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No More Crayons

Imagine my surprise yesterday, when a fellow New York Affiliate shared the news that he had been dumped by several merchants due to the NY Internet sales tax law. These merchants included the Crayola Store. What I found interesting about Herb’s post about the terminations is that I am in Crayola’s  program and this was the first I was hearing about it. Guess I should say I was in their program. I checked my email box and didn’t find an email. Thinking Herb must be wrong, I logged into CJ.

There, in my internal mail box is the notice from Crayola indicating that due to the “recent law” they are terminating all affiliates in New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island. Now to give credit to Crayola, they did give notice and warning about the termination ( just wish it had been emailed to my regular email). Lesson learned, check internal email more frequently.

Not sure why they feel it necessary to remove NY  Affiliates almost two years after the law took effect and RI/NC Affiliates almost a year after the law was passed.  Probably just a matter of time before they terminate Colorado Affiliates. But, as we all know, there are plenty of merchants who carry crayons and other art supplies.

In fact, if you are a merchant who sells crayons and art supplies for children and who welcomes NY, NC, RI and Co Affiliates, and want to get the word out, get in touch with me through Twitter. I will list you here right in the body of this post. You must welcome and accept Affiliates from ALL four states ( I will need to verify).


Lessons from Adolescence

The other day I was talking with my twelve year old daughter about being true to yourself. The conversation started when we were talking about choosing a high school and eventually college and a career. We talked about identifying interests and selecting a path in life.

As we travel down that path we sometimes need to take a detour and even alter our destination, but we always need to remain true to ourselves, maintaining our values, ethics and standards. I talked with her about how this sometimes means taking a different path than friends.

Throughout our lives many friends will come, and some may go, but we should not sacrifice our individuality, values, ethics or standards. As we spoke I realized that I could have a very similar conversation with many friends and business associates.

My advice,  select your path, identify your standards, values and ethics. Remain true to yourself.


Colorado and Updates for December

As I mentioned at Affiliate Advocacy, Colorado is now taking steps to tax online purchases by requiring out of state merchants to collect and remit the sales and use tax. You can read the details at Rocky Mountain Lows.

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter has stated that the Department of Revenue will adopt regulations that will implement the changes needed to enforce the “existing law”. Governor Ritter stated, “Though this will equate to new revenue to the State, this is not a change in tax policy; but rather, is an enforcement of existing law.”

The estimated increase in revenue is $5 million annually. He anticipated a July 1, 2010 start for the new level of enforcement of the nexus law.

I am unsure of exactly what steps Colorado needs to take to adopt new regulation. I have received conflicting answers. One answer I have received is that the legislators do not need to do anything, the revenue department is empowered to do what is needed to make this take effect. The other answers are that legislators will need to pass budget with this proposal intact or that they will need to pass a new act.

You may recall that prior to passing their version of the affiliate tax, North Carolina indicated that they didn’t really need to do it and that the revenue department could take whatever steps they needed to require the collection. That was the back up plan. It seems like this alternate path may be one that many other states take. Guess we can call it the “Quiet Affiliate tax”.

Combine this quiet approach with the approach of other states that are conducting audits and with the states that are working on legislation (Maryland, California, Florida…) we are in for a hectic year. Merchants should begin to explore the alternative of collecting the sales tax. There are companies that perform and simplify these tasks.

I recently posted a brief interview with Avalara. This would probably be a good time for merchants to read that and then follow up with them to learn more about real solutions.

See complete text of the budget proposal – Budget Reduction Proposal


Nexus Call at Affiliate Advocacy

Earlier today I announced that Affiliate Advocacy will be hosting a conference call to discuss how we can prepare for the possible and likely nexus legislation during the upcoming legislative session. The session is designed to help everyone prepare so they can react in an efficient  manner if and when nexus legislation is introduced. As we learned last year, even proposed legislation can severely impact the income of an affiliate. Merchants, program managers and networks are also susceptible.

In my opinion, the time to begin to prepare is now. Preparation is not panic; preparing is planning. By preparing now, affiliates can help safeguard their income.  Every affiliate in every state needs to realize that they can be affected by nexus laws. We will review the steps that every affiliate should take starting right now.  Affiliates need to take steps that are separate from fighting legislation. These steps will help ensure that no matter what happens regarding nexus, an affiliates business is not vulnerable. 

Affiliate Advocacy believes that it is not only the fight but the dealing with the after effects and the impact that is important.  Not every affiliate will be able to fight the legislative battles but they can safeguard their business. During this call we will also  discuss the legislative chatter regarding modernizing the nexus laws. In addition, we will discuss the role of networks and merchants as their help will be needed. We will talk about what all of us can do to prepare.

Join us for the call, not to panic, but to plan and to work together.

Title: “Affiliate Advocacy – Preparing for Nexus Legislation”
Date:  Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Time:  12:30 PM – 1:30 PM EST

Register now by clicking the link below:

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Changing a Name

Earlier today I announced a name change for Affiliate Voice LLC.  Although the name has changed my work remains the same.

For almost two years I have advocated on behalf of the industry, first as NY Affiliate Voice then more formally as Affiliate Voice LLC. I have made the decision to change the name  to Affiliate Advocacy. The new domain will be http://affiliateadvocacy.com.  All sponsorships and memberships moved.

My focus remains as it has always been; working to improve our industry and advocating for affiliate industry.

In addition to the name change, the Board of Directors has been dissolved.  I will continue to rely on others for input and advice, but for now I believe we should focus on building the foundation before running ahead of ourselves. Everyone can continue to email me direct, as they have been, with questions and concerns. 

All of my activities and advocacy work will continue. These activities include the webinars and education calls, monitoring Internet tax issues, and the work on our other projects including the Terms of Service Template. As always, should you wish to help on our projects just contact me.