Wow, it has been a busy 24 hours in the news cycle for us!
Just a few hours ago, Sam Gustin of Wired magazine, a forum known for its technologically sophisticated editorial staff and readership, published an article that is clearly supportive of Amazon’s fight with the affiliate nexus laws being enacted across the country. The article mentions the Streamlined Sales Tax effort, but then it quotes David Brunari, executive editor of Tax Analysts, as saying that Streamlined has “been going on for 10 years and they’re no closer today than they were five years ago to making this work.”
This is an odd and somewhat unexpected statement from the Tax Analysts group, who are no strangers to this topic. About a year ago Tax Analysts hosted a debate at the National Press Club on this exact topic (we attended and blogged about it at the time). They also published at that time a very thoughtful article on affiliate nexus laws, written by Cara Griffith, then the legal editor for TaxAnalysts’s weekly journal, State Tax Notes (she has since moved on to become a manager with PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP).
In Ms. Griffith’s article, she argues that “Amazon tax” laws are ultimately damaging to the Streamlined Sales Tax efforts. The greatest cause for concern, she said, is that the growing number of state affiliate nexus laws may mislead federal legislators into believing that affiliate nexus laws are a more viable option than Streamlined.
We hope Wired will continue to track and report on this important story, and hopefully we will have the good fortune of briefing their editorial staff on this matter soon. Naturally, we posted a comment on the Wired article, too.