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North Carolina VS. Amazon.com ~ We Want Records On Every North Carolina Resident And Their Purchases

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posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:35 PM
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Amazon.com is fighting a request by North Carolina tax authorities for records of "virtually every North Carolina resident who has purchased anything from Amazon since 2003," claiming disclosure would violate customers' privacy rights on a "massive scale."



The North Carolina Department of Revenue wants Amazon to turn over the "name and address of virtually every North Carolina resident who has purchased anything from Amazon since 2003, along with record of what each customer purchased and how much they paid," according to the federal complaint.


Wow, just wow. I can understand how the state may need or want to audit a company's records, especially internet-based, to verify all state taxes were paid.

However, where do we draw the line between personal privacy and state's rights?

What kind of precedent could this case set?


Amazon, without violating its customers' privacy, fully cooperated by furnishing data requested by the DOR to conduct its tax analysis," the complaint states. "But the DOR has no business seeking to uncover the identity of Amazon's customers who purchased expressive content, which makes up the majority of the nearly 50 million products sold to North Carolina residents during the audit period,


Herein lies the problem-


let alone associating customers' names and addresses with specific books, music, and video content that they have purchased during the past seven years.


State tax inspector...."Hmmm, so Mr. Smith purchased 3 Alex Jones dvds, some survival equipment, a book on basic gunsmithing, and a copy of Catcher In The Rye? Maybe I should give my friends at the State Police a call, you know, just to give them a head's up."

www.courthousenews.com...


Admittedly, the state isn't exactly doing the right thing on this issue. Its records request probably violates the federal law protecting the confidentiality of video purchases, as well as the 1st Amendment's protections for speech, as CNET's Declan McCullagh points out. But McCullagh glosses over the central issue here, which is that states impose taxes on every purchase of nonexempt items, whether online ("use taxes") or in a local store ("sales taxes"). North Carolina's invasive demand for documents is aimed simply at making people pay what they owe.


opinion.latimes.com...

Maybe so, but that info in the wrong hands could be dynamite.

Alarming stuff....


[edit on 22-4-2010 by Signals]




posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:42 PM
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Absolutely ridiculous, not shocking, par for the course in bad government.

I will keep my eye on this case, and if it goes the way of the state, I will quit making online purchases with anything other than a prepaid visa and a dummy name.

I think tax reform needs to happen before health care reform.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 04:50 PM
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Thank you for bringing this important info to us !
This sounds like a test state tactic. 2003 to now provides enough data for big brother to profile many quickly, the tax issue does not require such info gathering. At times like this I am saddened by our lack of representation.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:15 PM
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The question is, why to North Carolina want the records going back to 2003.

Amazon surely have records going back further than that. Or perhaps they don't.

There could be something there, or perhaps not. But it's worth exploring the idea.

Sadly, I don't live anywhere near, so I can't ask the questions. Anyone else able to?



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:24 PM
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2003 is 7 years and/or the statute of limitations.

This hopefully will get shot down, for just as purchasing something out of state in person doesn't justify local state sales taxes being applied nor should an internet purchase.

Reason being For the transaction, and the funds are orchestrated outside of the jurisdiction of the state.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by nh_ee

2003 is 7 years and/or the statute of limitations.

This hopefully will get shot down, for just as purchasing something out of state in person doesn't justify local state sales taxes being applied nor should an internet purchase.

Reason being For the transaction, and the funds are orchestrated outside of the jurisdiction of the state.


It might be the statute of limitations, but this case is likely to have been prepared over a significant number of months... meaning that the records going back to 2002 could be sought through the court.

It seems like the North Carolina tax man is being overly "generous" in this instance.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:48 PM
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What I don't get is the state's requirement of showing them the items purchased....why not just the sales dollar amount?

Police state anyone?



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