back to article If you bought a dildo in Denver, the government must legally be told

Online retailers in America will soon be required by law to disclose to state governments what purchases their customers – meaning, you – have made. That extraordinary situation is the result of a long-running legal case that the US Supreme Court this week refused to hear. This means a decision by the Tenth Circuit [PDF] …

  1. Andy 73

    Remarkable

    Remarkably, it was probably easier to sell stuff to people in the 70s than it is now. Ok, so all the consumer has to do is press a few buttons and try not to forget their password. But as a would-be entrepreneur, the moment you go near the internet, you have a world of pain - the list of people you have to get permission from, report to and pay a cut to gets longer and longer and longer.

    My next product will be only available to people who send postal orders to my home address, which won't be listed on the internet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remarkable

      But as a would-be entrepreneur in America, the moment you go near the internet, you have a world of pain - the list of people you have to get permission from, report to and pay a cut to gets longer and longer and longer.

      Fixed it for you. To be honest, I no longer think that's a bad thing (the US" bit, I mean) because it appears that avoiding pesky legal constraints to make money is something hammered into them young and I much rather deal with people that have *some* semblance of legal framework imposed upon them. It means you don't have to continuously watch your back as a consumer.

      Anyway, it is now abundantly clear that "Land of the free" has about as much meaning as Trump's campaign promises, and soon those two will meet. Uh oh...

      1. Andy 73

        Re: Remarkable

        I don't know, have you tried selling anything 'digital' in Europe lately? No minimum threshold for handling cross-border VAT and reporting makes for lots of fun.

        It's almost like they only want us to buy through Amazon.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Remarkable

          You cant even some things through amazon. I bought some 100L pans for brewing here in the UK and found the exact same pans for 1/3rd the price on Amazon.fr. Tried to get some of those - they wont take a UK credit card - unless you VM from somewhere in France. Never got to the bottom of that - all the correspondence was in french and I never learned the bugger.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Remarkable

            >they wont take a UK credit card

            Strange, Amazon UK will happily take French credit (and debit) cards, and ship to UK or France.

            Was this actually an Amazon-supplied product, or a small business in the Amazon "martketplace" ?

        2. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

          Re: Remarkable

          "tried selling anything 'digital' in Europe lately?"

          Have an upvote. Whoever pushed the idea of abolishing the minimum VAT threshold for cross-border VAT is either an imbecile or was unduly influenced by those with a vested interest in killing off competition from upcoming small businesses. I wonder which is more likely?

        3. Chris Evans

          Re: Remarkable

          "It's almost like they only want us to buy through Amazon."

          I think some of the regulations have been made with Amazon in mind and were actually trying to restrict them but the result ended up to Amazon's benefit as many other sellers find it difficult to implement. e.g. cross border VAT on digital downloads.

        4. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Remarkable

          "t's almost like they only want us to buy through Amazon."

          *MULTIPLE* thumbs-up for seeing THAT connection!

          Corruption in gummint, much?

        5. SotarrTheWizard
          Trollface

          Re: Remarkable

          RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED INTO AMAZON PRIME. . . .

          (evil grin)

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Remarkable

      I bought a Dildo in Denver and all I got was this lousy orgasm.

  2. Blotto Bronze badge

    Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

    This is the behaviour of the stereotypical communist states we watched in Hollywood blockbusters from the 70's through now.

    How long before North Korea policies look more democratic than the US?

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

      About 2 or 3 years max.

      1. Truckle The Uncivil

        Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

        ...ago, min.

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

      'stereotypical' even, unless we are indeed talking about 1970's Amstrad stereos.

      Why not have every single device IoT enabled? That way the incoming Russian US government gets to know everything about everyone, including what setting bored Colorado housewives set their 'personal' devices to for maximum satisfaction. Of course the humiliation in knowing that your bank was DDOS'd by several million dildos would be unbearable for some.

      1. MrDamage

        Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

        > "Of course the humiliation in knowing that your bank was DDOS'd by several million dildos would be unbearable for some."

        As opposed to it being DDOS'd by the dozen or so folks sitting on the board of dildos directors.

      2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

        "....knowing that your bank was DDOS'd by several million dildos..."

        That's the first positive case for the internet of things, I've heard.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

          So, a state with Theresa May's intrusiveness without Theresa May? Is that an improvement or not?

          When I read the headline for this article this morning, ' A Dildo in Denver' it sounded like a title for a for a Woody Allen movie but would probably have had too much action in it.

          1. macjules Silver badge

            Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

            hah! Woody Allen on Spitting Image facing accusations about carnal knowledge of his niece:

            WA, "I'd go down on my knees to protest my innocence!"

            PRESS: "You'd go down on your niece? How disgusting!"

      3. JimC Silver badge

        Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

        > the incoming Russian/US government[s] gets to know everything about everyone,

        Think you were right the first time... What each one knows the other probably knows soon after...

    3. Lotaresco Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

      "This is the behaviour of the stereotypical communist states we watched in Hollywood blockbusters from the 70's through now."

      Yeah, I'd heard that Now only punts really old movies and TV shows.

    4. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

      They are already more democratic, free and less spied on than the UK

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Coat

    Millions of dollars in sales tax!!!

    Let's say 100 million?

    At projected 62.6 billion USD of Colorado State expenditures for 2017, this means you could run the Colorado State for a WHOLE 12 HOURS!

    Whoppee-ka-yee!

    1. joed

      Re: Millions of dollars in sales tax!!!

      62.6B$ - it takes a lot of medical weed sales to cover this budget.

    2. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Millions of dollars in sales tax!!!

