Paul Rafelson joins us today to help sellers understand what is going on with Amazon sales tax, whether you should pay it or NOT.
- Paul Rafelson has been an attorney for 15 years and counting.
- He was an in-house state tax litigator GE and Microsoft, to name a few.
- Paul is the founder of EComAttorneys
- He also started the Online Merchants Guild or OMG which advocates for the e-commerce community.
- States have told sellers that they need to register to 50+ states in order to continue business.
- California claims that sellers owe them back taxes – we have initiated litigation against California introducing changes in their tax laws.
- Through lobbying and advocacy, Amazon now bears the burden of tax collection – except for 6 or 7 states.
- It would be impossible for individual sellers to register to all states in order to continue business. Imagine what burden it will be to smaller sellers.
- By the end of 2020, the goal is to have all states collecting taxes from Amazon, not from individual sellers.
- Some states still aggressively going after legacy sellers for back taxes.
- We are on the watch for laws popping up circumventing all these efforts.
- There was an amnesty program offered by a state saying that they will not go after you for back taxes BUT they will go after you for other taxes.
- Tax amnesty programs can be shady.
- Some other taxes just passed laws making changes so that they can start collecting from Amazon.
- Amazon sellers are out-of-state and the states do not have interests in protecting out of state sellers.
- It is not Constitutional nor appropriate to go after small sellers.
How to take on Amazon
- It is a bit of David and Goliath but they have a giant Achilles’s heel.
- Any tax lawyer can see this for what it is.
- Three law firms are engaged in this case taking on Amazon in California.
- Amazon didn’t want to pay the taxes or collect the taxes because that way things are cheaper for them.
The Anti Trust Scenario
- There is an ongoing investigation and Congress is looking at these issues.
- Some issues being looked into: the buy box, the FBA dependency and a host of business practices that Amazon is engaged in.
- One thing they have looked in to is how Amazon competes with sellers and using the data gathered from sellers in creating and marketing their products- in the end pushing smaller sellers out.
- Amazon no longer refers to themselves as Marketplace but Store.
- We are lobbying in Congress to pass sales tax laws that will fix the problem on Amazon sales taxes.
The Chinese Trademark Issues
- There is an upcoming trade where you need to have your product trademarked in China or else someone might take it away from you and block you from importing.
- 2020 is going to be a year of reconciling e-commerce and Amazon, where having your own website can be possible.
- Amazon should not deny small sellers be independent – the focus is to increase the rights of e-commerce sellers.
- All eyes are on the anti-trust issues – sellers should speak up! Connect with us through the EComAttorneys and OMG.
Check out the PPC Series FIRST installment of our series HERE: https://sellersessions.com/amazon-ppc-campaign-set-up-keywords-first-approach/
📈 Need help with your Amazon PPC?
Check out what we do here: ✔️ SellerSessions.com/Agency/
Take a look at some of our client case studies:
❌No Set up Fees
❌No Long Term Contracts
Unlike some agencies, we do not take:
❌ Percentage of your profit
❌ Percentage of your Revenue
❌ Percentage of your Ad Spend
Get in touch for a free account audit…
Connect with Paul Rafelson:
Connect with SellerSessions and DATABrill:
- Email: Danny@databrill.com