Another reason to cry...
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams...

Goodbye my friend...

This came through my inbox today:

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Greetings from the Amazon Associates Program:

We regret to inform you that the Illinois state legislature has passed an unconstitutional tax collection scheme that, if signed by Governor Quinn, would leave Amazon.com little choice but to end its relationships with Illinois-based Associates. You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of Illinois.

Please note that this not an immediate termination notice and you are still a valued participant in the Amazon Associates Program. But if the governor signs this bill, we will need to terminate the participation of all Illinois residents in the Associates Program. After that point, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for sales referred to amazon.com, endless.com and smallparts.com nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Illinois residents.

The unfortunate consequences of this legislation on Illinois residents like you were explained to the legislature, including Senate and House leadership, as well as to the governor's staff.

Over a dozen other states have considered essentially identical legislation but have rejected these proposals largely because of the adverse impact on their states' residents.

We thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you continued success in the future.

Sincerely,

Amazon.com

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I think this is a really good start on the part of Amazon to thwart Illinois' attempts to force online retailers to collect state taxes from buyers. A good ol' fashioned awareness campaign.

But if they were really smart, they'd expand it to ALL customers in the State of Illinois, not just Amazon Associates. Send them a message letting them know that they are going to be charged state sales tax (and the state also wants to collect back taxes from the last several years of online sales), give them phone numbers and e-mail addresses of not just the governor but all state legislators, and truly mobilize the troops.

BTW, this doesn't just affect Illinois. More than a dozen other states have proposed similar legislation. Most are languishing in court, as Illinois' proposal likely will. But that won't stop legislators from trying and we, as their constituents, must let them know what we think about it.

And knowing is half the battle.

Comments

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*lynne*

I got email yesterday too... I was wondering if the paltry $$ I've earned so far will then get released and the account closed, or if I'll be in a strange limbo of not having gotten to their minimum payout but no longer having the ability to get there.

I *have* wondered how amazon.com was not charging state tax for our purchases because I *thought* they needed to. I guess soon they will have to. Sigh. It won't do much for the state except fund more inefficient spending, tho, right? :p

kapgar


Everything about our state is just one major inefficiency after another. And I never Mae anything off Amazon's associates program either. But I still hope people fight this taxation. 

Marie

That blows. Really blows. Ugh.

kapgar


And if it flies here, it's just a matter of time for the other 49. 

claire

Interesting. MA already has something like that in effect. I don't know if it'd affect associates or not.

If you buy stuff online over a certain price threshold you're supposed to say so on your taxes and then pay sales tax on it if I understand correctly. But stores with brick & mortars in MA already have to charge sales tax online anyway (or at least Apple does, sigh).

Did you make your calls to your legislators?

kapgar


I don't get why you have to claim it on your taxes. Sure that makes it easier for the online retailers as they have to do nothing. But post paying taxes kinda sucks. I sent emails, BTW. 

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