      Interesting, as I recollect from when I lived in Washington state plenty of people would take cars or vans down to Oregon when they were buying fridges, sofas, even cars. Thus they avoided WA sales tax and saved a packet. I don' t recollect there being any attempt at the border to check you weren't bringing a fridge in the boot.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy

        @Dave 15

        I grew up in Vancouver, WA (Right on the other side of the river from Portland). Too many people were doing that, so you now have to present a state ID card on any purchases over a certain amount, if you don't have an Oregon ID card they'll tack sales tax onto the bill.

        Nowadays, having such an ID card is why Washingtonians tolerate anyone from Portland (We apologize to any Portlanders that aren't pretentious hipster cocks, but the fact is that such people are now a minority.)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not just dollar value?

    Why do they need the specifics of what was purchased? Can they not just get the dollar value of the purchase to calculate the required tax? I realise that they could still infer what was bought based on who the retailer is.

    1. Blotto Bronze badge

      Re: Why not just dollar value?

      Maybe different rates for different products?

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Why not just dollar value?

        In many states, there are exempt classes from sales tax and different rates for different parts of the state. In Georgia, the state wide sales tax is not levied on food in grocery stores but the local option sales taxes often are.

      2. JLV Silver badge

        Re: Why not just dollar value?

        >Maybe different rates for different products?

        Hmmmm, not sure here. Yes, you have different rates for different products. But systems usually track that by entering the tax jurisdiction's own tax codes. i.e. do you really think Colorado's tax system is going to parse products' descriptions?

        if descr.match("dildo") then 5.5%

        Upvoted you, you're on to something. But if the goal is to collect sales tax, raw descriptions aren't that useful, except to forensically audit evaders. In which case, they could just encrypt them until the tax agency gets an access warrant*. More useful would be a dump of all the descriptions vs the attributed sales tax code and that not even purchaser-specific, but vendor-specific. In order to see if a vendor isn't systematically under-charging tax.

        So here they're using a privacy sledgehammer to kill a fly that isn't even in the same room.

        * not really a warrant - tax agencies are above needing those, of course - but at least initiates a formal audit

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Why not just dollar value?

          More useful would be a dump of all the descriptions vs the attributed sales tax code and that not even purchaser-specific, but vendor-specific.

          That's what we have in NZ with our GST (Government Standardised TheftGoods and Services Tax), which is a flat 15%.

          You come to me with $ and you buy product. I tell government that product was sold for $. Nothing about who it went to or anything. If you use a credit or other card, I put the copy away for 7(?) years in case of an audit, otherwise no one knows it was you who brought the product.

          There's no need for the tax agents to know who brought what, only who sold what.

          1. Truckle The Uncivil

            Re: Why not just dollar value?

            How can you believe that? It works in NZ (and everyone else) as long as there is no border crossing. It is a given where the customer is from (local) but if not local then different rules apply. They still do not need to know who the customer is but they do need to know where they come from. ["they" are the various tax officials]

            Now you know to value librarians. Many have been jailed (or worse) for refusing to divulge who borrowed which book.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Why not just dollar value?

      Because USA is the only country in the world stuck in the 18th century - before the invention of VAT.

      It will also stay there, because if it switches to VAT there will be a great disturbance in the Accounting, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. With VAT all the parasites living on the medieval tax code will end up without a job. Said parasites have enough lobbying power to ensure VAT never happens in the USA. Truly - best laws money can buy.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Why not just dollar value?

        The US considered a consumption tax in the past but turned it down; too easy to encourage under-the-table transactions.

      2. Gritzwally Philbin

        Re: Why not just dollar value?

        Hawaii has a VAT - though they call it a General Excise Tax - and it's an absolute PITA - my mom is a crafter there - makes kid's masks out of marine vinyl and she's expected to tax everything she sells at 4.15% - 4% for the state and she gets to keep the .15% as a 'deputized' tax collector, though as it's a tax applied at every level of sales - from raw materials, supplies to the final cost of wholesale and retail, it's actually significantly higher once it gets to the end consumer.

        But hey, they have a great welfare system on the islands.. and milk at well over 6 dollars a gallon.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Why not just dollar value?

          I just ran some quick conversion figures and I came up with $5.56/gallon for milk here in the UK!

          I'm not gonna show my working, because it's bound to be wrong :)

          1. M man

            Re: Why not just dollar value?

            Did you use the right gallon?

        2. lglethal Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Why not just dollar value? @ Gritzwally

          I'm not going to claim to know anything about Hawaiian tax arrangements, but with the Aus GST and British VAT, if you buy raw materials to turn into a salable product you get to claim back the tax you paid.

          So if you buy raw materials worth $1 and 10% of that is tax (so 10c) and you then sell the final product for $10, $1 of that would be tax, and 90c would go to the government since you claim back the 10c from your raw materials.

          You might want to suggest your mum goes and talks to a tax accountant if she is not claiming anything back... Sounds like she's doing it wrong...

      3. Crazy Operations Guy

        Re: Why not just dollar value?

        The US also attempted to convert to metric to bring the country into at least the 18th century, but we all know how that went...

      4. Calleb III

        Re: Why not just dollar value?

        "Truly - best laws money can buy."

        Pfft Yankee amateurs, I present thee the UK tax code and it's record holding 17'000+ pages (and counting)

        http://www.f9consulting.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/long-tax-code.jpg

    3. Public Citizen

      Re: Why not just dollar value?

      Sales Tax in the USA works different than the VAT, which certain people and groups have been lobbying for to replace the maze of regulations currently in effect.

      Each state has to know what was purchased in order to determine whether it is a taxable sale or not and at what rate according to that states laws. The alternative is that every e-seller has to have a whole new department just to deal with figuring out how to apply each states sales tax statutes.

