It seems that the ever efficient Missouri Revenue Department has been querying out of state Affiliate Programs in an attempt to “mine data” so they can try to increase revenues for the state.
MGE was the first to break this out this morning… Their Blog post is only telling part of the tale though. When you look at the copy of a letter one of their affiliates received it’s obvious that there must have been some prior communication. Take a look at the pdf and see if you don’t see what I see here.
Yes, that’s right. A previous “Business Activity Questionaire” was filled out and returned at some point (well, maybe not, but that’s what it looks like).
It looks to me like Missouri isn’t going to bother with legislation to enable sales tax enforcement on Affiliates and Affiliate Marketing in general. And it’s fairly apparent that they’re trying to find out who they can bully into paying.
Now, I’m no lawyer, but, I do know that basic politics 101 states that we need to help some people out here. And here’s what needs to happen in all states where taxing the internet has become “the thing” to do.
The PMA is very active in this arena. Pay attention and help them out.
The Missouri Legislature (Missouri House Contacts Missouri Senate Contacts) needs to hear from Affiliate Programs, Marketers, etc. in Missouri. Generally they’re pretty open and will listen. Be polite and present your case if your from Missouri. And in making the case I mean use real data, thoughtful arguments, educate the politicians on how an Affiliate Tax will impede growth, inhibit other tax collections, cause businesses to move out of state, cost jobs, etc. Do your homework. Nobody is better at using the Internet than Affiliate Marketers.
There are a number of Missouri House and Senate members on twitter too. I’m not going to list them here. But in the past they’ve been nice, engaging, and very reasonable if your reasonable with them. So it your in Missouri tweet em up!
We’ll keep watching this one too.