To the Editor:
Are you a tax cheat if you shop online tax-free?
An Associated Press article in Monday’s (May 6) paper is offending to many smaller Internet retailers. This article stated, “ …even if Internet retailers don’t collect sales taxes at the time of purchase, you are required by law to pay it in 45 states and the District of Columbia.”
Most retail businesses are run by the larger corporations who can buy and sell at lower costs due to volume purchases, leaving a small fractured customer base for the Internet business person who supports our dying “free enterprise system.”
We are an Internet seller, and let me tell you that it doesn’t have the so-called profit advantages stated by this article.
Firstly, it’s not a quick-profit sale unless you use a lot of promotions ($$) and hype ($$) to sell a product, and in many instances we must sell at 200 to 300 percent above actual cost just to break even.
How many times does a seller pay for the time and preparation for shipping costs, time and transportation to the post office costs, postal shipping cost, handling costs, and insurance costs when a sale is made in a so-called “brick and mortar store”?
Also, let it be understood that eBay and Amazon receive exorbitantly high commissions of 13 to 15 percent from their sellers against every product sold. They won’t have to pay any taxes; we do.
Most retailers on the Internet must buy low-cost products and sell them at a high price just to make a small profit. Imposing an additional state sales tax burden on the Internet sellers along with its inherent tax accounting documents trails may have a reverse effect and cause a complete loss of tax revenue, as many of the smaller businesses may just close instead of running their business at a loss. The subsequent loss of competition may also allow larger retail corporations the opportunity to completely monopolize product pricing throughout Texas and the United States.
Don’t tax Internet sales, please. Let’s not destroy the free enterprise system our country was founded upon.
JW Eggert “The Sarge”