Amazon shipment just went through...with an additional $5.27 tax

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#1 Posted by golguin (3655 posts) -

This is news to me. Apparently Amazon started charging sales tax in California this September. The price on the preorder didn't include any tax, but now that it went through I'm looking at it. I'm sure there are plenty of giantbomb California residents that are waking up to this little detail. Is there a way to fight this or is the price agreed to in the preorder not binding?

Considering I paid to ship this thing in two days my grand total comes to $73.24. The only reason I'm not more pissed about the price is because of the $10 gift card and the DLC that comes with the preorder.

#2 Posted by kindgineer (2486 posts) -

I don't understand what there is "to fight." Amazon themselves have no altered the price of any product. Your state now requires taxes to be represented through Amazon. While it stinks - I think we all knew it was coming to all of us eventually.

#3 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

you could try and fight it through the supreme courts, but im not sure its worth its for $5

#4 Posted by believer258 (11044 posts) -

@Bell_End said:

you could try and fight it through the supreme courts, but im not sure its worth its for $5

This. I'd be kind of annoyed too, but it might be best to just chalk this up to a learning experience and move on. It's a government problem and not an Amazon problem, and you'll lose more money, hair, and time than you'll gain by trying to fix it.

#5 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1522 posts) -

The price of the product is binding, the taxes, however, are not, since they are not up to Amazon and cannot be waived. Amazon can control the price and thus can guarantee how much you pay at the time you pre-order it.

It stinks, especially for purchases made before the tax went into effect this week, but this is the new reality us Californians have to live with. The free ride is over.

#6 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1857 posts) -

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

#7 Posted by Village_Guy (2407 posts) -

That is still pretty cheap, so I don't think you should complain.

#8 Edited by Dixavd (1133 posts) -

There might be an obvious answer to this but, since I am not American, I don't know it: why could Amazon previously sell anything without including sales tax? If certain companies can by-pass the tax (without a pre-explained reason that their money is more useful to general society when they use it than for general tax uses; such as some charities) then doesn't that go against the entire idea of what taxes are and why they are used in capitalist societies?

--Edit-- I just remembered that stores in airports usually don't pay tax as it isn't clear what country they are representing and so they count as international even to the country who's airport they are in. Was it like that, like a semi-loophole which put them outside of national tax reasons?

#9 Posted by golguin (3655 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

The price of the product is binding, the taxes, however, are not, since they are not up to Amazon and cannot be waived. Amazon can control the price and thus can guarantee how much you pay at the time you pre-order it.

It stinks, especially for purchases made before the tax went into effect this week, but this is the new reality us Californians have to live with. The free ride is over.

It seems that the only time this would ever come up is in a preorder situation where the price you agreed to pay was made before any new tax laws went into affect. The situation is made even more annoying by a Xbox 360 Headset I ordered for this game (my old one broke) a few days ago. I ordered the new model and was delivered some cheap knockoff in a plastic bag. It's a problem that's quite widespread going by the reviews on Amazon. I'm currently waiting to get a full refund through the A-Z guarantee.

#10 Posted by MildMolasses (3194 posts) -

There's nothing you can do. They are required to charge, and you are required to pay. They only way they could have avoided it was if you we're charged for it when the initial order was placed, but they can't do that since you can't be charged until the item ships

#11 Posted by Tylea002 (2291 posts) -

Pay Yo Taxes, stop complaining. You've been lucky enough to get it without taxes for so long anyway.

#12 Edited by TruthTellah (7653 posts) -

@golguin: You're going to have to take it up with your state government. They're the ones hemorrhaging money due to decades of awful mismanagement and poor planning, inspiring them to now try to raise taxes so that they can continue burning your money away at a record pace.

Beautiful California. My old home state. May things turn around there soon.

#13 Edited by Fattony12000 (6355 posts) -

Welcome to the civilised world, paying god damn tax on the shit that you buy.

#14 Posted by Bollard (5026 posts) -

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

#15 Posted by Jolt92 (1529 posts) -

In Sweden we pay 25% tax on video games.

#16 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1522 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

What. The fuck. Are you kidding?

