It would appear that the Advertising Tax (Amazon Tax, Affiliate Tax) fight is about to begin in the state of Missouri. Missouri affiliate and merchants, you need to begin speaking up NOW. If you want to win the fight, you have to be very proactive and very aggressive.
A colleague of mine owns an online retail website based in North Carolina. Just today, he received a letter in the mail from the State of Missouri questioning him specifically about his affiliate program as it pertains to Missouri residents. He was kind enough to share this letter with me. I have hosted the Missouri Tax Letter as a PDF file for you to view. I did of course block out all of my colleague’s personally identifiable information.
In part, the letter states:
…In order for the Missouri Department of Revenue (Department) to make a determination on taxability to Missouri, additional information is required.
…representatives shall include employees, agents, independent contractors, brokers or others that reside in, or regularly and systematically enter into, this state on your behalf. This would include any person or entity participating in your Affiliate Program.
In reading this letter, it seems that all signs are pointing to the Missouri Legislature entertaining the possibility of enacting Affiliate Nexus Tax Laws. As we all know, as evidenced by New York, Rhode Island, and North Carolina, this would have a terrible effect on any affiliate who resides in Missouri.
Affiliates and Merchants in Missouri, now is the time for you to band together and start the fight. Here are some tips you can use, taken from the experience we had in North Carolina.
- Work closely with the Performance Marketing Alliance
- Get the word out on Facebook and Twitter. Create a new hash tag specifically for your state fight. In North Carolina, we used #ncaffiliatetax.
- Start an online petition against the tax. There are many free resources to do this, such as PetitionSpot.com.
- Attack this possible legislation from every conceivable angle until you discover what seems to resonate the most with Legislators. Lost revenue, lost jobs, the negative impact on you personally, people moving or closing their businesses, misconceptions about expected new tax receipts, etc. are all good points to make.
Remember, this is a big issue that affects your livelihood. Do not wait to start fighting and voicing your opposition. Fight today, fight tomorrow, and keep fighting until the legislation is thrown out.
Please keep in mind that I am not a lawyer or accountant. I only read the letter and am drawing my own conclusions, though I feel the letter only points in one possible direction.