      Before this entire furball gets sorted out don't be surprised if the states where a sale ~originates~ try to get themselves cut in for full sales tax ~as well as~ the state where the recipient lives. All this decision has done is make more work for the courts going forward as the state taxing authorities are now the Camel With His Nose In The Tent.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time for Washington to get involved

    There's a simple solution to this - aside from that fact that this is interstate commerce and therefore a Federal issue - point out to the NRA that this means the government will have a computer record of all gun sales. Essentially this is illegal, the government is only allowed to keep records of gun purchases on index cards - federal law prohibits computer records of gun sales.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Time for Washington to get involved

      The anger rising within the NRA, you can feel!

    2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Time for Washington to get involved

      You are of course aware that you can't legally buy a gun on the internet regardless of what the ban everything1 crowd says, right? The sale still has to go through a FFL in your state and you still have to fill out form 4473. That's been true for quite some time since interstate sales were tightly regulated as a result of the JFK assassination.

      1 Bloomberg and company have tried to ban everything from guns to large sodas to plastic bags and EPS fast food containers. He'd much rather give folks a list of what they are allowed to do or have.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time for Washington to get involved

        That may be the "law" but it's more honored in the breach than the observance - it's very easy to get around it - I have a friend with a room full of guns purchased via conversations and meetings in parking lots. Another friend bought an AK-47 in bits and assembled it himself - completely legal, no records anywhere, and no serial number. Another guy I know collects machine guns and has a licence for them.

        Posting anonymously because in my state it is an offence to say that someone owns a gun.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: Time for Washington to get involved

          it's very easy to get around it - I have a friend with a room full of guns purchased via conversations and meetings in parking lots.

          Well, by definition, laws only really apply the the law abiding. Leland Yee wasn't really concerned about whether his buddy "Shrimp Boy" passed a background check either.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time for Washington to get involved

      Think you need to cite your source on this. The ATF has a master DB of trace data that other agencies can request research against (see the Tiahrt Amendment). It is only the original record that is required to be destroyed with 24 hours, and that record is almost always electronic.

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Time for Washington to get involved

      "Essentially this is illegal, the government is only allowed to keep records of gun purchases on index cards"

      I didn't know that, but was thinking along similar lines for retailers as an "act of civil disobedience" whereby they print off an invoice each qualifying sale which must be reported and post it off to the relevant tax authority. Big retailers with the cash available and who REALLY want to make the point could send each one individually. Everyone else can just send a package at the end of each reporting period. I doubt very much that the reporting methods have been fully specified down to the level of "must be filed electronically in this exact format".

  6. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    It could get even BETTER (For small values of "better"!)

    In some places, COMMUNITIES can add on a fractional amount for LOCAL sales tax. California, for instance, is a patchwork of varying sales tax rates, from (IIRC) 6 - 10%. Just wait until every community wants to make sure that they get their cut, and every local busybody can see what you're buying!!

    Fun times ahead!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gimme A Break

    "Given the Trump administration's willingness to go beyond what has been normally regarded as any red line...."

    Is El Reg even capable of writing an article without including this kind of gratuitous BS anymore?

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Exhibit 1 of 237

      I will ban all muslims from entering the country.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Exhibit 2 of 237

        I will jail my political rival.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

          You two, show us the original quotes, or STFU. Your versions bear little resemblance to reality.

          1. Geoffrey W Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

            Exhibit 1.1

            Trumps official press release:

            "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on"

            https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-statement-on-preventing-muslim-immigration

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

              Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

              He's going to wait for representatives?

              This will be subject to extreme growth of spider webbing.

              Also, I *would* jail Clinton after having her made a passage through the war criminals court in Den Haag. Along with a few choice personalities from the US, UK and France.

              1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

                RE: "Also, I *would* jail Clinton after having her made a passage through the war criminals court in Den Haag. Along with a few choice personalities from the US, UK and France."

                Yeah. Make sure to include Bush (W) and especially the dark lord himself Cheney.

              2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

                Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

                @Destroy All Monsters

                RE: "He's going to wait for representatives?

                This will be subject to extreme growth of spider webbing"

                Good point. So what he is saying is that muslims will be barred in perpetuity if he gets his way. That's even dafter.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

                  The thing is, Trump says everything three times. First crazy, then strong and finally compromising, in that order.

                  The muslim ban became a ban on muslims from countries where muslim groups are actively killing people, which became an extra form for muslims to fill in at the airport.

                  Jailing Clinton became telling the authorities to investigate Clinton which became "Meh, can't be arsed" in politispeak. Something about other priorities.

                  All his other crazy can be seen to follow the same pattern, it's a cunning ploy because the media who don't like Trump, including Kieran, fall for the trap of only referencing the first one. That means Team Trump and the Pants of Doom get to point at their critics and prove they're not providing a balanced overview, in spite of the fact that Trump set them up to be unable to do so.

                  1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                    Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

                    because the media who don't like Trump, including Kieran, fall for the trap of only referencing the first one

                    And which version do you think people remembered most, and consequently gave him their support?

                    If your assessment is correct there are going to be a lot of extremely disappointed Trump supporters, pissed off after being abandoned by yet another 'elite'. Some of them will be, as Trump terms them, Second Amendment people.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

                      And which version do you think people remembered most, and consequently gave him their support?

                      The one that most fit with their own views. It's called Cognitive Bias.

                      Trump Tower security has been massively upgraded in the name of protecting him from the demographic who generally don't like guns. Does that sound like misdirection to you?

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

                    What cracks me up is I have no idea whether I'm being downvoted by Trump fans or Trump haters.

                    Trump's a bad dude who got you all fooled. Come to terms with it.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

                      I'm thinking maybe I'll make this my last post about Trump, now that, finally, The Daily Show has noticed some of what I've been trying to point out.

                      The information has been readily available for months now, for those of us who have stepped outside our social media echo chambers in that time.

          2. tfewster Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

            https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-statement-on-preventing-muslim-immigration

            Good enough for you?

            https://www.google.com/search?q=trump+jail+clinton

            (Of course, that may be just biased media twisting his words - I haven't bothered watching the videos)

          3. Geoffrey W Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

            Exhibit 2.1

            "if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” he said as she seemed to laugh internally at the very idea of him being elected. “There has never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it, and we’re gonna have a special prosecutor.”

