Amazon.ca competitor falsified returns to shut me down. Reorganizing business.

Income tax policy, rules, problems, strategy and software. Property and consumption taxes too.
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albertcanada
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Amazon.ca competitor falsified returns to shut me down. Reorganizing business.

Post by albertcanada » 10 Dec 2017 00:13

Roughly 6 months ago I was making a living selling on Amazon.ca. I had a niche product I was selling which was a very small portion of my overall business revenue making a very small income. If I knew what was going to happen I would have dropped the item.

I had a very aggressive competitor who sent me threatening messages to remove my listing. He retaliated by buying all my stock of this item using multiple accounts and then making A-Z claims on all of them stating they were fake. This resulted in an immediate Amazon.ca suspension. After several months of back-and-fourth with Amazon they refused to budge. Their decision was final. If you search Amazon suspensions online you will see many situations like this where very successful business who employ people get shut down for trivial matters or unethical competitors. Communication with Amazon becomes very slow and cryptic and they can take weeks or months to reply. Their response are not normal dialogue like a human you can talk with, but instead giant blocks of cookie cutter response which give vague response. Your chance of getting reinstated depends more on the mood of the representative on your case than anything it appears. I have also approached legal council but this venue did not prove viable.

For the past 7 months I've been on government assistance, scraping by and trying to find a solution. I was able to create two new Amazon accounts and they've been running for several months now and I am starting to become self-reliant again.

**Now heres this issue**

I am a registered business as a sole-proprietor and am liable for GST/HST remittance to the Canada Revenue Agency. In order to collect GST/HST on Amazon.ca you must give your "Federal Tax ID" which is your Business Number with the CRA. This number is used by the CRA to uniquely identity you and collect GST/HST.

If I do not collect this GST/HST on my new accounts I will be liable for all uncollected tax (13% of gross revenue). After a certain threshold Amazon will ask for tax information regardless. If I enter my Business Number this will immediately link me to my old account and Amazon will suspend me again.

Heres where it gets tricky. The Business Number "GST/HST" number unique to you. You can only have one number. The only way to change the number is you change your legal structure between 1) Sole Proprietor, 2) Partnership, 3) Corporation, 4) Declare bankruptcy. But this still only provides you with a single number. I have multiple accounts to not leave all my eggs in one basket and each would need their unique numbers.

My options:

1) Enter a random "Federal Tax ID" which would force Amazon.ca to start collecting for me. I believe Amazon.ca will report the tax collected on the account to the Canada Revenue Agency and give the random "Federal Tax ID" I had given them. The CRA will then start ask why this person is not remitting this tax or why it does not exist. This is very concerning stuff and I dont know how it will turn out.

2) Find a legal business structure and get two unique business numbers to do this correctly.

Option 2 is obviously what I want. What legal structures (if any) would I be able to pursue to generate two unique business numbers to use with my new Amazon accounts? What advice do you have for me?

Disclaimer: Reinstating my old account is not an option. I've been with communication with Amazon for almost a year, they've said their decision was final in a dozen emails and ceased communicating with me. I've tried every avenue.

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ghariton
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Re: Amazon.ca competitor falsified returns to shut me down. Reorganizing business.

Post by ghariton » 10 Dec 2017 14:21

I am not qualified to answer most of your post, and anyway this is the wrong forum for complaints about business relationships. The one bit of information I can supply is that an individual can have any number of private corporations, each with its own business number. So yes, you can have multiple business numbers through different corporations.

George
The plural of anecdote is NOT data.

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