residents are not broke enough yet! We are the Slaves of the State!!!
With so many States now Taxing Amazon if they make sales in those States and Amazon just shutting down associates...it would be nice for Hubpages to add another Affiliate program for us to use.
E-Bay is not available to many and now Amazon is going away.
I will be going back through all my hubs after the Amazon deadline and delete all Amazon capsules. Why make them money when I receive no benefit?
California is trying to do it too. I don't make any money from Amazon (I think I've accumulated $7 in the last three years lol), but the principle is sad. Fat, lazy, incompetent governments keep thinking they deserve to be funded for some reason in the same way they think that government jobs can somehow grow an economy. It's mind boggling how bad decision making is.
I'm sorry to hear this...people need ways to make a little money in this awful economy so this is so stupid to go after the "little people"..
This is sad to hear, and I know this isn't the first state this has happened. to. In light of stupid tax laws like this one and the Weinergate scandal, do you think it's time we require legislators to take some sort of "How the Internet Works 101" seminar?
I saw it moved a step closer in California as well. That is especially concerning since HP is headquartered there.
Sorry to hear that, Michael.
You might re-consider removing capsules, however. I've seen reports that several of these bogus laws are being challenged. If I understood some of the reports correctly, it could become a national thing, shutting down all the greedy politicians pushing for more money.
As Amazon (and others) pull out of more and more states and those states see their tax revenue fall as a result of their greed they just might come to their senses (if they have any) and repeal this insanity.
My own state talked about it, but shelved the idea for now. I expect it will be cranked up again later this year or next.
Happened here in Illinois a few months back. The thing is, Amazon doesn't really care. They are a household name now. When people think, "hey I might find a good deal on Amazon" they don't run over to a hubpage or even to Google to research the product, they go directly to Amazon cutting out the need for a middle-man referral.
The problem with finding another affiliate remains the same, its the states that put an internet sales tax on any company, not just Amazon, and has forced many affiliate marketers out of business.
Performance Marketing has filed suit here in Illinois and are funded to take it all the way to the Supreme Court. This may be the catalyst we need to make things right across the nation. I'm hoping for the best anyway since I was earning a great deal of income from Amazon and other affiliate networks.
States didn't "start taxing Amazon". Business are meant to pay tax. Every little family store has to pay tax. Why not an internet giant?
In this case, no business is not meant to pay sales tax, YOU are. My state, along with most others, requires that I pay the sales tax on items purchased out of state.
The problem is that no one will 'fess up and pay the tax they have imposed on themselves, so state govt. has decided to force the business to collect it. They can only do that if the business is in their state, however, so they make silly round about laws declaring that YOU (through Amazon) are a business in your state and must collect the tax.
As Amazon cannot force YOU to collect the sales tax (you are neither employee nor seller) and they decline to do it themselves they simply sever any connection that have with you. It costs them very little (they will actually lose very few sales in the long run) and keeps them away from operating in every state in the union with all their different laws and requirements.
Very well put. I might add that it's not just Amazon, it's every business that uses affiliate marketers to refer sales of a physical product. The nexus laws may you, the affiliate referrer, an agent or an arm of the affiliate business and use your physical presence in the state as a means to collect sales tax.
Collecting the sales tax at the point of purchase isn't much of a problem either. Amazon's beef is that it would be too troublesome to collect since each state has a different sales tax structure.
I would think that since payment is made digitally, then it should be easy enough for them to write a code that deposits the sales tax accordingly. Again though, Amazon feels that it's the responsibility of the consumer (and it is) to report out of state purchase and pay the tax themselves.
I'm sure you're right - it would not be difficult for Amazon to collect and disburse sales taxes. A few more computers, a few more people to run them.
The problem is that the states won't leave the tax alone. They continual diddle with it, adding this product and expempting that one. Changing the rates on some items but not on others. Then, of course, cities will become involved and want to be added as well, along with counties and any other government that is allowed to collect sales taxes.
You might well find that states will soon allow cities, counties, etc. to collect sales taxes ONLY on out of state purchases (people are well known for wanting someone else to pay for the upkeep of their city, state, etc.) Amazon would need a legion of lawyers on staff just to keep up with the changes.
So, do you record and duly pay tax on all of your Amazon purchases?
