TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, July 30, 2011

NY Times: Should You Pay Sales Tax on Amazon Purchases?

Room for Debate New York Times, Room for Debate: Should You Pay Sales Tax on Amazon Purchases?:

Facing a persistent budget gap, California recently passed a law that requires Internet retailers to collect sales tax if they have affiliates or subsidiaries in the state. Amazon, the world's largest online merchant, is fighting back, trying to get a referendum on the ballot to exempt virtual sellers with only a modest physical presence in California. The stakes are huge: the state is likely to forgo $1.9 billion next year in taxes on online sales, according to a University of Tennessee study.

Other states are watching the case closely. On Tuesday, Amazon said that it would collect sales tax only if there were a federal solution, rather than a patchwork of state-by-state laws.

Should states require online retailers like Amazon to collect sales taxes?

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I wish states would just stick to trying to collect taxes from businesses within their own state. If they want to get a cut of the Amazon business, the should enforce the use law (that I am sure is) in place. That may be much more difficult for the state though, and a lot more aggravating to the citizens. Which is all good, in the greater scheme of things.

Posted by: Loren | Aug 1, 2011 9:41:27 AM