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Susan Gunelius

NC, RI, HI - No Longer Allowed in Amazon Associates Affiliate Advertising Program

By July 1, 2009

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If you're a blogger in North Carolina, Rhode Island, or Hawaii, then you can cross the Amazon Associates affiliate advertising program off of your list of possible ways to earn money through your blog. And if you live in one of those states and are already an Amazon Associate, you should have already received an email from Amazon letting you know that you're not an affiliate anymore.

Since all three states have enacted legislation that would require Amazon to charge sales tax on products sold through Amazon affiliates who live in those states, Amazon has decided to end the program in those states rather than add the extra red tape, work, etc. that would be required.

You can get the complete changes to the Amazon Associates program on this page, which shows the updates to the Amazon Associates agreement made on June 29 and 30, 2009. The entire agreement is here.

The Register published two articles this week that provide great perspective and history about the tax issue and Amazon, which you can read here and here.

Comments
July 3, 2009 at 1:23 am
(1) Vern says:

Hi Susan, I’ve been following this news a little bit and it’s a sad state of affairs for anybody who is an affiliate anywhere. Why? Because maybe all states will follow suit. Now, I know that most sites that have affiliate programs are NOT going to want to start collecting sales tax for states. I’m sure of it. Actually, most won’t even want to try to keep up to speed with which states require it and which don’t. I think we might see whole sites ditching their affiliate programs.

That’s a horrible thing because not only is affiliate sales a way for big companies with a product to sell to make money – but, affiliate sales are for the “little guys/gals” to be able to make some money from their sites/blogs in an easy manner.

This is setting a dangerous precedent, and not what small business website owners need to be thinking about right now. We need ways to make money – not worry about states trying to tax our meager earnings.

If something like this happens in NY, CA, TX, IL, FL… wow.

Just found your site/blog – and enjoying it a lot. I have a business blog too at IncAnswers I invite you to check out if you have a free minute. :) Vern

July 3, 2009 at 9:16 am
(2) Susan Gunelius says:

Vern,

I know what you mean. States are trying to find ways to boost their incomes, and this certainly seems like an easy way for them to do it. However, I agree that it does have negative repercussions for small business owners. Rumor has it, California is considering adding the same kind of tax, which would mean they’d be the next to go from Amazon Associates.

Amazon accepted dealing with NY’s state imposed tax on the program sales, but since realized that it’s too much of a pain to deal with. Any new state that imposes the same kind of tax is getting the ax from the program.

By the way, I’m definitely going to check out your blog, and thank you for joining the About.com Web Logs forum, too!

July 6, 2009 at 9:54 am
(3) Bryan says:

Susan, you’re saying that Amazon isn’t dropping New York affiliates?

July 6, 2009 at 10:15 am
(4) Susan Gunelius says:

Bryan,

The Amazon Associates program is still open to residents of New York. If you’re from NY and in the program, you’d get an email if Amazon changes that (at least you should get an email). No word from Amazon that they’re considering dropping the NY program affiliates at this point.

July 6, 2009 at 11:32 am
(5) Vern | IncAnswers says:

Hi Susan,

Actually over last couple days have been a number of Hawaii residents tweeting about Hawaii having vetoed that law. It looks like the veto will stand (for now). That’s good news for Hawaii bloggers who are trying to survive in their high cost of living area!

:)

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