Some have pointed out that the technology is in place at ANY US based online merchant to collect tax, whatever that tax is called. It is sales tax in the US.
The algorithm is pretty straight forward.
- They are registered for collecting sales tax in every US state they have a bricks and mortar presence.
--- no presence, no state registrations and no sales taxes need be collected online
-They have a database of all US jurisdictional sales taxes..
-They apply the respective sales tax rate based on the delivery address
-They file sales tax reports to the respective governments.
There could be multiple governments joining the sales tax grab, but they deal with it.
So, at the end of the day while I am not one of Gerry or Scotty's fans they have a point that it should not be a big problem. However amazon (et al) is not 'a' single business re all transactions, it is a marketplace of many businesses including amazon itself, many that would not be bothered with our political problems re GST collection, so amazon 'signing up' could be detrimental to its overall business. Hence a problem rears its head - amazon losing merchants if all were forced to adopt our GST. Could that be resolved? From an IT perspective it should not be too hard considering what is already in place.
Some people seem to miss that there are already unique national sites for amazon, ebay, etc, for various reasons, legalities often being among them.
Also, has been posted, we consumers are usually irrelevant collateral damage in the world of our pollies regardless of topic, while their donors count.
Edit: What I perceive is the real problem is a slippery slope to also pay Australian corporate taxes.... eg how does amazon and our illustrious government deal with amazon.com vs amazon.com.au when goods are shipped into Australia?