TeeJaw Blog

Tax on Kindle Purchases?

Posted in Books by TeeJaw on Friday, August 26, 2011, 2: 37 PM

If you have a Kindle or iPad and purchase digital downloads for them from Amazon you may be paying sales tax in addition to the digital download price. You will not be told of the tax before you click the download button and you’ll never know where your tax dollars are going. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t depend on where you live or where you happen to be when you buy it. But there is a way to get at least part of this information.

If it says “sold by” MacMillan or Random House Digital or some other publisher under the Kindle price, tax will be added. The reason I don’t think it matters where you live is because the percentage is not always the same. On Ann Coulter’s new book Demonic sold by Random House Digital, the rate was 7-3/4%; on the book Reckless Endangerment sold by Macmillan, it was only 4%.

Here’s how you can tell in advance that there will be no tax added: if there is no “sold by” or “price set by” indicated. In that case the digital order is sold by Amazon and there is no tax. Also, most times the price will be $9.99. The price will be higher if the digital download is sold by the publisher. That was the case with Ann Coulter’s book in Kindle edition which was $14.99 plus tax and Reckless Endangerment was $12.99 plus tax.

Everyone will decide for themselves whether any of this is important. Here is my early New Year’s resolution, to go into effect immediately. I will buy no Kindle book if I can’t get it for a maximum price of $9.99 with NO tax. For me, it’s a moral issue. I won’t pay a cent to any parasite bureaucrat anywhere when I have no idea who they are, where they are, and what they are doing with my money. Safe to say they aren’t doing anything worthwhile with it.

I know, I know. We’re talking about minuscule amounts of money. It’s a moral issue.

Will I be missing a lot of good books I could be reading on my Kindle? No, just a little delay. Most new books I’d like to read will be available on Amazon in the hardcover used market at about one-fourth the original hardcover cost within 3 months of first publication. I can wait.

This is one New year’s resolution I may actually keep.

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