Anyone know why

Started Apr 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to panela, Apr 6, 2014

panela wrote:

Amazon was going to charge me 7.50 for "free" shipping and almost 70 dollars for taxes on my order of the 18 and 60 lenses? I ordered from B&H with no charges whatsoever but really wanted to support this site as I am a frequent reader. However paying almost 80 bucks more did not make any sense.

Any thoughts?

Generally, sales taxes are determined by the State in which they are collected. The jurisdiction to do so derives from business activity conducted within state borders. Mail order is a different animal, as it usually involves the transfer of goods and cash across state lines. Since interstate commerce is regulated by the federal government, states cannot arbitrarily step in and interfere with the free transport of goods across state lines, nor regulate the transfer of funds between persons or businesses engaged in such commerce.

Cash-strapped state legislatures have been fighting for years to gain the right to tax the mail order business. The major in-road so far has been where states assert their right to tax transactions when delivery of goods takes place within their own borders, IF the retailer maintains an office or warehouse within the state as well.

Kansas has badgered Amazon into forwarding to the state treasurer sales tax on good delivered to Kansas residents. Kansas is that plain looking state in the geographic center of the continental United States that is governed by republicans who think tax breaks to large businesses is good for the economy, but allowing residents to purchase grocery items without paying sales tax is a sin crime.

Needless to say, rather than pay sales tax on photographic equipment to governor brownback of Kansas, all my purchases are made through retailers like B&H Photo, or a number of smaller businesses located around the country that I've been happy doing business with over the years.

But I digress. Mail order businesses fight back against the encroachment of greedy state legislators as best they can, pointing out that keeping track of Customer locations and applying the correct sales tax to each order, and then filing sales tax reports for 50 individual states constitutes an undue burden upon their limited resources.

That's the tax issue in what I believe is a pretty accurate nutshell.

As for the shipping, as mentioned by another poster, the goods sold through Amazon's website are not all being sold by Amazon. Many retail businesses and product re-sellers offer the same goods being offered by Amazon, but do the shipping themselves. In some cases Amazon's free shipping applies; in other cases it does not. It just depends on the deals the two made; you need to check to verify if shipping is charged on your order to know which case is yours.

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