Do you duly record and pay tax on all of you purchases full stop?
I think you will find the retailer typically does this for you. All of them except those that are illegal, outside of the US, or Amazon.
Oh, absolutely! I keep a separate notebook just for online purchases and save all my receipts from Oregon, which doesn't have a sales tax. And then I double the amount just to help the state out
That's what the state is trying to put a stop to: the citizens that voted for the tax in the first place won't pay it. The easy method of collection is to force the business to collect for them, but they can't do that unless that business is located in the state.
And it is not just Amazon that isn't paying it; no business that does not exist in the state is required to pay. Amazon just happens to be big enough that the politicians have decided that making up bogus laws that indicate that because YOU are in the state, so is Amazon and therefore required to collect the sales tax.
No online retailer is required to collect the tax for the state (unless the purchaser resides in the same state as the retailer) as no state has the power to regulate businesses that don't exist in their state. The law is being written to define location in such a way that the state can legally force the retailer to collect taxes, but so far the only ones really affected are the major players such as Amazon.
I was looking for an article posted a week or so ago on the BBC news site but couldn't find it.
It was basically about how congress was going to force through changes to make Amazon.com pay sales tax in all the States.
Sales tax is the same as VAT (value added tax) and Amazon.co.uk pay it, and still have affiliates.
I can't help thinking if they are forced to pay it, they will re-allow all those banned members to become affiliates once again.
I'm sure they will re-allow banned affiliates to come back, Izzy. Just as I'm sure that eventually the feds will make a national law that will somehow make it legal to force Amazon to play ball with the states.
Sales tax is the same as VAT, except that it is levied, governed and collected by the states instead of the Federal govt. And therein lies the rub; states can't force an out of state business to follow their laws anymore than the US can force British companies to collect income tax for it.
Michael it might just be time for you to move ... well depending on how important those Amazon ad sales are.
I guess you could always use Squidoo if you had to... since they receive pay from Amazon directly and then funnel it to you, that is one way you could still use Amazon... but payouts are only 50%.
Guess I shouldn't be shocked that Arkansas added Amazon to the list of Taxes. Arkansas taxes everything. Family is the only reason I have stayed here over the years.
@Wilderness...I am deleting the Amazon capsule since they are voided their contract (as they call it) and I will not receive any commissions from them. IF...they do find a way to beat this...I am sure I would have to reapply for an associate ID and may then.
When I first heard that Arkansas Congress had passed this and it was on the Governor to sign the bill, I mentioned it here in HP forums. It was suggested by another hubber I could find other affiliate link sites to make up the difference. NOW...HP is banning theses, so...another loss there.
Adsense is not anything like it was, so...it is time to take a long look at where I want to go with this. Will also start looking at sites that have revenue sharing to see where I can benefit the most.
Like in any business, you go where the money is. lol
I never thought about you having to re-apply to Amazon, but you are entirely correct. Time to delete the capsules, I think.
Maybe you could start a program to get the law rescinded. Letters to politicians, a few hubs designed for the other ex-affiliates of Arkansas to encourage a fight.
Yes, you go where the money is. Hopefully it will return to HP in the form of Adsense of HPads. If you do decide to move out, consider leaving your hubs and checking in occasionally - I would miss both the hubs and your presence. Or you could just move to Idaho - there is room here for a man of your caliber.
No matter what I decide, the hubs will stay of course. I have several I have been working on and trying to decide where to publish them.
If, as an individual, you wish to make money online, I would suggest that you have a site or two of your own, plus blogs, plus HP.
The point in having your own sites is that you can use them to apply for a wide range of affiliate programs that you can then apply to bogs too.
HP when it comes back still pays through adsense and Hubads, not to mention the backlinks you can generate from popular hubs.
I think this is even more true now after all of the Google nonsense and consumers becoming wiser to the ways of the greedy internet marketers. [not saying you're greedy if you're a marketer, but many are and smart consumers would rather go directly to the source, or a site such as Amazon]
I know for myself I wouldn't buy an expensive watch off someone's article page or a wedding ring? I guess some do.
Our governor is such a greedy crook, he'll probably want to nix Amazon marketers here also.
I wish I had some advice for you... sounds like you're really getting the short end of the stick here.
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