Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Amazon Ends Affiliate Program with Rhode Island

Amazon has ended its affiliate program in Rhode Island as part of its continued efforts to fight against sales tax legislation. Amazon has taken this action just days after it announced it would be ending its affiliate in North Carolina.

As many states are trying to close budget gaps, collecting sales tax from various online retailers is a method that many states are pursuing. States such as North Carolina, Rhode Island and Hawaii have drafted legislation which would classify online retailers such as Amazon as a retailer with a physical presence -- and thus be responsible for collecting sales tax -- through its relationship with locally-based affiliates. Affiliates link to Amazon products in exchange for a percentage of its sales.

Here is what Amazon has informed its Rhode Island affiliates:

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account has been closed as of June 29, 2009. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional tax collection scheme passed by the Rhode Island General Assembly with a veto-proof majority. As a result, we will no longer pay any referral fees for customers referred to or after June 29. We were forced to take this unfortunate action in anticipation of actual enactment because of uncertainties surrounding the legislation’s effective date. The governor could sign the bill -- or have his veto overridden -- any day now.

Please be assured that all qualifying referral fees earned prior to June 29, 2009 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with our regular referral fee schedule. Based on your account closure date of June 29, 2009, any final payments will be paid by September 1, 2009.

In the event that Rhode Island repeals this tax collection scheme, we would certainly be happy to re-open our Associates program to Rhode Island residents.


Columbus Ledger

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