            Clinton responded, “It’s just awfully good that somebody with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.”

            Trump nodded and pouted angrily. “Because you’d be in jail,” he said.

            http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/09/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-will-be-in-jail-if-i-m-elected.html

          4. Geoffrey W Silver badge

            Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

            @Big John

            Why are you doing this to yourself since you profess not to be a Trumper? Come on. Show a little self respect and dignity. Mr Trump is a big boy and doesn't need you to stick up for him.

          5. Someone Else Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

            You two, show us the original quotes, or STFU. Your versions bear little resemblance to reality.

            That's so typical of the prove-the-negative approach to facts that is endemic in the Drumpf Reich "administration"

            1. M man

              Re: Exhibit 2 of 237

              What this Drumpf thing....is it an insult....the Man comes with built in insult in his name.

              Trump.....to release gas containing minute excrement particles......aka a stinky little shit.

    2. maffski

      Re: Gimme A Break

      Given The Donald's tendency to slap 'TRUMP' on any piece of tat he thinks he can sell for a dollar he's just as likely to look at this and slap Colorado et al down for their invasive overreach.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gimme A Break

        "Given The Donald's tendency to slap 'TRUMP' on any piece of tat he thinks he can sell for a dollar ..."

        Starting at the top left of the main page, will we have "Trumpington" or "Washingtrump" ? Just one over from there, even more fascinating: "Trumpaho" or "Idarump" ?

        Your imagination (and his) are the only limits. Although it makes more sense to rename the foreign bits. One can make a better profit if one sells something that doesn't belong to one. Trumpada, Canarump. Frump, Trance. Drumptschland, Germanpy. Trumpssia, Russrump. Mexitrump, Trumpico. Sure to make a big profit, because the (former) Mexicans will pay for it! Trales, Walumpf. Trumpgland, Engrump.

        1. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: Gimme A Break

          Trumpmerica! Fuck yeah! Coming again to wreck your motherfuckin' day, yeah!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Workaround?

    I'll SELL you a box. The contents, you get for free.

    AC, natch.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Workaround?

      "I'll SELL you a box." That's illegal in most areas of the country.

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: Workaround?

        RE " "I'll SELL you a box." That's illegal in most areas of the country"

        What? Then how am I supposed to get christmas present boxes to send to my family? Make my own from wood pulp or old rags? What will I do with these I already bought from Walmart? Can I expect a call from the local fuzz? Does Walmart know this? Damn, living in this weird country is bloody hard. So much to learn, so little sense.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Workaround?

          Bloody hard? You must be from that OTHER weird country.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Public Citizen

        Re: Workaround?

        Except California, which just voted in a law requiring the grocery stores to start ~selling you ~ "reusable bags" as they are no longer permitted to just ~give~ you the t-shirt bags that are so useful as trash bin liners or other uses [after they've served their original purpose of getting your groceries home in convenient to carry bags that keep your stuff separated] - or that can be stuffed into one of the self same bags and then returned to the store for recycling once the bag is full.

        1. M man

          Re: Workaround?

          Thats your opinion....it may be based on fact....but it wrong.

          Because data shows they don't end up where you say. Either statistically or actually.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Workaround?

          "~selling you ~ "reusable bags" as they are no longer permitted to just ~give~ you the t-shirt bags that are so useful as trash bin liners or other uses "

          Although I agree at the loss of a free source of bin liners and dog-shit bags, the evidence here in the UK where Wales, Scotland and England have all introduced charges on disposable plastic bags, the numbers washing up on the beaches has dropped considerably as recorded by the group who does an annual(?) volunteer beach cleaning, listing types and quantities of rubbish collected.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Workaround?

        Most elites won't take a Green Dot unless it's REGISTERED. Registration attaches a name and address (both verifiable under PCI regs) to the card. Plus most of those cards restrict online use. You usually need one that's specifically meant for it.

    3. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Workaround?

      "It's a rabbit. No, a toy."

    4. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Workaround?

      Still doesn't evade the sames tax ... and some of them boxes are going to be expensive

      I guess it does evade the reporting of the content

  9. MD Rackham

    At Least...

    At least she seems pleased with her new package.

    Even if everyone knows about it.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: At Least...

      That's sexist :)

  10. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I'm going to be patient..

    Once this is enforced, the various porn sites will also be required to provide the lists, I would expect some (maybe all) government officials to start sweating blood over the fact their names will show up on those lists. There will be either fix to the law or a quick exemption list for various "services" and products.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm going to be patient..

      Like "The Snoopers Charter" in the UK where MPs are specifically excluded from ISPs storing of people's web site access history.

  11. Wade Burchette

    IT IS NOT A LAW

    "Legally, the question has revolved around a "physical presence" requirement that was reached in a 1992 Supreme Court judgment (Quill Corp v North Dakota). Under that decision, it was mandated that sales tax obligations could only be applied to companies that were physically based in the state. But that was before the internet took off and the states are arguing that the law should no longer hold."

    Supreme Court decisions are not laws, but opinions based on the Constitution, federal laws, and legal precedents. The US Constitution says that each state has a measure of sovereignty. In other words, the laws in Hawaii do not apply to people who are not in Hawaii and not residents of Hawaii. And even then, not every law is enforceable on the residents of Hawaii while they are out of the state. If I am in Montana I am not bound by Hawaii's maximum speed limit even if I am resident of Hawaii. These are just simplified examples.

