Affiliate Taxation – Time to Fight Back
Unless you have been living under a rock, you are aware of California (and other) states efforts to copy New York and collect sales tax on affiliate initiated transactions. Collection of sales tax is important, and states are right to be concerned about taxes that are owed to them and not being collected.Â But this is the wrong way to go about collecting this money and can easily cause more harm than good.
The California bill is Assembly Bill 178 sponsored by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner. The hearing date on AB 178 has been scheduled for April 13, 2009.
We all learned a hard lesson in New York.Â Luckily that lesson is being applied right now in California.Â Action needs to be taken now while the bill is still in committee.
The PMA’s Stance
The Performance Marketing Alliance has formed a committee led by the experienced Beth Kirsch who has done lobbying at the federal level.Â She has been working with a coalition led by the Chamber of Commence and the California Taxpayer’s Association that includes the big players in the Tech space. This coalition has had success with similar bills in the past. With companies like Google, Yahoo, eBay, and CJ all based in California, there are a lot of big companies with vested interests that are taking actions either as part of this coalition or on their own.
The PMA is a valuable addition to this coalition because we can put a face on the issue.Â We can get real people with real stories to talk about what this bill can do to them.Â As such, the PMA is leading a grass-roots effort to spread the word about this to as many people in this industry as possible.Â They have more in the works as well, with details coming out as they develop.Â There are some more meetings today, and strategizing over the weekend.Â After that, I expect to see plan laid out.
Likely there will be a need for people who can go to Sacramento, people to make appointments for in-person visits with their own representative, letter writers, and press outreach. If you can help with any of that, please contact the PMA to see how you can help.
Other Resources to Help Combat the Bill
There are other resources to check out as well. CAaffiliates.com is an ABestWeb forum for the discussion of the bill. Both Mark Welch and Scott Jangro have written excellent letter’s on the matter (Mark’s letter (pdf) and Scott’s letter) which I encourage you to read.
How Can You Help?
Discuss the bill with people. Let them know why it’s a bad idea, inform them. If you have a blog, make a post.Â If you are on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. use them to spread the word and link to places where this is being talked about. Create discussion and make your voice be heard.