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Montreal, QC
reply to Gone

Re: Kindle Paperwhite finally launching in Canada

said by Gone:

Entirely incorrect. I order stuff from the US Amazon.com all the time (in fact, I just did yesterday) and have it shipped to an address in Niagara Falls, NY. I pay the 8% NYS/Niagara County combined sales tax on my purchases.

The US is the same situation as Canada - it entirely depends on where you're having it shipped to and whether or not the company has registered for sales tax collection in the jurisdiction of the destination address. Some American states take it a step further, and insist that *you* pay the sales tax on out-of-state (including Internet) purchases you made, and include it on your tax return. Not an issue for us, but can be for the people who live there.

So, if anyone is thinking of ordering something from US Amazon and having it shipped to an address in NYS expecting to not pay sales tax on the US side, you're out of luck.

The US has no GST, only state tax, and states can't force out-of-state merchants to pay sales tax unless they have a physical nexus (presence) in that state. As such, for smaller merchants, they don't charge sales tax to almost all of the US. The only complications come from larger vendors. Amazon charges sales tax in New York because NY passed a law designed to force Amazon to charges sales tax there by defining Amazon's affiliates program that includes New York residents as being a physical nexus.

If you had your Amazon order delivered to Vermont, for example, you would not have to pay sales tax.
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Fort Erie, ON

said by Guspaz:

If you had your Amazon order delivered to Vermont, for example, you would not have to pay sales tax.

... and if I had NCIX deliver something to Manitoba, I wouldn't pay any provincial sales tax either. Your point?

The fact that we have a federal tax is irrelevant. The methods for determining sales tax for Internet purchases in the US and Canada at source are exactly same system. It's based on business operations and/or physical presence and the delivery location of the receiving party. When I ordered a laptop from Cheetah Deals a year ago online I paid sales tax because they're a NYS company from out near Albany and they were shipping to a New York State address. When I order stuff from Newegg US (yes, I can order stuff using a Canadian credit card from Newegg US and have it shipped to my US address) to be delivered to a NYS address, I pay no sales tax because it comes from New Jersey.

You made the blanket claim that Americans don't pay sales tax on Internet purchases. That's completely false. Like Canada, it depends on where you're buying from and where you're shipping it to. If a Canadian decides to order something from Amazon and have it shipped to a NYS address, they're paying sales tax. End of story. If for some reason they're having it shipped to California they'll pay sales tax, too.