    There is no federal law on state sales tax. Sales tax part of a state's budget, which is actually a law. And that law is only applicable within the borders of the state that has that law. If a business has no presence of any kind outside, then that state cannot enforce the sales tax law. Suppose My Widget Co. only had a warehouse in Florida. Then California has no right to force me to collect sales tax because there is no federal law saying I must, although there is a legally binding opinion saying I don't have to. I am not in California, I do not have a presence there, you cannot compel someone (and in US law, businesses are a someone) to follow your laws if you are completely outside their borders. It is a bit like the US trying to force its laws on Canada. They try, but it ain't right.

    What you are supposed to do is pay a use tax. But it is political suicide to shakedown your citizens. It is a lot easier to shakedown big business. This does not fix the ultimate problem: sales tax laws are confusing. In my state, there is a lower rate for food, there is a state rate, then some counties adds some on top, and then some cities add a little more too. How can a business determine which address has to pay which rate? If you go by the zip code, you must remember that the zip code is just the identification of the post office that delivers your mail. So I live in the city and pass the city rate, but 1 mile away another person is outside the city limits, same zip code. 10 miles away, a zip code spans into 3 different counties, albeit not by much. This becomes complicated real quick.

    The simple fix is to pass a federal law that simply states business may only pay the base state rate; they may not pay the county or city additions. And each state must provide an easy way to send payments. If the state needs to audit a business, then a state representative must travel to that business and may only see the dollar amounts, and not the actual invoices, of purchases within that state. Penalties may not be assessed. It must be easy for businesses to comply.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: IT IS NOT A LAW

      That still leaves physical stores in the lurch, and they have good reason to be mad.

    2. ckm5

      Re: IT IS NOT A LAW

      I used to work on the Starbucks website and tax tables are a nightmare. Because of Starbucks' presence virtually everywhere, the tax tables would change on a near daily basis.... I don't even know how they kept track of them, we just got a dump from their backoffice systems.

  12. tom dial Silver badge

    I do not understand why anyone would downvote a fairly clear explanation of legal fact; have a compensatory upvote.

    An additional comment: if I understand correctly the article in yesterday's paper, the state of Utah has worked out with Amazon to collect Utah sales/use tax at the statewide rate, ignoring (or leaving for the taxpayer) anything to do with local add-ons.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      I do not understand why anyone would downvote a fairly clear explanation of legal fact; have a compensatory upvote.

      I don't understand why anyone would care about a downvote. Or an upvote.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        "I don't understand why anyone would care about a downvote. Or an upvote."

        PRIZES!!...oh wait..

  13. 45RPM Silver badge

    The whole of a the US has bought a dildo, whether they wanted to or not.

    He's called Donald and he reaches the parts that he really shouldn't be reaching.

  14. tom dial Silver badge

    The article here states that retailers who do not collect Colorado sales tax on behalf of the state must provide the state with a detailed list of who bought what, and references a Deloitte tax alert. The tax alert does not make any such statement, but contains a reference to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 39-21-112(3.5).

    That, although convoluted, seems to lay on the retailer that do not collect Colorado sales tax a requirement (subparagraph (d)(I)(A)) to report to each Colorado purchaser, by January 31 of the following year, specific information about his or her purchases during the preceding year. That information, as given in the statute, does not explicitly include a specific description of the item (e. g., "dildo"), although the paragraph has some hand waving that allows the department of revenue to specify what is to be reported. This information is to be sent to the purchaser, not a government agency (subparagraph (d)(I)(B)) by first class mail, separate from any purchase shipment.

    Subparagraph (d)(II)(A) requires the non-collecting retailers to submit to the department of revenue "an annual statement for each purchaser ... showing the total amount paid for Colorado purchases of such purchasers during the preceding calendar year or any portion thereof." There is no mention of any other information, and nothing in the subparagraph suggests the department of revenue may add to it. The corresponding regulation appears to forbid reporting anything beyond name, billing and shipping address, and total dollar amount.

    It appears that NetChoice's DelBianco and others, although making statements that are literally true, exaggerate the actual privacy threat.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, for the sake of argument ...

    ... say I live in a state that does not (yet) have this requirement and I go on the Internet to buy jumbo-sized vibrating butt plugs for delivery to the governors, attorneys general, and directors of revenue of the states that do have it. Would the bigwigs' butt plugs get reported to the tax bureaucracies in those states? Would the recipients be liable for use tax in lieu of sales tax on the butt plugs? Would they have to file affidavits asserting that the butt plugs are gifts in order to get out of paying the tax? Or do you think they'd just donate their butt plugs to a local charity and take a deduction? I'm just curious.

  16. XSV1

    On the subject of dildos

    The government is being quite intrusive

  17. chivo243 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    There will come a time

    When the Gubbermint will know exactly which item you bought, you bought bottle xxxxxnnnnnxxx on this date, and we found it in the park under a bench. Here is your littering ticket btw...

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: There will come a time

      Welcome to Mega City One. Have a nice day

  18. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Obligated

    Is there any more heinous "word" in the English language?

    It's obliged FFS.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: Obligated

      "Brexit" is pretty heinous. "Mansplaining" too. OMG, I'm much obliged to you for bringing up this subject. LOL. So many words to stamp on - I don't know where to start.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Obligated

        Start with the usual suspect, "irregardless"....

        1. Truckle The Uncivil

          Re: Obligated

          --> SomeoneElse

          This turns out to be incorrect. Regardless is a comparative and irregardless is a superlative, or used similarly when used correctly.

          "'You put salt on my food regardless of my wishes". - comparative. Regard relates to a supplied reason.

          ''You should not be late irregardless" - superlative. Regard applies to all possible reasons.

          Irregardless should be used as an absolute while regardless is a comparative. They do not mean the same thing.

          Nobody educated in the last sixty years seems to understand this.

  19. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Queen May's jotted this one down

    And is wondering how to get it into the Digital Economy Bill.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Queen May's jotted this one down

      Probably she will just activate some existing clause that will allow*** anything.

