Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tells the shareholders of his company (which sells products online at www.amazon.com) that it will stand firm against collecting sales taxes.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Internet retailers do not have to collect a state’s sales tax unless they have a physical presence there – - such as a store or a warehouse. As a result, Seattle-based Amazon collects sales taxes in only five states: Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota and Washington. Amazon has a shipping warehouse in Coffeyville, Kansas.
When you place an order online at Amazon, you’ll get the following explanation:
Unless otherwise noted above, items are sold by Amazon.com LLC and may be subject to sales tax in Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, or Washington.
We do not collect sales or use taxes in all states. For states imposing sales or use taxes, your purchase is subject to use tax unless it is specifically exempt from taxation. Your purchase is not exempt merely because it is made over the Internet or by other remote means. Many states require purchasers to file a sales/use tax return at the end of the year reporting all of the taxable purchases that were not taxed and to pay tax on those purchases. Details of how to file these returns may be found at the websites of your respective taxing authorities.
According to the Seattle Times:
Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos left little doubt that the company will stand its ground against efforts in many states to require the Internet giant to charge sales taxes on their behalf.
“We think our position is a good one,” Bezos said at Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting in downtown Seattle. “And we’ll stick with that.”
Amazon has closed or threatened to halt construction of warehouses in Texas, Tennessee and South Carolina rather than give in to efforts to make it collect sales taxes, and it has severed business relationships in other states that passed new sales-tax laws.