#17 Edited by Vanek (376 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

I was going to say something similar, but then add that unlike the US Amazon in the UK we get fuck all in the way of gift cards.

You didn't have to pay tax for a long time, you still get games cheaper than us and you get stupid amounts of rewards (from Amazon at least). Sorry but no sympathy from me.

#18 Edited by CaLe (3678 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

What. The fuck. Are you kidding?

No he's not kidding. It's the base tax we pay on pretty much everything. Free health care isn't free.

#19 Posted by Hitchenson (4682 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

What. The fuck. Are you kidding?

On the flip-side, we have the NHS.

#20 Posted by Daneian (1172 posts) -

Same thing happened to me. The sales tax by itself isn't as irritating as the fact that there was no on release day shipping method and had to pay the 8 bucks to get it tomorrow. First time I'd ever seen that from them.

#21 Posted by White (1143 posts) -

If Amazon was smart they would've charged you the same amount but instead take x% off and use it to pay the government off.

Kinda like how the rest of the world does it? The goods all come priced at $ABCD, including tax.

#22 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1522 posts) -

@Hitchenson said:

@Captain_Felafel said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

What. The fuck. Are you kidding?

On the flip-side, we have the NHS.

I have a feeling that if I added up all of my medical bills over the course of my life, it wouldn't add up to how much I would've paid in taxes at 20%. :P

#23 Posted by Dagbiker (6898 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

You also get free healthcare.

#24 Posted by Bollard (5026 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

@Hitchenson said:

@Captain_Felafel said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

What. The fuck. Are you kidding?

On the flip-side, we have the NHS.

I have a feeling that if I added up all of my medical bills over the course of my life, it wouldn't add up to how much I would've paid in taxes at 20%. :P

For me, I'm not so sure :P At least with regards to prescriptions!

#25 Posted by InsaneMatt (24 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

While it's a form of tax, it's actually called VAT.

#26 Posted by Bollard (5026 posts) -

@InsaneMatt said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

While it's a form of tax, it's actually called VAT.

What's the difference between Value Added Tax and what the Americans pay then? Do they also have to pay it on food and such?

#27 Posted by Dagbiker (6898 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

@InsaneMatt said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

While it's a form of tax, it's actually called VAT.

What's the difference between Value Added Tax and what the Americans pay then? Do they also have to pay it on food and such?

We americans do not pay tax on food.

#28 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1522 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@InsaneMatt said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

While it's a form of tax, it's actually called VAT.

What's the difference between Value Added Tax and what the Americans pay then? Do they also have to pay it on food and such?

We americans do not pay tax on food.

Unless you live in the great state of California, in which case it's a lot more complicated than that. In California, from what I understand, food is taxed if the food is purchased with the intent to eat at the location, and not ordered "to go". And it is also taxed if it is "hot prepared food". California has messed up tax laws.

#29 Posted by InsaneMatt (24 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

@InsaneMatt said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

While it's a form of tax, it's actually called VAT.

What's the difference between Value Added Tax and what the Americans pay then? Do they also have to pay it on food and such?

'Basic food' items, children's clothing, books and a few other items are exempt from VAT.

Not entirely sure of the American consumption tax, so I can't comment on it.

In any case, I miss the days of 17.5% VAT *sigh*

#30 Posted by TruthTellah (7653 posts) -

@CaLe: @Hitchenson: Correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't the NHS almost fully funded as part of your income tax and not the VAT?

#31 Posted by InsaneMatt (24 posts) -

@TruthTellah said:

@CaLe: @Hitchenson: Correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't the NHS almost fully funded as part of your income tax and not the VAT?

Correct.

General tax (i.e tax taken directly from our pay-checks) fund the NHS, in the same way it also funds the Police service and primary schools.

#32 Posted by Mijati (845 posts) -
@InsaneMatt said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@InsaneMatt said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

While it's a form of tax, it's actually called VAT.

What's the difference between Value Added Tax and what the Americans pay then? Do they also have to pay it on food and such?

'Basic food' items, children's clothing, books and a few other items are exempt from VAT.

Not entirely sure of the American consumption tax, so I can't comment on it.

In any case, I miss the days of 17.5% VAT *sigh*

There's been no noticeable difference since the tax increase, at least that I've noticed.
 