      *** I nearly said "enable" but that would have invoked Godwin's Law.

  20. DougS Silver badge

    Buying the Koran

    If the government tries to do something like that I'll buy one and hope I am one of millions of non-Muslims buying one, just to muddy the waters and make such retarded tracking useless as an idiot's way of identifying potential terrorists.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Buying the Koran

      Muslim terrorists seem not to rely much on the Koran but on the preaching of Wahabists. At a conference earlier this year of moderate Muslims, it was said that one of the problems is that, generally speaking, there are many uneducated Sunni imams, and on the whole Shia imams are much better educated. This may explain why Shia Iran has a fully functioning legal system and Sunni Saudi doesn't.

      However, as the US is pro-Sunni and anti-Shia, buying a Koran would obviously make you an object of suspicion.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Buying the Koran

        Muslim terrorists seem not to rely much on the Koran but on the preaching of Wahabists.

        Nothing new there. Try asking a N. Irishman (from either side) what the fundamental differences betwen Protestantism and Catholicism are...

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Buying the Koran

          "Try asking a N. Irishman (from either side) what the fundamental differences betwen Protestantism and Catholicism are..."

          Something about Mary?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Buying the Koran

          "Protestantism and Catholicism"

          One big stumbling block is the belief in transubstantiation. The Roman Catholic dogma is that the communion bread and wine actually become changed to blood and flesh for an instant. The CofE and other Protestants hold that the bread and wine are merely symbolic.

          Then again - within all religions there are many internal schisms over matters of theology, practice, and interpretation. Each sect/cult has its own tribal shibboleths to which its members must pay at least lip service.

          1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

            Re: Buying the Koran

            " The CofE and other Protestants"

            This denotes you believe CofE to be Protestant?

            Technically it is not protestant, and is only known as such as it is easy to group non-catholic as protestant.

            CofE is Catholiscism with the hardcore stuff thrown away.

      2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Buying the Koran

        Most people don't even know the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          @ Sir Runcible Spoon -- Re: Buying the Koran

          Most people don't even know the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

          Specifically applies to your bog-standard Republican; e.g. Duh-beyew, "I don't know what I don't know" Rumsfeld, Cheeeeeney, Der Orangeführer, and any of his newly appointed minions.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Buying the Koran

          "Most people don't even know the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims."

          Is it the colour of their hats?

          Meowwww!

  21. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    So, if I have to register my dildo, can I get an open carry permit?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Back to us to beat them.

    The USA had the NSA spying on people illegally.

    The UK decided to make it legal to spy on everything.

    You now make it law to SEND the details to the goverment.

    So now back to the unelected dictator May to fuck us over.

    1. Arachnoid

      Re: Back to us to beat them.

      They also made it illegal to tell anybody they were spying on you so...........[knock,knock].....

  23. analyzer

    Obvious answer

    Print all the details in 7 point Comic Sans and post them so they arrive in the middle of the budget discussions. The ruling doesn't say how the data has to be communicated to them so make it seriously inconvenient to search the data, it also doesn't say how much time has to pass before reporting.

    So report on paper and once per year.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Obvious answer

      The tax reporting periods provide a default.

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Obvious answer

      I would amend the table layout on each record.

      "The information's all there mate, it just looks like scrambled egg. We took note on the tax laws and made the information just an intelligible."

  24. oiseau Silver badge
    Big Brother

    1982

    1982 ...

    Closer and closer every year.

    Interesting times are coming.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 1982

      I would say 1984 is closer, but hey.

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: 1982

        "I would say 1984 is closer ..."

        Indeed it is.

        And I stand corrected.

        Had quite a few typos this morning.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: 1982

          Damn, I thought there was going be a joke in there. Bloody typo's :(

  25. Rob Crawford

    In the UK they would already know and based upon diameter you may end up on a watch list

  26. aks Bronze badge

    Or TV's in the UK. It's a legal requirement for the seller to notify the government, on behalf of the BBC.

    1. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Not just TVs

      Anything that can receive a signal... in fact even been asked for info for a dvd player (odd)

      Of course with no ID card requirement and the good old fallback of cash I think it was some poor bloke in number 11 Downing street who bought the last TV I walked from a shop with.

      Besides, it wasn't actually for me it was a gift and the TV licence people send me a letter each week with a variation of the threat to take me to court... something they haven't got around to... unless I let some flat footed stranger go snooping around all my closets, loft, rooms, toilets et al in an attempt to find some reason to tell me I need to pay the licence. Still they are heading for the same sort of law the germans have... you have a home (even if it is a pile of cardboard in the woods) therefore you have to pay a tv licence fee... regardless of whether you have any way of getting tv or not

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do keep up, Jenkins...

      @aks - go on then, can you tell me which piece of legislation says this?

      (protip - if it's the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967 that you're thinking of, it was repealed: http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one/business-and-organisations/tv-dealers-aud18?WT.mc_id=r033&x=0 )

  27. Keith Oborn

    I can't help thinking -

    - that it's a good thing this place is in Canada:

    http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2013-12-10/maphead-dildo-newfoundland-canada

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The whole of the US.....

    Bought a dildo....

    I'm sure Donald has been called far worse in his time

    Actually, thinking about it, I'm giving him undue credit there.

    After all a dildo actually has a use.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: The whole of the US.....

      Actually, thinking about it, I'm giving him undue credit there.

      After all a dildo actually has a use.

      Oh, CMIC has a use. He gives the rest of us something to laugh at. The Chinese and Norks get (to them) irrefutable proof of the problems of democracy, and of the decadence of the west. Anyone needing a reason to feel superior to yanks has an easy time of it now...

      And I'm sure the various arms companies are looking for a way to boost profits this quarter. How long till chump starts a war somewhere? Oh, sad war will reduce the population of the earth some, so you have your greeny angle there..

