As mentioned in the previous article, I’ll repeat – I shut down the original KautzCraft Studio ecommerce website. Most of the software vendors, including the low cost and free ones, have starter “storefront” packages, but their prime reason for existence is not free software charity, but to promote additional cost ad-ins and “improvements” to the basic store package.
Hey! It’s a business just like mine. I understand. No problem.
But a really small on-line hobby craft business like mine can’t support the overhead for a truly professional, highly featured web presence. Nor do I wish to create that false image.
I have had continuing web presence storefronts for almost two decades. So, I am no newbie at the task. One (Ramblin’ Dan’s Store) for my Taig machine tools and the (now off-line) KautzCraft Studio.
Recent changes have been proposed (not yet implemented) for sales tax collection across state borders here in the USA. Unfortunately, it might filter down to individual tax districts within states, of which there are over 12,000 in the USA.
Buying out-of-state has always been seen as a tax-free purchase by consumers but most states required the purchaser (especially a business) to self-report the purchase and pay the tax. Yeah, that really works…
The current ruling is to shift the burden of this collection and reporting to the business. It’s up to the individual state and taxing district to determine how that would be done. The extreme diversity and complication of 50 to 12,000 different taxing systems is totally unmanageable by a business such as mine.
The requirement for multi-state taxing used to be a physical brick and mortar presence. (A building) The new ruling changes that to an “economic presence.” This will be based on some combination (states make their own criteria) of number of items and/or a specific dollar threshold. A number like $100,000 in sales. Some states are thinking or have implemented as low as $10,000 in sales.
Not only is this a new cost of management for the seller, the infrastructure to manage tens of thousands of internet sales within state tax systems must be implemented. Could this ever be managed in 12,000 taxing districts? Me thinks not.
Honestly, KautzCraft Studio is no where close to even the lowest ($10k) per state proposal, so I am far under the proposed tax RADAR. Even in my home state Texas, the in-state sales tax I collect and report is a pittance, and certainly a PITA for the government bureaucracy needed to collect it. So much so, I am only required to pay it once a year. But I spend $30 a month for bookkeeping to track it (as well as for income tax.) Far more than the total state sales tax I pay.
The whole system of website storefront software all the way down to individual states taxing is intended for large volume sales. Someone with (or desiring) a strong economic presence in the marketplace. Not a hobbyist selling a few wares.
The micro-business becomes collateral damage in such narrow-minded propositions.
The little <$10,000 volume sales, sole proprietor hobbyist, must play by the same rules and processes as the $1M major vendor. If we don’t report and play by the “big boy” rules, there is always the fear of some sort of “big brother” state and federal repercussion.
I don’t mind “keeping the books” it is necessary for many good reasons. The pending interstate sales tax (it’s not yet the law) could be a cloud of doom for very small interstate sellers. The (hinted) $100K/state “economic presence” threshold IS a workable solution for me.
On that assumption, I am developing a new low overhead (cost) web storefront I can personally manage. A place to display my wares and make them available to my immediate circle of friends, and contacts, and beyond. I do not need or desire to look like a million-dollar business. Simply a professional looking e-store of hand-crafted products with the ability for customers to make a purchase.
There will be a link from here to the NEW STORE, in the menu bar, when I put this plan in-motion.