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Author Topic: Online Gaming and Taxation - your rights under assault  (Read 2196 times)
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Knightshade Dragon
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« on: January 03, 2005, 01:19:31 PM »

Hit the front page folks...seems some states don't think your opinion matters and slipped some amusing little taxes under the radar.
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2005, 01:23:16 PM »

Son of a bitch....damn stealth tax.  It doesn't affect me but I'm sure at some point it will if this trend continues.

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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2005, 01:33:18 PM »

Sucks if you live in Colorado, Washington, D.C., Illinois, New York, Texas, Utah, and Washington state.  I don't see how they can manage to tax what is basically a fee to maintain service since you were already taxed purchasing the game...then I thought about phone service and other utilities, etc.  Oh well...the more days of double and triple taxation occur the sooner the next Boston Tea Party happens.
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2005, 01:40:46 PM »

We messed up the original plan...we should have thrown the politicians into the harbor, not the tea.
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2005, 05:09:57 PM »

<----- WoW sub was taxed  =(
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2005, 05:11:56 PM »

I'm in one of the affected states  :cry:  Not sure how much the tax actually is yet . Kinda want to track down the name of whatever politico was behind this.
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2005, 05:49:26 PM »

I cry for REVOLUTION!
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2005, 06:35:03 PM »

Perhaps Loren would point us in the right direction as to where to look.  He works for a political body so he might be able to tell us how to go about it...
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2005, 08:35:37 PM »

Washington, D.C. isn't a state.  It sure sucks to live there, though, unless you're a politician!
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2005, 09:07:50 PM »

I just checked and I got hit too (Illinois) for an additional $1.16.  Crap.

If I bought a game card online would that bypass the tax?
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2005, 09:09:01 PM »

If they have a blanket "Goods and Services" tax then it would apply. In Canada we have a nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 7%. <shrug> We have healthcare and Employment Insurance and Welfare and yadayadayada... it has always applied to any services that originate from inside canada. If the goods/services aren't available within the country then we don't pay tax on it.

If we have something shipped here they will charge us tax on it. We can put a claim in to get reimbursed if that product is not available here.

About a 15 years ago they introduced the GST, and the way they did it is WAY shadier than this little snafu. ninja

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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2005, 09:46:13 PM »

I do a lot of work with taxes as part of my job and let me tell you... as if the US tax sytem wasn't a mess to begin with all this internet tax stuff is driving me crazy.  To keep our system accurate now I literally have to track current tax rates down to city and county.  Now with every different state passing individual laws about how to tax the internet it's getting rediculous.

Vote no on Internet Tax, if only to keep me from being driven insane. slywink

Okay this wasn't totally on topic, but close enough I thought it'd get that off my chest. smile

s
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2005, 04:53:33 PM »

I also got hit with the tax (Utah) frown

The thing that really annoys is that I thought Blizzard had screwed up my billing.  I was thinking "hey, this game was supposed to cost $14.99 a month, those liars charged my credit card for more!" etc. etc.  Just as I was about to fly off the handle and make the phone call, I remembered something vague about "some people might have to pay taxes on this" and I thought "Gee, I wonder if that might be me."

Admittedly, it is not that big of an amount.  However, it's the principal of the thing that bothers me.  Blizzard could've softened the blow a little bit, too, by just:

1) Letting me know before hand that I was going to be one of the ones it effected (this would be good customer service) and
2) Putting the tax amount as a separate value, labeled "tax" on the billing page.  Currently, it just says that I'm going to be charged another $14.99 in a month, and that is manifestly untrue -- they need to put down that they are charging me $14.99, and the government is charging me the rest.  It isn't that hard to code a feature like this.
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Zarkon
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2005, 04:54:29 PM »

EQ's had that tax for ages.
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Zarkon
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2005, 05:32:19 PM »

The relevant bits, directly from Blizzard's support:

 Here is how it has been explained to me by Blizzard billing support.

The states have recently passed some new laws defining services such as MMORPGs. They break the game into 3 components.

1) Client. You buy this in the box. It is a tangible product and hence taxable.

2) Internet connection. This is not provided by Blizzard, but is a taxable item collected through your ISP.

The third item is really 2 parts
3A) This is the maintence, support, tech support, forums, server access, etc. This is a service (and in most cases) non-taxable.

3B) Content updates. The patch file you download is a tangible (i.e. file that could just as easily been put on a CD and sold in a retail store) and is hence taxable.


Since no company line items their fee, the states are taxing the whole thing as an indivisible item. This gets around the service vs. product arguement. It gets taxed just like any other product you might buy that is subject to a Use tax. (Use tax is just a fancy way of saying sales tax from a vendor outside of the state's taxing authority).


As far as we can tell, it has to do with the physical locations of Blizzard's Servers.
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ChrisGwinn
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2005, 07:06:57 PM »

"seems some states don't think your opinion matters "?  How does that follow?
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