NY State and the “Affiliate Sales Tax” Law…
Hey all, I know there has been lots of talk about the new law going into effect in NY concerning affiliates, sales tax, and such…
ShareASale has always believed that affiliates deserve a right to privacy in this industry – as well as a balanced position on transparency that allows merchants to know the things that they need to know without the things that they don’t. It has, at times, been a hazy line – but along the lines of contact information, we have never felt that merchants had a right to this information unless the affiliate consented to giving out private contact information such as phone numbers, addresses, etc…
Regarding this law, it is important for us to provide the answer to the question that is at the crux of the law. As a merchant, the question is … “In the past year (or other time frame) what was my total gross sales generated from affiliates residing in the state of NY.”
As such, our first response to this will be to provide this report which will allow merchants to know where they stand regarding the law.
Our plan at this time, is to treat any case where a merchant wishes to terminate NY affiliates with great care and caution. If a merchant requests to do this, there is little we can do to stop them – but ShareASale will be performing the task so that merchants aren’t accessing information which traditionally is considered private within the network.
There is a chance that this plan will not work. My hope is that we can warn merchants that terminating NY is a bad plan – and one that needs rethinking. If our plan doesn’t work – and we end up needing to provide more information to merchants, we may end up having to do so… I say this as a heads up to affiliates because while we don’t like to give out info, we also don’t want to put merchants in a place that makes it difficult to adhere to the laws of their state or others.
We can’t offer legal advice to to merchants and/or affiliates regarding these laws. But I can offer my extreme dissatisfaction with the State of NY for their short term thinking and complete disregard for their citizens. I am personally confident that this will all be reversed and I am hopefull that for those affiliates in NY – it comes sooner rather than later.
As a Merchant on ShareASale – there is now a report under the heading of “New York Affiliate Revenue” which will provide you with the data that you need to make decisions.
Brian is the Founder and President of ShareASale - a 13 year old Chicago based software firm that helps connect online retailers with bloggers and webmasters. He can be found online at @brianlittleton and on brianlittleton.shareist.com Brian writes about internet marketing, College Football (CF Show), golf, hockey, social media, and cartoons!