Amazon.com cut ties with its Colorado affiliate marketers on March 8 after the US State forged ahead with its plan to introduce a mandatory Internet sales tax on e-businesses with an annual turnover exceeding USD100,000.
The measure voted on in the state Senate in February 2009, and introduced this month, obliged large providers of goods via the internet, and their marketing affiliates, to transmit sales statistics to the state, so that the Colorado state tax authorities could levy the 2.9% sales tax on purchases by Colorado consumers.
The bill was introduced as a first step to increasing sales tax compliance by Colorado taxpayers using the Internet to purchase items. Colorado is not the first state to implement such a move; authorities elsewhere have been unsuccessful in getting e-commerce giants to automatically levy and remit taxes due.
Initially the bill had been drafted to tax purchases clicked through via affiliate marketers but this was later dropped on the grounds that online retailers such as Amazon and Overstock had cut ties with affiliate marketers in three other states where this was tried.
Despite amending the proposals, Amazon cut its commercial ties with Colorado’s affiliate marketers on March 8, stating in a email to members of its associates program that “as a result of the new law, Amazon has decided to stop advertising through associates based in Colorado."
In response, Colorado authorities condemned the move as a “hostage-taking ploy”, questioning the firm’s reasoning for disbanding its Colorado marketers. "It's blackmail, it's flat-out blackmail," Jack Pommer, a Democrat representing Boulder and author of the original bill, was quoted by the Denver Post as saying.
"It shows the lengths to which they'll go to keep the advantage they have over other local businesses," he retorted..
Kazakhstan's President on April 9 signed legislation ratifying a protocol to the DTA with Belarus.
Macau's Office of the Chief Executive on April 3, 2018, issued Order No. 63/2018 authorizing the conclusion of a DTA with Vietnam.
Latvia and Chile discussed launching DTA negotiations during a two-day meeting that concluded on April 10, 2018.
Finland's President on April 6, 2018, authorized the signature of a DTA with Hong Kong.
Austria's Federal Council on April 5, 2018, approved the DTA with Japan.
A protocol updating the DTA between India and Kazakhstan entered into force on March 12, 2018, and was published in India's Official Gazette on April 12, 2018.
Finland is proposing to terminate its existing DTA with Portugal at the start of 2019, should Portugal fail to ratify a replacement DTA negotiated between the two states.
The Spanish Senate on April 11, 2018, approved a DTA with Finland.
The Czech Senate on April 4, 2018, approved a law to ratify the DTA being negotiated with Kosovo.
Singapore on March 13, 2018, announced plans to update the DTA with Bangladesh signed in 1979.
Cambodia and Vietnam on April 5, 2018, signed a DTA.
A DTA between India and Zambia was signed during a three-day visit Zambia ending April 12, 2018.
Kosovo on April 4, 2018, approved negotiations towards a DTA with Saudi Arabia.
The Assistance in Recovery clause in the DTA between Australia and France entered into force on April 1, 2018.
The Saudi Cabinet on April 3, 2018, approved a DTA with Hong Kong.
Bangladesh and Azerbaijan on April 6 agreed to speed up negotiations towards a DTA.
South Korea and Vietnam on March 25 agreed to work towards amending their DTA.
The Moroccan upper house of parliament on April 5 passed draft Law No. 22.18, endorsing a DTA signed with Bangladesh.
At a March 15 meeting, representatives from Hungary and Ecuador discussed engaging in talks towards the conclusion of a DTA, Hungary's Ministry of Finance reported on March 21, 2018.
On March 21, 2018, Nigeria completed its domestic ratification procedures in respect of the DTA signed with Singapore.
Kazakhstan's Senate on March 29, 2018, approved a law to ratify the DTA signed with Belarus.
During a meeting on March 29, 2018, representatives from Kenya and Mozambique agreed the two countries should agree a DTA.
Georgia and Saudi Arabia signed a DTA on March 14, 2018.
Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates signed a DTA Protocol on March 15, 2018.
India and Hong Kong signed a DTA on March 19, 2018.