Adorama charges sales tax outside of NY?

Joined
Nov 21, 2009
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Baton Rouge, La.
I started to place an order yesterday, and to my surprise it included sales tax in addition to shipping. I wasn't aware that they charged taxes outside of NY?
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
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5,725
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Annapolis
I started to place an order yesterday, and to my surprise it included sales tax in addition to shipping. I wasn't aware that they charged taxes outside of NY?

Surely it is a mistake as there aren't that many brick & mortar shops left to complain about an unfair advantage the online shops have.:biggrin:

I would call them and ask what is going on, surely a mistake unless they have nexus in you state, which I doubt.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
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Central Georgia, USA
I thought/think congress had a hand in this, if the bill has not been passed, it is coming, one way or another. We can protest to our Reps, but small stores are carrying the day with their lobby groups, and the local state houses see it as source of badly needed income, every time a Federal source is cut Georgia replies with a tax increase, or cut in services, so get ready for the new NOW. As Pogo said, " we have met the enemy, and he is us"..
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
7,261
Location
Baton Rouge, La.
I don't know if it was a mistake or not (didn't complete the order) and I knew that there was some discussion/legislation on the table, but neither Amazon or B+H are charging me sales tax. At least as of last week.

The only local-ish (NOLA) place that has higher end stuff has raised prices significantly above Adorama/B+H/Amazon which puts them out of the game for me with or without tax.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
2,507
I think it depends on the state. Amazon now charges me sales tax, here in Texas (recently started). Haven't ordered anything from B&H or Adorama in a while, so I'm not sure what they are doing for (to) Texas orders.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
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366
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Miami, Florida
Surely it is a mistake as there aren't that many brick & mortar shops left to complain about an unfair advantage the online shops have.:biggrin:

I would call them and ask what is going on, surely a mistake unless they have nexus in you state, which I doubt.

It's not about the brick and mortar shops so much as it is about state governments trying to maximize their tax dollars. Technically, the reason a place like Adorama would not collect sales tax for an out-of-state sale is that the buyer is generally under an obligation to pay sales tax somewhere, and if it is not paid in New York, it would be paid in the buyer's home state. Thus, the seller left it up to the buyer to report and pay the tax. Of course, enforcement of this is difficult, and hence the loophole.

A number of years ago in Florida, the State started reviewing shipping records when trucks entered the state (with larger items like furniture) and sending tax bills to the recipients of the items. And unless you could prove that you paid sales tax on the purchase out-of-state, you were obligated to pay the tax bill.
 
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Norwell,MA
Last I heard, Amazon was going to slowly start implementing sales tax on purchases state by state as mandated by the government.
 
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Jun 6, 2013
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dehli
Just for kicks I went through to the last step of checkout this morning on Adorama. No sales tax added for shipping to Michigan. It is coming for us all eventually, I think.

Ya, There is no sales tax impose till now.It may be possible in next month on shipping.I think this ll not be a good step of government for increasing their income.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
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Fairfax, Virginia
Samuel - I think you will find it's a combined lobbying effort by the brick and mortar stores, e.g., Walmart, and state governments. The lack of an internet sales tax puts the brick and mortar stores at a competitive disadvantage, particularly on big ticket items. People will come into the stores, ask question, handle the merchandise, then order off the internet. After all, in VA you can save $150 on a D800 by buying it from B&H. It's no wonder that many brick and mortar store owners would be in favor of the internet tax.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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Marysville, WA
Ya, There is no sales tax impose till now.It may be possible in next month on shipping.I think this ll not be a good step of government for increasing their income.

I am not sure of your location, but are you aware that in most states here, 45 per this link, that we are supposed to pay our state when we purchase out of state if we do not have a sales tax exemption? As was noted earlier in the thread, on smaller items this is not an easy thing for states to enforce, but in states like ours, Washington, where much of our funding is from sales tax, a lot of revenue is lost. We can argue forever about whether states should get the money they do, but the law has been in place for a long time. We have been lucky, in my opinion, so far that the states have argued over who gets what in online transactions that legislation has not occurred. I have been hearing various forms of this for well over 20 years, starting with mail order.

Of course being here in Washington, home of Amazon, we don't get much joy there.

As companies have warehouses and drop ship locations in more states, you will see this more even without legislation. Perhaps Adorama has a warehouse or drop ship in your state.
 
Joined
May 6, 2005
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5,482
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NY
Maybe it was some sort of computer program blip.
I just tried checking out using a Baton Rouge, LA address and there was no tax (or shipping) on a $799 D90 kit.
AFAIK, Adorama only collects sales tax on shipments to NY and NJ, states in which its business has an actual physical presence.

Nationwide collection of sales tax on internet sales is coming, but it's here yet.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
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Annapolis
It's not about the brick and mortar shops so much as it is about state governments trying to maximize their tax dollars. Technically, the reason a place like Adorama would not collect sales tax for an out-of-state sale is that the buyer is generally under an obligation to pay sales tax somewhere, and if it is not paid in New York, it would be paid in the buyer's home state. Thus, the seller left it up to the buyer to report and pay the tax. Of course, enforcement of this is difficult, and hence the loophole.

THANK YOU!!!

