Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good and Bad News

First with the good news... I won an award from Terra on the Bookshelf! I wanted to give this award to those I haven’t yet, but I haven’t had a lot of time to do that in a through way. So, forgive me for not passing this one on at this time. I did want to acknowledge it however.

Now to the bad news. Colorado residents are no longer Amazon Associates. This is the letter I received:

Dear Colorado-based Amazon Associate:

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to inform you that the Colorado government recently enacted a law to impose sales tax regulations on online retailers. The regulations are burdensome and no other state has similar rules. The new regulations do not require online retailers to collect sales tax. Instead, they are clearly intended to increase the compliance burden to a point where online retailers will be induced to "voluntarily" collect Colorado sales tax -- a course we won't take.

We and many others strongly opposed this legislation, known as HB 10-1193, but it was enacted anyway. Regrettably, as a result of the new law, we have decided to stop advertising through Associates based in Colorado. We plan to continue to sell to Colorado residents, however, and will advertise through other channels, including through Associates based in other states.

There is a right way for Colorado to pursue its revenue goals, but this new law is a wrong way. As we repeatedly communicated to Colorado legislators, including those who sponsored and supported the new law, we are not opposed to collecting sales tax within a constitutionally-permissible system applied even-handedly. The US Supreme Court has defined what would be constitutional, and if Colorado would repeal the current law or follow the constitutional approach to collection, we would welcome the opportunity to reinstate Colorado-based Associates.

You may express your views of Colorado's new law to members of the General Assembly and to Governor Ritter, who signed the bill.

Your Associates account has been closed as of March 8, 2010, and we will no longer pay advertising fees for customers you refer to Amazon.com after that date. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to March 8, 2010, will be processed and paid in accordance with our regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of March 8, any final payments will be paid by May 31, 2010.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Colorado-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.

Best Regards,
The Amazon Associates Team

Now, this is a bad law and I do believe if it isn’t repealed, it may lead to law-suits. My question is why am I being punished for a very bad law? Any income (which I had not made in any form yet) would be considered income and taxed that way. This would have no major impact on me unless I personally buy from Amazon. Does Amazon think I only sell to Coloradans? So what if I do? They state that they do not refuse to sell to Coloradans. The only one affecting me through the Associate program IS Amazon. You hate what my legislature does, then let it be known. You have the resources without punishing people it already hurts. Sorry Amazon, but you are putting the Ass in Associate with this policy.

Thanks for the soap box. I now return you to your regularly scheduled book reviews.


  1. They're trying to get you to pressure the legislature so that THEY don't have to add sales tax to orders from CO--that's what's going on. It's all political and very evil empire-y.

  2. Not quite. Right now the law is geared to the consumer to keep track and report spending. It's a poor law and full of holes. Amazon was willing to charge sales tax. Ritter (the Gov) already has passed the buck back to Amazon in this situation. He's not up for re-election, so he won't do a thing.

    I SO agree about the political and evil part. :) Thanks for the comment, heidenkind.

  3. This is a very poor decision on Amazon's part. They are showing a forceful hand I think to stem other states from enacting similar laws. However, I think California has something like this on the table.

    I'm sorry about your being shut out - it is just unfair.

  4. That is crazy! Amazon seems to be getting caught up in this stuff here lately. There was that ban of some of the authors regarding ebooks, wasn't there?

    Seems like a small battle between Amazon and taxes here. Shame.

  5. Yea, there was something about pricing and ebooks, and upsetting authors, but I forget the exact details.

    With this one it's voluntary and yet it isn't . You either collect the tax or wait and give an amount you owe. I think it still relies on the consumer to report it. So many holes and even the tax people are shunning it (this year anyway).

    @ StephanieD... I sincerely hope your legislature does not make the same mistake. This is horrible. And as far as any money I might make... no worries. I hadn't really pushed it and wasn't making any. However in this economy, I can see how families are greatly affected. Especially when they need all the extra money they get. There was an article in the local newspaper about such a person. Fortunately, for this person, she can change her main address to her partner who lives out of state. Not everyone can do that. :(


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