      He's working hard to please all the people.. (though he could manage that easier with a few feet of rope...)

  29. Updraft102 Silver badge

    "Given the Trump administration's willingness to go beyond what has been normally regarded as any red line,"

    There is no Trump administration, so it cannot have gone beyond anything. At least wait until there IS a Trump administration before assigning blame!

  30. Someone Else Silver badge
    Big Brother

    The trick here appears to be...

    Given the Trump administration's willingness to go beyond what has been normally regarded as any red line, it is not inconceivable that anyone who purchases, say, a copy of the Koran could be placed on a watchlist.

    If that is what is going to be the New World OrderTM, then the trick appears to be for everyone to get themselves on a watchlist. Maybe several times. 300 million+ entries. Overload the system. They can't watch all of us...

    1. Truckle The Uncivil

      Re: The trick here appears to be...

      "If that is what is going to be the New World OrderTM, then the trick appears to be for everyone to get themselves on a watchlist. Maybe several times. 300 million+ entries. Overload the system. They can't watch all of us.."

      That just gets you on the list that they "know" will resist.....

  31. John 104

    Sigh

    Given the Trump administration's willingness to go beyond what has been normally regarded as any red line, it is not inconceivable that anyone who purchases, say, a copy of the Koran could be placed on a watchlist.

    As stated above, there is no Trump administration to date. So what exactly are you basing this statement on?

    Seriously, the amount of fear mongering since the election is staggering. He is a loudmouth spaz, and probably a misogynistic bigot, true enough. Comparing him to Hitler or Stalin, as has been done, is naive to the highest degree.

    People of the world: Take a deep breath, review some history and then educate yourself on how US law works (checks and balances anyone?). I think you'll find that things aren't and won't be as bad as you are making them out to be.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Sigh

      No, they'll be worse. And note this entry was posted AFTER Inauguration Day, so there actually IS an Administration in place. AND in many ways it's worse than anticipated.

  32. SteveG

    Remember folks

    If your doing nothing wrong then you have nothing to worry about... have you.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Remember folks

      Yeah, it's been a while since we've seen that one trotted out isn't it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remember folks

      Well, if that's so, when did you stop beating on your wife? And how was your time in the Hitler Youth?

  33. Dave 15 Silver badge

    No problem

    The UK government should just implement something similar. Maybe then facebook et al will be forced to pay more than a penny or two tax.

    We could for example demand that facebook disclose the percentage of adverts shown in the UK and then pay tax on the appropriate proportion of the fee received from the advertiser... of course including VAT and corporation tax on the 'profit' (profit being classed as 99% of the fee - the 1% to allow for running the server).

  34. Andy Non
    Coat

    What do dildos and Windows 10 have in common?

    Both can potentially be a pain in the arse.

    1. Trainee grumpy old ****
      Joke

      Re: What do dildos and Windows 10 have in common?

      Both can potentially be a pain in the arse.

      In the case of Windows 10, if it is not, then you are possibly using it wrong.

  35. tom dial Silver badge

    Strictly speaking, the article and the various agitators it references are correct: If you purchase a dildo (or anything else that might be subject to a Colorado sales or use tax) from a retailer who does not collect the tax, Colorado law requires the retailer to provide information to the state Department of Revenue. However, the retailer is not required to tell the Colorado DoR what you bought, only that you bought something, or maybe many things, during the calendar year. It does not authorize reporting more than who you are and the amount you spent. The implementing regulation specifies name, billing address, delivery address, and total dollar amount spent for the year - a one line entry per year for each Colorado purchaser - and it prohibits including additional information.

    The law also requires non-collecting retailers to send Colorado purchasers an itemized list for their use in preparing their return for the use tax they are required to pay directly for the purchases they made during the year. The itemization probably is necessary because Colorado, like most states, does not tax all sales.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Furthermore, some states hold periodic and time-limited tax holidays on certain goods (common example: children's clothing and school supplies in the lead-up to the school year), so not only must the list be itemized, it must also be time-stamped in case an eligible item was bought during a tax holiday.

  36. Alistair Silver badge

    Some research was done

    onlinecomp sends (A) a detailed list of what was bought and how much was paid.

    onlinecomp also sends (GOV) a note stating that (A) who lives in (STATE) has purchased $xxx worth of stuff.

    The clear intent here is that (A) will use the details list to determine $y is the amount of state sales tax owing. I'm no 'Murrican state level tax lawyer and I've *no* idea - is there a requirement in *any* state tax law that the resident shall be responsible for determining and paying this value $y? And, given that there *is* such a law, what happens when the state contests $y as being the wrong amount? -- especially since sales taxes often apply at differing rates on differing products.

    And if I use reasonably anonymous payment methods, and purchase items to be sent to (my location) in the name of (political/judicial/legal) figure with a bill to address of said (political/judical/legal) figure ....... who determines what in *that* case?

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Some research was done

      "is there a requirement in *any* state tax law that the resident shall be responsible for determining and paying this value $y?"

      Yes, there is, although I believe almost nobody actually pays it except on things like cars and boats that must be licensed by the state. Colorado's objective is to obtain information it can use to enforce their tax. It is called "use tax" and generally is charged at the same rate as the sales tax that would be charged for an in-state purchase. I know of it specifically only from Ohio and Utah, and now Colorado, but believe it to be somewhere between common and near-universal. States may vary in how they handle local tax add-ons.

      The amount reported to the state doesn't have to be right, but those whose aggregate purchases are reported should expect to be questioned if they fail to file the use-tax return (which may be included on the state income tax return) or report much less than was reported to the state. The workability of the suggested circumvention might vary, but surely would risk other offenses like fraud, if not now, then after the various legislatures wake up to the possibility.