I'm glad you said it because I always get blasted when I suggest that people do have an obligation to pay the sales tax in THEIR state. Some people feel they are entitled to not pay this tax because the merchant doesn't collect it at the time of sale.

As for the B&Ms, my point is they always whined about this "unfair advantage" instead of making themselves more valuable to the consumer. In other words they resisted change and paid the price for not adapting.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
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NJ
Samuel - I think you will find it's a combined lobbying effort by the brick and mortar stores, e.g., Walmart, and state governments. The lack of an internet sales tax puts the brick and mortar stores at a competitive disadvantage, particularly on big ticket items. People will come into the stores, ask question, handle the merchandise, then order off the internet. After all, in VA you can save $150 on a D800 by buying it from B&H. It's no wonder that many brick and mortar store owners would be in favor of the internet tax.

Exactly! With many coming over to a physical store and basically telling the store owner (through their actions) “It's nice that I can fondle whatever I want to buy in this building that you're paying for, nice and cool in the summer and cozy and warm in the winter, and that you’re paying for people to walk around to anwer any questions I have about your merchandise, and I will surely exercise those opportunities to the max. But... Amazon offers it for $5 cheaper so I'll get it actually from there. KTHXBY

So yeah, I fully understand. Customers are penny pinchers and "the internet" gets a 10% discount for free.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
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Broussard, LA, USA
Chad, they were just trying to save you the trouble. Louisiana requires a use tax for items bought out of state. If you are within the state of Louisiana and intend to use the item here, you have to file a form R-1035 if you haven't already paid the tax:
http://revenue.louisiana.gov/sections/individual/conuse.aspx

This law has been in place since 1935, so the internet has nothing to do with it.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
366
Location
Miami, Florida
Samuel - I think you will find it's a combined lobbying effort by the brick and mortar stores, e.g., Walmart, and state governments. The lack of an internet sales tax puts the brick and mortar stores at a competitive disadvantage, particularly on big ticket items. People will come into the stores, ask question, handle the merchandise, then order off the internet. After all, in VA you can save $150 on a D800 by buying it from B&H. It's no wonder that many brick and mortar store owners would be in favor of the internet tax.

The reality is that it has little to do with an Internet tax. The laws requiring the payment of sale tax, and even the requirement to pay taxes somewhere (either at the point of purchase or in your home state), applied long before the Internet was in popular usage.

As for big ticket items, I generally agree with you. Stores that must collect sales tax or risk penalties may be at a disadvantage for certain big-ticket items. In the scheme of things, however, so many purchases are not really big-ticket items.

It should be noted that the "savings" to which you refer is not really a savings so much as it playing the odds that the tax collector won't discover that you failed to pay tax (at which point you potentially face not only the $150 tax but a considerably greater penalty).

With states looking for every ounce of tax revenue they can find, and with property values having dropped since the market collapsed, it was only a matter of time before states started to look at certain large on-line retailers as a source of tax revenue.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
366
Location
Miami, Florida
Exactly! With many coming over to a physical store and basically telling the store owner (through their actions) “It's nice that I can fondle whatever I want to buy in this building that you're paying for, nice and cool in the summer and cozy and warm in the winter, and that you’re paying for people to walk around to anwer any questions I have about your merchandise, and I will surely exercise those opportunities to the max. But... Amazon offers it for $5 cheaper so I'll get it actually from there. KTHXBY

So yeah, I fully understand. Customers are penny pinchers and "the internet" gets a 10% discount for free.

That may be something of an oversimplification. Where I live, for years there were really two photographic supply stores in town, and one of them earned itself a national reputation as a source for professionals. There was a time you could walk into the store and ask to see any of the exotic glass you could think of, and they would not only have it, but also be happy to bring it out and let you play with it. The sheer fact that they had the equipment, when other people didn't, gave them a distinct advantage over out-of-town places like B&H (if you needed a 400/2.8 on short notice, you could walk in to the store and find that they had two, when nobody else had it). And the fact that they sold as much Nikon equipment as they did made them a priority dealer for new cameras, lenses, etc. For consumables like film, B&H still had an advantage (even factoring in the shipping--in the days before free shipping) on price, but for equipment, it was easier to walk in, get what you needed, and walk out with it (rather than placing an order and not knowing when it would arrive).

With the shift to digital, the store with the national reputation changed its focus. Yes, they still have some lenses, but not the exotics. They also generally get bodies, but nothing like the numbers they once did. Instead, they've changed their focus to consumer and P&S cameras. It's depressing walking into the store, although I've continued to shop there because they were able to fill a last-minute need (and frankly, paying sales tax on a purchase that ensures I have the equipment for an assignment is better than trying to save a few points and not having it on time).
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
4,069
Location
Bellingham, WA
I just ordered from B&H and wasn't charged tax. And they will match Adorama's price if their price is different.

If Adorama's price is less, follow these instructions :smile:

The quickest way to see whether we would be able to match the price is to call our sales department on the phone at 800-947-9950 or 212-444-6615 and to ask an agent on the phone.

If you would like to do it via e-mail I would need you to please respond with the exact lens that you're referring to; for which camera is it being used. I will also need your name, address and phone number.

I had inquired about them matching the price on a lens I was looking at. I noticed they have now changed their price to that of Adorama's :smile:

Carole
 

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