Thumbs its Nose at CA Sales Tax Law

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA—, an online digital printing company, will stop collecting California sales tax effective immediately. The company recently opened a production center here, which cut its delivery time from four business days to one on most of the West Coast. As a result, its physical presence in the state makes subject to California commerce laws that require the company to collect sales tax from any customer whose printing products are delivered to California.

Previously the company, which is incorporated in Minnesota and has its headquarters in Wisconsin, only collected sales tax for work delivered to WIsconsin customers.’s management contends it understands the state’s massive budgetary problems, but thinks collecting sales tax on e-commerce is the wrong way to solve them.

“We’re helping the economy, first and foremost,” said President and CEO David Pressley. “We help schools, small businesses, non-profits and even government agencies save tens of thousands of dollars while bringing more money into the San Luis Obispo community. We don’t think it’s fair to ask these customers to carry the burden of sales tax when it was the governing bodies, not the private sector, who got themselves into this budget problem in the first place.”

During the last five years, has nearly doubled its workforce. Requiring online companies to collect sales tax is one way government could stifle this sort of growth, Pressley added.

The company is working with its CPA and legal firms to investigate the legality of this move. For the time being, though, it will not be charging sales tax.

  • jay copy

    New York has the same law as Ca. If you ship to New York customers and product was produced in New York sales taxes have to be collected from the customer unless that customer is tax exempt. It has always been so. My strong advise is to start collecting the sales taxes from here on and pay them to Ca. Make a deal with the tax dept. and pay the back taxes due. If you don’t you will be sorry later. I am located in Albany NY and have done much business with the state. I have good friends in the tax dept. PAY THE TAXES

  • barry w

    This is just getting a million dollars of free publicity. They dont collect sales tax but they will certainly pay it.

    The smaller "page 12" story will start off with "upon further legal advice"….

  • John

    Washington State Tax Law – Use tax is due when Goods are purchased in another state or
    country without paying sales tax or the amount paid was lower than Washington’s
    sales tax. This includes items mailed or carried into the state.
    Goods are purchased out-of-state from an Internet seller or a mail-order catalog
    company and sales or use tax has not been paid.

  • Midwest Printer

    Interesting approach — break the law and tell everyone about it. Some of California’s budget problems might relate to their prison system . . . but I’m sure they’ll be able to find room for David Pressley. Had Docucopies put some thought into this, I’m sure they could have found a suitable manufacturing location in Nevada, thus avoiding the California tax problem altogether. One can easily imagine that Docucopies’ laudable success is likely to come to an end . . . a victim of the Peter Principal.

  • buzz

    Just ask Al Capone about this.

  • Johnny Law

    Good luck with that. It’ll be fun to have to pay penalty and interest on what you don’t collect. Only the lawyers will win.

  • James

    Gee I think I’ll stop paying taxes too. I mean…it’s just fines and prison I’d be facing. No big deal, right?

  • SillyString

    So by this logic, if a California car dealership allows customers to purchase a car online, and delivers the car to the end user in California, the end user should not pay the sales and use tax? Good luck to you Docucopies……..

  • Print Dude

    Amazon fought a good fight, and in the end they’re essentially bribing their way out of paying sales tax in some communities. By setting up their massive, city-like distribution houses and creating a ton of jobs, certain cities are refunding most of their sales tax as a reward for propping up the city. While this sounds reasonable, where do you draw the boundaries? Should companies like 3M or IBM or giant military contractors also not pay sales tax if they employ X% amount of a community?

    Anyway, I agree with Barry. I’ll bet Docucopies is still paying sales tax, just not "collecting" it.