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Summary Of NY Tax Session at Affiliate Summit East

The NY Tax Session at Affiliate Summit was an amazing and productive experience that benefited many. I decided to split my thoughts on the session into two posts – Summary and Impact. During the NY Tax Issues and Solution at Affiliate Summit East 2008, the panel had the the opportunity to discuss not only the solution and knowledge of the law but also the impact it has had.

During our introductions, Clarke D Walton, Internet attorney;  Chris Henger, of Google Affiliate Network; Kim Rodgers, Affiliate Manager of 4Checks and I each had an opportunity to present how the law affected us. The discussion was moderated by Adam Riemer.

I had the opportunity to present the impact the law has had on affiliates. I began by explaining that NYAffiliateVoice.com is my personal blog and is independent of any group. I felt that was important because it had to be clear that any opinions I expressed were my own. I gave an overview of what it was like mid-May thru the current day. I spoke of receiving terminations, of work that had to be done and redone over again when a new round of terminations hit. I tried to liken it to a store owner having a store with nothing on the shelves yet still trying to earn a living.

I provided a brief summary of the Albany meeting that Kevin Webster and I co chaired. I tried to convey that the key to the success in Albany was that affiliates, merchants and program managers met for a business meeting and worked together as business partners; and we did this with mutual respect. I mentioned that we had retained a NYS Tax attorney  for services and as a result we had not only an understanding of the law we had the solution.

Kim Rodgers, Affiliate Manager of 4Checks then spoke on the impact of the law on her company and what she did to work through it.  She described what it was like for her that last week in May when the decision was made to terminate NY Affiliates. She announced that her company was now allowing NY affiliates back into her program and confirmed that the process was indeed simple.

Clarke D Walton, Internet attorney, presented definition of nexus and other keywords as well as an explanation of the current law  with and overview of what led up to it. It was reassuring to many to have a lawyer on the panel with knowledge and understanding of the law. Chris Henger, of Google Affiliate Network, presented the network perspective and the steps they have taken to facilitate merchants gathering the information they require. Google Affiliate Network has taken an initiative and makes it very simple for merchants to obtain the information they need to both help make educated decisions and to implement the solution. In my opinion, opening up a direct communication channel between affiliate and merchant is a critical part of improving the industry.

In the next part of the session Kim and I presented the solution. We then all discussed the solution and passed out copies of the paperwork. We took questions from the audience. The solution was well received and I think many were shocked as to how simple it is. If you missed the session and are not familiar with the steps to comply with the law, I’ve posted  an overview of the NY Tax Solution here.

I think we brought clarity and understanding to not only the tax issue and solution, but on another issue that is critical aspect of our industry. I’ll talk more about that in my next post.

We had good feedback from the audience both during and after the session. I exchanged several business cards but if we missed each other please feel free to contact me via this website or even facebook.

It was an honor to sit on the panel with Adam, Clark, Chris and Kim. I received several compliments that we were a great team,  and I am proud to have been able to participate.

Many thanks to Shawn Collins and Missy Ward for adding the New York Tax session to the Affiliate Summit. Based on the feedback I received, many New York Affiliates will benefit from the session as reinstatement to several programs is about to happen. More about the impact of the tax session in my next post.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Shawn Collins August 14, 2008, 3:18 pm

    Thanks for all of your work on the issue – we’ll have the video from the session in a few weeks or so.

  • Adam Riemer August 14, 2008, 7:02 pm

    I would like to thank you and all of the panelists for being on the NY Panel. It takes a lot of time and energy to organize a panel and finding a group like the four of you is no easy feat.

    You all did a fantastic job and we gave an extremely informative presentation.

    Thank you again for coming on board with the Panel.

    Adam

  • Melanie August 14, 2008, 7:27 pm

    Thank you Shawn, it was a pleasure. Judging by the feedback I received, both merchants and affiliates are also deeply appreciative that you added the session. Thank you for showing such support for NY affiliates.

  • Melanie August 14, 2008, 7:40 pm

    Thank you Adam for moderating. Some of us were a bit nervous and it was good to have you there!

  • Kim Rodgers August 14, 2008, 8:34 pm

    I was one of the nervous ones! :)

    What a fantastic opportunity to be on the panel with such educated and passionate people. I am so proud of you Melanie, for having the inner strength to fight for this and for treating me like a partner and not “the merchant that kicked out affiliates. ”

    I am grateful to Adam for inviting me to be a part of the discussion, and to my fellow panelists. I am also happy to hear from many merchants that are taking the information provided to them and moving forward on the solution. It really is quite simple to comply and I look forward to many more merchants grasping this simplicity and making changes.

    I do believe the best outcome of this situation for me personally was collaborating as a group to find solution. No finger pointing, no blame, just a group of people who care trying to solve the ambiguity of the situation.

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