      1. Wee Heavy

        Re: Some research was done

        This seems accurate to me. When filing a New York state income tax return, there is a section for including sales tax for items purchased where you may not have paid the sales tax (such as for some on-line purchases). I would imagine We the People will see this sort of reporting become typical in all of the states. The question of whether it is or is not invasive or require that the actual goods purchased be itemized is something we will have to watch closely.

        Of course it does not take much imagination to figure out what might have been purchased from dildos.com, but it could be much more difficult to figure out what was purchased from amazon.com. Not sure how well this would play out on the grand scale. Seems like it could cause trouble for certain on-line retailers selling specific items by pushing folks to buy from larger retailers that sell anything. But maybe it will help the brick and mortar mom and pop type shops that have taken a beating since the rise of the internet retailers. Again - wait and see.

  37. macjules Silver badge

    If you bought a dildo in Denver, the government must legally be told

    How do you illegally tell the government that you bought a dildo? "Psst, you know those sex thingies that women use? Yeah? I just bought a whole truckload of them. Wanna buy one?"

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: If you bought a dildo in Denver, the government must legally be told

      Since when are dildos only used by women ?

  38. pauleverett

    holly crap. could the USA get any more completely f*cked up? its like some kind of nightmarish Hollywood reality movie.

    Seriously Mr Trump, built that wall, but don't stop at the Mexican border, go all the way around,and make it real high, so we are not able to see the putridity of what goes on behind that blessed wall.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the Internet retail industry had been spending less time fighting to lose their criminal advantage (they know that people don't want to deal with calculating taxes) and more time ensuring that there was a simple, unified US sales tax look-up system, this stuff wouldn't have to go to court.

    In database terms this is not complicated.

    Address is in jurisdiction.

    Item has tax code

    Jurisdiction has tax authorities.

    tax authority + tax code has tax rates.

    Calculate taxes.

    Add to bill.

    Receive money.

    Transfer money to tax authorities.

    I wish they would just get on with it.

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      "unified US sales tax look-up system" That will never happen. you have taxes at the city,county and states level. Over 40,000 tax authorities and not a single one wants to give up the cash.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Heck, many of these depend on those tax revenues for their continued operation since they don't trust the higher authorities to pinch in. How else does a country maintain its police and fire departments if the state government isn't willing to pay for them?

  40. SeymourHolz

    of course,

    ... it is company policy to use the indefinite article 'a' dildo, not YOUR dildo...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To the tune of the USA #1 hit of 1949

    "Yippie-ay-yay, Yippie-ay-yay, Trumpriders in the sky."

    New word: Trumprider = Trump + prider. An American who is happy that Donald Trump, with all of his pronouncements, will become their President in early 2017.

    A person who is glad that Trump Is President, but denies some of his pronouncements (there were at least a couple in this thread) is a:

    New word: Trumppeter = Trump + Peter. Because Trumpeter is already taken.

    Yes, I'm the same AC who earlier Trumptowered what you thought were the names of some of your countries. Living the dream.

    I was tempted to invent the word Trumpfide = Trump + fide (from Semper Fide, the motto of the US Marine Corps), but will let it await developments. For example, a familiar Element, such as Bromine, might be renamed Trump, and we'll have to conserve words to be able to name compounds of that Element. A New World Order does require Order.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Indeed one from me (and thousands of other small businesses) who are either struggling to cope with the constantly changing minefield of EU VAT which was brought into stop big business putting small businesses out of business by selling from low VAT regions. As usual the bureaucrats got it wrong the large companies can cope with the regs the small sellers have now gone out of business, don't sell to consumers anymore or are making even less by paying someone else to deal with the issues. There should have been a threshold (a few thousand pounds would have done) which had to be exceeded in each country before the rule applied to sales in the country.

  43. Terry Cloth
    Stop

    Use a different tax

    The answer is obvious: don't charge sales tax. Set that tax rate to zero, and adjust the income tax to make up the shortfall, with the emphasis on those having the free cash available.

    Aside from killing one of the most regressive taxes known, it would save major bucks for businesses and state government. No sales tax means no insane forms to decide which items are taxable: take-out sandwiches? eat-in dinners? groceries? medical supplies? porn? I once had a tax number so I could charge tax on my services, but every month I'd get a paper (it was a while ago) about changes to the list of taxable items. I'd wonder how much it cost retailers of assorted goods to track it and get the word out to the cashiers (it was a long while ago). Imagine how much companies could save by not bothering. We could get rid of a large state bureau tracking the stuff, saving the state a bit of expense. What's not to like?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Use a different tax

      "The answer is obvious: don't charge sales tax. Set that tax rate to zero, and adjust the income tax to make up the shortfall, with the emphasis on those having the free cash available."

      Some of the richest technically don't have taxable income due to them borrowing against their assets instead (buy, borrow, die, aka Tax Planning 101). Last I checked, loans can't be taxed as income, and since asset value is ephemeral, a lot of it normally can't be taxed while they're held, only when they're sold (when a real value if finally attached to it).

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Godwin

    "Given the Trump administration's willingness to go beyond what has been normally regarded as any red line, it is not inconceivable that anyone who purchases, say, a copy of the Koran could be placed on a watchlist."

    In response to Mr Trump's faux-shocked question, "are we living in Nazi Germany?", I would have to reply, "yes Mr Trump, yes you are".

    It has recently occurred to me that the rhetoric coming out of Trump's rallies bear an unnerving resemblence to those held in the '30s at Nuremberg. It seems that I'm not alone in seeing the parallels ...http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/noam-chomsky-donald-trump-win-memories-hitler-nuremberg-rallies-a7469696.html

    I'm certainly not saying that Trump is a fascist dictator in the making, but he is undoubtedly using the same form of emotive propoganda, littered with half truths and outright falsehoods to strengthen his grip on power, based on a campaign which mixes 'returning the country to greatness', and focussing the public's minds on mistrust of a specific group of 'outsiders'.

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