Amazon and eBay battle in Washington over Internet sales tax

amazon via seattlepi

Earlier this week, both Amazon and eBay had a public debate in Washington in front of the House Judiciary Committee about the creation of a standard Internet sales tax that could be adopted by any state seeking increased tax revenue according to CNNMoney. Recently on the opposite side of the argument, Amazon is currently arguing in favor of a standardized tax in order to simplify the tax collection process. It’s likely that Amazon wants to avoid further litigation with states like California as well as cutting off affiliates in states that attempt to launch a statewide Internet sales tax. Online auction company eBay is arguing against the creation of an Internet sales tax and believe that the creation of that tax would put a financial burden on small businesses that use eBay as a storefront.

eu court finds ebay must do more to protect trademarks headquartersPaul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide public policy, argued that Amazon could easily help sellers integrate a tool to calculate state tax rates on the internal Amazon Marketplace. Tod Cohen, eBay’s deputy general counsel and vice president of government relations, argued that this discussion is no longer a case of online sites versus big-box stores as nearly all big-box retailers have an online component to the business. Cohen believes that a national standard for an Internet sales tax will further tip the scales in favor of the big-box retailer and harm small retailers.

As of right now, federal law dictates that online sellers don’t have to collect tax on sales if they have no physical presence in the state. This has allowed online retailers to sell goods at discounted prices and undercut stores like Walmart and Target. California recently attempted to broaden the definition of “physical presence” to include any sites collecting affiliate revenue and operating within the state. After a legal spat with Amazon, California backed off and Amazon agreed to pursue an Internet sales tax regulated at the national level.


Fortnite World Cup kicks off April 13 with $1 million in weekly prizes

The Fortnite World Cup kicks off on April 13 with the start of Online Opens for solo play. $1 million in weekly prizes will be awarded during the Online Open Finals, so get practicing!
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Drunk shoppers spend $48B per year while intoxicated, mostly on Amazon

Drunk shoppers spend more than $400 per year, according to the results of a survey carried out by The Hustle. The drunk shopping industry is apparently worth $48 billion, and Amazon is turning out to be the biggest beneficiary.

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. The best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.