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Linkshare Teams with the DMA on NY Affiliate Tax

Affiliate networks are beginning to get more active (or at least more vocal) on the New York state affiliate tax issue.

CJ has weighed in with a general call for due diligence, ShareASale has been more proactive and involved with the issue both on their blog and in the ABW forum. Then during the GeekCast podcast yesterday, Shawn Collins discussed Linkshare’s partnership with the DMA over the issue.

Here is the email Linkshare is sending out to publishers today:

LinkShare has issued the following invitation to a teleconference on the New York State sales tax change and affiliate marketing:

On April 9, 2008, New York State passed a law mandating that any retailer that (1) meets a certain sales volume from sales to New York customers and (2) has an affiliate program with New York based publishers that refer customers to the retailer and are paid on a commission basis must charge and collect New York sales tax on all sales shipped to New York.

We have been actively working with, and providing support to, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) to clarify this law. The Direct Marketing Association is the leading global trade association for businesses that use direct marketing tools and techniques. LinkShare is proud to be their partner. As this issue continues to develop, we are committed to making available the insights of authoritative partners like the DMA to help inform and guide you.

To this end, we are pleased to invite you to be LinkShare’s guest for the DMA’s conference call on this issue, featuring DMA Tax Counsel George Isaacson this Thursday, May 22, 11AM to 12Noon Eastern. He will provide an overview of the bill and the DMA’s interpretation of it. There will also be an opportunity for Q&A.

To join the call (Thursday, May 22, 11AM to 12Noon Eastern), email government@the-dma.org to receive personalized dial in information. Please let them know you are a member of the LinkShare Network.

Of course, while the DMA provides an authoritative source for information, since every business has a unique situation, we urge all our partners to seek out individual independent tax and legal advice. The New York Department of Taxation and Revenue‘s Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) and DMA’s analysis of it are available on our site at http://www.linkshare.com/advertisers/ny_state_tax/

For details, please contact:

Mark Kirschner
LinkShare
646-943-8359
mkirschner@linkshare.com

Dan Dent
Blanc & Otus Public Relations for LinkShare
617.451.7351
ddent@blancandotus.com

I’ll be on the call (from a hammock on Hilton Head Island, SC while my monkey butler brings me drinks…) and will share my thoughts here tomorrow afternoon.

CJ And NY State Affiliate Tax

Commission Junction is currently sending out this very legal sounding email to publishers encouraging them to perform due dilligence with a link to a PDF from NY state’s tax office…

As you may already know, the State of New York recently enacted new legislation that addresses tax registration, collection, and other time-sensitive obligations. As with all laws, this law may or may not apply to you and your business. We are actively monitoring the law and will use reasonable efforts to protect ourselves and our publishers as we deem appropriate.

The application of the law is dependent on particular business and factual circumstances, and Commission Junction is not in a position to provide legal and tax advice regarding this law. However, we encourage you to perform the appropriate due diligence as it relates to your business.

For your convenience, we have provided a link to a memo from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Office of Tax Policy Analysis, Taxpayer Guidance Division that addresses the new legislation:

http://www.tax.state.ny.us/pdf/memos/sales/m08_3s.pdf

While certainly not as personal and emphatic as ShareASale’s response on their blog or on the ABW forum, it is a little heart warming to see CJ addressing the issue.

I was hoping for more of a “these are the steps we will take to educate merchants and protect our publishers” type email, but it looks like this is all we’re going to get from CJ at this point.

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