Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Peter Blake: Thoreau, Gandhi - and now Crutchfield

Corporations, usually controlled by cautious lawyers, are rarely Thoreauvian when it comes to civil disobedience.

But the online retailer Crutchfield, a consumer electronics firm, has inched in that direction. It is telling Colorado customers that it is not going to heed the state’s new sales tax reporting law, which it calls “very controversial and possibly unconstitutional.”

Well, at least until it is directed to do so “by a court order.”

The law requires that out-of-state catalog and Internet retailers report the total amount of purchases made by each Colorado customer to the state revenue department at the end of every year. It is also supposed to remind you of the total, so you can file the proper sales taxes.

The U.S. Supreme Court has to date refused to compel mail-order firms to collect sales taxes for states where they have no physical presence. That’s why the legislature settled on demanding only information.    More -

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