Out of state sales tax collection - BH Photo

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Submitted by Hobie on May 6, 2019 - 5:25pm

I just got this email from the online camera retailer B&H Photo out of NY. Seems they are launching something new to skirt charging sales tax to out of state customers.

This will be interesting to follow as the Supreme court law required out of state retailers selling over a certain amount ($250k??) to collect state sales tax.

Game changer for BH as saving sales tax is now probably the main reason people order from them. Charging sales tax is going to result is a huge sales hit for them.

I know Amazon collects sales tax already.

Guessing the only legal way to do this is for them to absorb the tax for customers over certain sales amounts. Much like furniture retailers do or maybe this is their version of paypal so they can make the money on credit card fees.

Here is the email text:

Dear Hobie,

Nobody likes to pay sales tax, but everyone must pay sales tax! B&H, and only B&H, has the solution to the sales tax issue.

Tomorrow, May 7th, B&H will be making a game-changing announcement, and as a loyal customer, I’d like you to be privy to some inside information in advance that will change your shopping experience forever.

Nearly one year ago, the Supreme Court ruled that out-of-state retailers must collect sales tax on internet sales. This, of course, included B&H. For 46 years we have been committed to providing unparalleled customer service, and so we began the tedious process of implementing a way to eliminate the impact this ruling would have on our customers.

We are now ready to launch “Payboo”, the solution to the sales-tax challenge. Tune in tomorrow for details on how to become a part of “Payboo”!

I know you have many shopping choices for creative gear and consumer electronics, but with “Payboo”, there will only be one best choice: B&H!

I look forward to a continued great business relationship and remember, at B&H, the customer always comes first. That’s why we’ve created “Payboo” to solve the sales tax impact for you.

Sincerely,

Menashe Horowitz
CEO

Submitted by flu on May 6, 2019 - 6:22pm.

Hmm. interesting.. I am curious what they have up their sleeve...I like B-H, but I only bought high quality filters from them... When I bought my Canon 7D and the 28-70mm 2.8L lens, I ended up buying it from Amazon... Even with the sales tax, it was still cheaper than B&H by a few hundred.

Currently, I buy tires online for the same reasons versus say costco...

Im guessing B&H is going to give loyalty points redeemable for merchandise. When you use loyalty points to buy the next item, it would be a $0 sale.l and no sales tax. A lot of auto performance shops do that right now.

fwiw.. if you ship the item to a federal address in CA , I don't think sales tax is collected.. IE...ship it to a military base like Miramar or ship it to an address in the Presido in NorCal....

There are also mail forwarding services....

Submitted by spdrun on May 6, 2019 - 7:04pm.

Whatever you pay them, someone will be paying tax on it, no matter many weirdo schemes they try. They can hide the tax in their sales prices, but at the end, it will still be paid.

Frankly, why skirt sales taxes? At least they go to useful stuff on the state level like infrastructure, public transit, healthcare, and education. I can understand being pissed about Federal taxes since the money gets wasted on wars abroad, but state tax is actually useful.

Submitted by NeetaT on May 7, 2019 - 9:35am.

I try to skirt CA taxes at all cost, because all the tax money goes to bloated salaries, pensions, and social programs.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on May 7, 2019 - 2:38pm.

NeetaT wrote:
I try to skirt CA taxes at all cost, because all the tax money goes to bloated salaries, pensions, and social programs.

Please review this now-9 year old post:

https://www.piggington.com/threadjackers...

Submitted by Hobie on May 13, 2019 - 5:21am.

You called it right, flu!!
I have not read about their card interest rate, annual fees, ability to cash out, etc.

But on big purchases means a ~8% return vs. a 4% cash back on current credit card.. still a better deal. However- only at that store. So you have to structure your purchase and not carry a credit.

Today we’re introducing the B&H Payboo credit card*. Use Payboo and save the tax — you pay the tax, and we pay you back instantly! When you make any taxable purchase at B&H with Payboo, you receive an immediate, instant reward equal to the sales tax you paid. And at B&H, instant means instant — no expiring points, credits, or coupons to worry about. It’s that simple. (Note: B&H will collect and remit state sales tax in accordance with state sales tax laws and regulations.)

Submitted by flu on May 13, 2019 - 10:13am.

Hobie wrote:
You called it right, flu!!
I have not read about their card interest rate, annual fees, ability to cash out, etc.

But on big purchases means a ~8% return vs. a 4% cash back on current credit card.. still a better deal. However- only at that store. So you have to structure your purchase and not carry a credit.

Today we’re introducing the B&H Payboo credit card*. Use Payboo and save the tax — you pay the tax, and we pay you back instantly! When you make any taxable purchase at B&H with Payboo, you receive an immediate, instant reward equal to the sales tax you paid. And at B&H, instant means instant — no expiring points, credits, or coupons to worry about. It’s that simple. (Note: B&H will collect and remit state sales tax in accordance with state sales tax laws and regulations.)

They probably will recoup their costs for paying the sales tax simply because a lot of people in this country carry a credit card balance.

Unrelated... Do you still use your DSLR a lot? If you do, that's admirable. I stopped using my DSLR for some time, except really important events...Between my cell phone and my GoPro cameras, I don't usually lug around my Canon 7D and any accompanying glass that much anymore.

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