Barnes and Noble to Collect
eCommerce Sales Tax

By Joe Waynick
Posted March 11, 2012

Barnes and Noble Booksellers

The eCommerce sales tax is the latest weapon fired in the online wars as Barns & Noble continues to go head-to-head with Amazon.com when the big chain started collecting sales taxes on Internet purchases.

First, the Barnes and Noble bookstore chain announced that it plans to welcome disenfranchised Amazon.com sellers into its fold as fast as Amazon casts them off in Amazon’s battle with states over the Internet sales tax economic nexus issue.

This is welcomed relief to sellers dependent on affiliate income who have been abruptly abandoned by Amazon.

The Fight Is On!

The next salvo in the eCommerce wars is the capitulation to state legislatures by Barns and Noble to start collecting the hated eCommerce sales tax in all 50 states on Internet sales.

Since Barnes and Noble has retail stores throughout the United States, it has created a sales tax calculator for all 50 states and conceded the Amazon nexus issue and effectively put Amazon at a political disadvantage.

This move by Barns and Noble is sure to encourage even more state legislatures to join the fight against Amazon to force it to collect sales taxes in states where nexus has been established through recent nexus legislation.

Consequently, Barns and Noble sellers have received the following eMail:

On or around October 6th 2011, BN.com will begin collecting taxes for all marketplace orders.

No change is required by you to continue managing your business on BN.com Marketplace and there will be minimal impact to both sellers and buyers. To that end, here are the key highlights about our tax changes:

  • BN.com will take responsibility for collecting and remitting taxes to the states. No tax funds will ever be sent to your bank account.
  • Marketplace orders will be taxed based on where Barnes & Noble has nexus (all 50 states).
  • Marketplace orders will be taxed on both the items and the shipping fee where applicable.
  • BN.com will automatically refund the associated tax to buyers for any full or partial refund initiated by you.

Taxes collected on the marketplace orders will be visible to you in the My Seller Account tool. Once launched, you may view the taxes as part of the order transaction within your Orders tab – as you would an order today.

The tax policy changes have been made in an effort to ensure continued compliance for the BN.com Marketplace with current tax laws and minimize the work you have to do in order to sell on BN.com.

If you have any concerns regarding this new requirement, please feel free to contact us at:

Email: sellerrelations@barnesandnoble.com Telephone: 866-897-1763 (Toll-Free) International Sellers: 201-559-3890 Hours: 8AM-6:30PM (ET) Mon.-Fri.

You can also visit the Help Pages in My Seller Account for Frequently Asked Questions.

Thank you for being a part of the BN.com Marketplace!

Sincerely,
The B&N Marketplace Team

Where Do We Go From Here?

With this new development it’s going to become harder than ever for Amazon to continue resisting the efforts of states to enforce compulsory eCommerce sales tax collection nationwide.

Despite the boycott Amazon movement, the Internet giant still has a major advantage not enjoyed by Barnes and Noble. States have a strong argument against Barns and Nobel since the chain actually operates retail stores within the taxing jurisdiction; Amazon doesn’t carry much of that kind of baggage.

The achillies heel of Amazon is its distribution centers and affiliate program. Amazon has its own brand of nexus management by threatening to shut down its distribution center in Texas after being presented with a whopping $269 million bill for back taxes.

And as of September 23, 2011, Amazon has unceremoniously terminated its relationship with tens of thousands of affiliate partners in nine states to avoid the nexus sales tax issue.

It’s clear that Barns and Noble plans to continue leveraging Amazon’s eCommerce sales tax woes to its own advantage. Consequently, the Amazon sales tax war rages on.

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