E-Commerce Times Talkback
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Citing First Amendment protections, a U.S. District Court judge in Seattle has ruled in favor of Amazon.com in its battle with North Carolina over potentially sensitive customer data the state claims it needs to calculate taxes. Judge Marsha J. Pechman ruled Monday that Amazon is not obligated to provide the names, addresses and purchasing records of North Carolina residents with whom the company has done business between August 2003 and February 2010. The ruling is the latest in a string of disputes between online retailers and state revenue departments.
Not that I want to give government any ideas, but they are going about it all wrong. You can't target a specific business like this. You have to go after the payment processors like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AmEx, and Paypal. They have the technology and budget to be able to program something on a massive scale distribute collected state and district tax to the appropriate agencies. If the state is willing to let the financial processors charge the state for this service and also give the merchants a discount for signing on, you will get a lot more buy in from all parties involved.
Financial services can do amazing things with programming. They just posture that it would to be "too difficult" because they don't want to pay for the programming nor pay the government more than it has to.