Amazon’s sheer greed is historical. Time and again, Amazon proves to have perfected the syndicate art of raking in huge profits at the expense of public interest. Over many years now, Amazon has grown into a giant with insatiable thirst for corporate profits without regard to accountability to the public as well as to institutions that safeguard public interest.
From overpricing of Kindle e-books, e-book wars with the Big 6 Publishers and e-retailers to the dodging of tax obligations in many countries, Amazon does not seem to run out of issues to settle. Clearly, they are unmindful that they are greedy and are unfazed and unbending to powers that be thinking they can do whatever they want and get away with it. I mean who cares? They have big shot lawyers and accountants as well as bureaucrats under their wing to justify what could be reduced as stealing.
Amazon’s dodging of tax obligations is not just an attack to the institutions that run this country. It is a direct spite to every honest citizen who pays taxes from their hard-earned money. Some say that there is no use paying taxes to a government whose bureaucrats enjoy huge tax breaks. Come on. Not all people eat the same bullshit for breakfast. That is precisely why taxation is called an obligation because citizens as well as corporates have the responsibility to honestly and religiously pay your taxes whether or not others are.
Amazon is using the loopholes in tax laws to get away with huge corporate profits and shelling out only breadcrumbs to the government. Millions of Brits love their books and sadly, they purchase their books from Amazon accounting to £7.1 billion in sales. Disgustingly, Amazon refuses to reassess its tax obligations in the UK. It is content to pay a measly absolute minimum of £2.3 million corporate tax to the government. Do the math and you will see that this is barely 4% of their total sales.
Their greed does not stop there. In the US, they only collect sales taxes in a few states where they say they are only “physically present”. Again, nothing illegal there. But, there is certainly something horrifying morally and ethically. Amazon defends its refusal to collect tax sales as a means to prevent price increases on their products. It is not surprising why many retailers feel frustrated that tax laws should be biased against them while their competitor, Amazon, is exempted or is refusing to collect sales tax. Amazon, the tyrant, has forced many of its competitors to closure. As an offshoot, over 200,000 e-retailers have lost their jobs.
Aside from competitors, consumers themselves are blackmailed by Amazon’s withdrawal of services in states where they are compelled to collect tax sales. California has a law that requires Amazon and other e-retailers to collect sales tax but so far, Amazon has pigheadedly enjoyed tax breaks entitled to the company by its sheer arrogance. With the new law, Amazon has stopped doing business in California as well as other states with such similar law such as New York, Hawaii and North Carolina. Amazon has thousands of affiliates in California and their withdrawal would mean huge losses.
Meanwhile, Californians are frustrated because they cannot sell products on Amazon unless they decide to transfer residence to another state as the letter from Amazon to California legislature and its customers clearly implies. Only then, will consumers be reinstated into their Amazon Associates Program. Talk about bullying. Banning so many people from selling on Amazon is really evil.
Sales tax in the US is a major source of revenues. It is used to fund state education, medical researches, police and food security. Tax breaks to Amazon would compromise these important sectors and in the long run, national development. A more disturbing fact is that Amazon can certainly afford to pay their taxes. Their products sure are low-priced and millions of consumers patronize their products. But in the long run, the consumers as well banned Amazon sellers suffer, as the face the greed of Amazon as they rake in profits from the sales while government revenues dwindle.