I'd be really confused in America, having the sales tax added on to things when they're bought rather than being included in the price. Must be a nightmare when you have say exactly $20 to spend and have to account for tax and stuff, crazy.
#33 Edited by MB (11301 posts) -

In case the California Franchise Tax Board is reading this, I've never purchased anything from out of state, on the internet or otherwise. That's why I haven't been claiming those purchases on my tax returns every year as required by law, so I really don't owe you thousands of dollars like you think I do.

Moderator
#34 Posted by Tearhead (2104 posts) -

Looks like I moved out of California just at the right time.

#35 Posted by Dagbiker (6898 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

@Dagbiker said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@InsaneMatt said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

While it's a form of tax, it's actually called VAT.

What's the difference between Value Added Tax and what the Americans pay then? Do they also have to pay it on food and such?

We americans do not pay tax on food.

Unless you live in the great state of California, in which case it's a lot more complicated than that. In California, from what I understand, food is taxed if the food is purchased with the intent to eat at the location, and not ordered "to go". And it is also taxed if it is "hot prepared food". California has messed up tax laws.

Lucky for you I don't actually consider California part of the Union for those reasons.

#36 Posted by Kidavenger (3380 posts) -

@White said:

If Amazon was smart they would've charged you the same amount but instead take x% off and use it to pay the government off.

Kinda like how the rest of the world does it? The goods all come priced at $ABCD, including tax.

If Amazon was smart they would give the majority of their profit to the government paying your tax?

There isn't a single major retail company in North America that includes sales tax in the sticker price.

#37 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1522 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

@Captain_Felafel said:

@Dagbiker said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@InsaneMatt said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

While it's a form of tax, it's actually called VAT.

What's the difference between Value Added Tax and what the Americans pay then? Do they also have to pay it on food and such?

We americans do not pay tax on food.

Unless you live in the great state of California, in which case it's a lot more complicated than that. In California, from what I understand, food is taxed if the food is purchased with the intent to eat at the location, and not ordered "to go". And it is also taxed if it is "hot prepared food". California has messed up tax laws.

Lucky for you I don't actually consider California part of the Union for those reasons.

And far less lucky for me, I'm out of groceries and have to eat on the fly this morning, so I will be enjoying the spoils of taxed heated goods, hurray!

#38 Posted by UltorOscariot (164 posts) -

More states than California are considering doing this as it's broadly considered a fair way to extract more money out of the citizenry. The brick and mortar retailers have been lobbying for it for a while now anyway as they see it as an unfair advantage. But the genie is out of the bottle. In the case of games, I don't remember the last time I bought new releases from physical retail. Console games have been exclusively from Amazon for some time and PC games have pretty much come digitally from GOG, Steam, and Amazon. I buy more and more clothes online, even an oven 2 weeks ago. Retailers will not force me back in. The only shopping I still somewhat enjoy is going to the grocery store.

#39 Edited by TruthTellah (7653 posts) -

@InsaneMatt said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@InsaneMatt said:

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

While it's a form of tax, it's actually called VAT.

What's the difference between Value Added Tax and what the Americans pay then? Do they also have to pay it on food and such?

'Basic food' items, children's clothing, books and a few other items are exempt from VAT.

Not entirely sure of the American consumption tax, so I can't comment on it.

In any case, I miss the days of 17.5% VAT *sigh*

The US actually has no general sales tax or wide-ranging consumption tax, as the states decide their own laws regarding almost all consumption taxes. Most revenue from such taxes go to local and state governments, and the percentage and range of those taxes vary by state, county, and city. For example, the sales tax rate in Dallas, Texas is 8.25%, but the sales tax in Los Angeles is 8.75%. Colorado, as one of the lowest sales tax states, has a base sales tax of 2.9%, but local cities generally add to this to form a larger overall sales tax, funding their local communities. Thus why the state has a base 2.9% sales tax but you'll actually pay 3.62% in Denver, Colorado due to their local sales tax rate.

Also, these sales taxes are commonly exempt on what are deemed "necessities" such as groceries, drugs, and clothing.

