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Donald Trump Attacks Amazon While His Own Website Doesn’t Collect Sales Tax

Photo Credit: Michael Vadon

Donald Trump has been throwing quite the Twitter tantrum lately and his targets have been Amazon, Washington Post, and Jeff Bezos. If you’ve been following the drama you’re well aware that Bezos is the CEO and founder of Amazon and the owner of the Washington Post which he personally acquired for $250 million in 2013.

You might also be aware that between 2016 and 2017, President Trump took a $600 million write-down on his businesses, including $400 million related to his real estate holdings, largely caused by a deterioration in the brick & mortar landscape.

In a tweet sent on March 29, 2018, the 45th POTUS lashed out at Amazon for paying “little or no taxes to state & local governments.” 

Trump’s tweet is full of falsehoods. Amazon, since 2017, has been charging taxes to all U.S. states where state or local sales taxes are required. Taxes are specifically collected on items sold directly by Amazon. You can read all about Amazon’s tax payments HERE.

While it’s true that Amazon doesn’t always collect sales tax on behalf of all third-party vendors on its platform, the company does offer that service with an optional sales tax collection service for a 2.9% fee (based on the collected sales taxes).

Paying sales taxes outside of Amazon’s optional fee-structure is the duty of the third-party seller.

Trump uses the current structure as part of his argument but it’s patently false that Amazon is not following currently established laws for state, and local taxes.

But here’s the real kicker…

Trump Doesn’t Charge Sales Taxes On His Own Products

We wanted to see how much Donald Trump was charging for his own online products and it wasn’t too shocking to learn that TrumpStore.com doesn’t charge sales taxes in most states. In fact, Trump only charges sales taxes in two states.

Here’s what we learned about Trump’s tax policy from his own Shipping & Returns page.

Sales Tax
TrumpStore.com collects sales tax on orders shipped to an address within the states of Florida and Louisiana.

We tested out his order process and indeed, our order to Illinois was tax-free.

As to Trump’s claim that Amazon is shipping packages via USPS for less than the cost of delivery, that’s also patently false. In 2006, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Under PAEA, USPS was forced to “pre-fund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span”

A Citi analysis of the company’s costs included the pre-funding of pension plans and other retiree benefits. Citi arrived at that figure by re-allocating the Post Office’s benefits costs — not the costs specific to package delivery.

In the meantime, head over to TrumpStore.com or IvankaTrump.com, which also doesn’t charge sales tax in most states. Don’t buy anything because it’s all Chinese made crap but at least check it out.

As an added bonus, IvankaTrump.com accepts Amazon Pay.

The next time Trump goes off on Amazon and sales taxes, remind his #MAGA followers that he’s part of the problem and definitely not the solution.

Welcome to the Red State…

James Kosur
  

James Kosur is the Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. You can reach him at James@HillReporter.com.

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