Amazon flips on sales tax collection stance

Amazon.com pulled a 180 last week when it threw a stance of strong support behind federal legislation to force online buyers to pay a sales tax, according to Seattle Times.

In late July, Amazon closed its affiliate sales program from Arkansas where legislators were considering enacting a mandate to force online retailers to charge its customers the state sales tax.

In statements earlier this summer Amazon said because it doesn’t have a physical location in Arkansas, it shouldn’t be required to charge its customers the state sales tax.

Now, however, the online giant has changed its tune and thrown full support behind a federal bill that would allow states to force online retailers to collect sales taxes from their customers.

Introduced by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, the Marketplace Fairness Act would allow states to collect an estimated $23 billion in uncollected sales taxes, according to the S-T.

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3 Responses to Amazon flips on sales tax collection stance

  1. Ken Hamilton says:

    Why is this even a federal issue?

  2. The lone reader says:

    “Why is this even a federal issue?” Because it deals with interstate trade.

    This bill is workable because of two issues. First it removes exempts sellers that have less than $500,000 in sales and second, creates a simplified system.

    The biggest problem an out of state seller has to deal with are the huge number of different taxes in some states. Take El Dorado for example. A retailer can’t use the name of the town or even the zip code to get the correct local tax because “El Dorado” and 71730 covers areas inside and outside the county.

    That said people need to remember that when you order from someplace like Amazon or any other Internet or catalog company that doesn’t charge sales tax they are required by law to report it to the state and pay Use tax. No one does and with the exception of businesses and a few that do things like build airplanes from kits bought out of state.

  3. Ken Hamilton says:

    It ought to simply be handled like orders from catalogs.

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