#40 Edited by TruthTellah (7653 posts) -

@InsaneMatt said:

@TruthTellah said:

@CaLe: @Hitchenson: Correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't the NHS almost fully funded as part of your income tax and not the VAT?

Correct.

General tax (i.e tax taken directly from our pay-checks) fund the NHS, in the same way it also funds the Police service and primary schools.

That being taken into account, shouldn't the NHS not be considered a reassuring argument regarding high VAT rates? I mean, that VAT is spent on other things, and even without it being as high as it is, you'd most likely still have the NHS. You would just see spending cuts in other areas. So, it isn't really just a matter of "free healthcare isn't free". That cost is accounted for elsewhere.

Shouldn't complaints regarding VAT look more toward the fact that money taken from your income and personal spending is spent on other projects such as military spending and propping up the banks through the state Treasury? I suppose it isn't as personally reassuring, but it does remind us that a high VAT is not necessarily an absolute for having quality healthcare.

#41 Posted by CactusJack (142 posts) -

Death and Taxes buddy.

#42 Posted by DetectiveSpecial (441 posts) -

@Dixavd: It comes from the vestiges of a pre-internet tax code. Sales tax laws in the US are determined on a state by state basis. If the consumer is located on one state, and the seller in another, which state gets to collect the tax? Until recently, this resulted in a stalemate with neither state collecting the tax. The only way to collect tax was if the retailer had a store located in the state of the consumer. I live in Chicago, where they opened a "Tiger Direct" store down the road from me. So now, if I buy anything from TigerDirect.com, I have to pay the state sales tax on my purchase. If you live in Indiana, where there's no Tiger Direct store, you don't.

California (and, coming soon, a bunch of other states) managed to get the physical location provision to cover not just stores, but warehouses and shipping centers. Even though Amazon has no store front you could walk into, if they have any physical presence on state property they can be forced to collect that state's tax.

#43 Posted by StarFoxA (5123 posts) -

@DetectiveSpecial: Sales tax is actually on a county basis, as far as I know.

#44 Posted by Scrawnto (2413 posts) -

@StarFoxA: It's a combination of state and city taxes, I think, though that may vary by state. Counties might have something to do with it in some cases. I grew up in Oklahoma City. There is another city called Warr Acres that is entirely surrounded by Oklahoma City. Warr Acres and Oklahoma City have different sales taxes, but they are obviously in the same county. is pretty much correct, about sales crossing state lines though.

As far as the main topic, Wisconsin apparently demands sales tax for all online purchases, which means I'm going to have to pull up a bunch of receipts to figure out which ones I still owe taxes on and which I don't when taxes come due.

#45 Posted by Jams (2956 posts) -

Hopefully Amazon is going to make up for it by doing the same day delivery that they're thinking of trying. I think they might buy an old Gottschalks warehouse by me. It'd be fucking rad if they offered a warehouse pickup.

#46 Edited by Subject2Change (2965 posts) -

@Chavtheworld said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

Welcome to what the rest of the world pays. Oh wait, you still get games way cheaper than the rest of us.

This, also here in England we enjoy 20% tax. Wooooooooooooooooooo.

Do your pay checks get taxed though? I lose about 30-35% of my wages in NYC due to tax; plus 8% sales tax on most purchases.

#47 Edited by yani (413 posts) -

@Subject2Change: It's the UK, everything gets taxed. I lose ~25% of my wage to taxes and national insurance contributions. We even get taxed on our tax when buying fuel (fuel duty + VAT)

#48 Posted by GrandHarrier (180 posts) -

As a resident of Oregon, it still mystifies me every time I go out of state and they state a price that isn't what the item is listed as. Sometimes it gets me really heated too. I hate sales tax so much. They keep trying to pass it in my state, but as we have a referendum process, it so far has never even come close to passing and probably never will.

#49 Posted by mosdl (3223 posts) -

Where have you been? The whole internet tax on online retailers has been in the news for months now. Amazon is responding by open a bunch of warehouses in CA (which they didn't have before, hence why they argued they didn't need to collect taxes) which will lead to more electronic retailer stores dying as they will have next day delivery soon in most major areas.

#50 Posted by MB (11301 posts) -

Does anyone know when Amazon typically emails out preorder codes for Xbox games?

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