The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Online retailers may be forced to tax

By Adrian Beltran/reporter

Online retailers have come under fire from several states for not charging customers a state sales tax, which is a major incentive for college students looking for affordable options to make purchases.

A number of states have passed laws adding sales taxes to Internet sales, but some students object.

“It makes no sense for them to have a sales tax because they are not a physical entity in the state or region they are selling,” said NW Campus student Josh Benoit. “Taxing people for things bought online, especially digital goods that are intangible, is like taxing them for air.”

The New York Court of Appeals declared that Amazon.com must collect a state sales tax from its customers even though Amazon doesn’t have any offices or distribution centers in New York.

The Supreme Court in December refused to hear an appeal.

Not only has the Internet become an educational resource for students by containing a great source of information, it also provides incentives to those who buy items online, students say.

“I would still shop online,” said NW Campus student Anthony Castillo. “I think adding a sales tax is a great idea. It would only benefit our state. But I’m sure most people wouldn’t like it.”

According to a report by TheWire.com, Amazon.com “sells more stuff online than its 12 biggest competitors combined.”

Eduardo Ledesma, a NW Campus student, agrees with the tax.

“Online retailers connect consumer to consumer, simply serve as a middle man and they make profit that way. If there’s anything to be taxed, it’s the profit they make,” he said.

Another big source of business comes from college students who purchase textbooks, computers and other school supplies. A textbook for a single class can cost $200. By simply searching for the textbook on Amazon, a student can find the same textbook for considerably less money, and the option to rent the book for the semester is also available.

“I disagree with adding a sales tax, but it’s only natural that it’s going to happen,” said South Campus student Jeremiah Licerio. “The market is moving toward online transactions, and the states are losing valuable taxpayer dollars to fund state projects, for instance, the highway construction. Every year, more and more people move to online shopping like eBay and Amazon.com.”

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