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Feds looking at ‘Amazon Tax’

Written on
Apr 21, 2009 
Author
Edward Barrera  |

government.jpgADOTAS — The federal government might soon trump the state to state fight to stop online sales taxes.

Congress is expected to introduce a bill this week that would force retailers like eBay and Amazon.com to start collecting sales taxes on behalf of states from people who shop online or through mail order, according to the NY Post.  California affiliate members were trying to scuttle a change in the tax law that would force companies with no physical presence in the state to collect taxes there.  This would trump that fight.

New York has recently passed a similar bill, nicknamed the Amazon Tax. Both Amazon and Overstock have fought the law and lost, but both are appealing. While Amazon continued in New York, Overstock ended its partnerships with affiliates.

“This would be fiscal relief for the states that wouldn’t require any money from the federal government,” Neal Osten told the Post. Osten, a senior policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, which is drafting the bill, pointed to a recent study that said state sales tax collections fell to their lowest levels in 50 years at the end of 2008.

Expected to be introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-WYO, and Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-MA, is being drafted to make it easier for retailers by requiring states to inform retailers when there’s a change in the tax code, such as a sales tax holiday.





Edward is the former editor of Adotas.

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Before that, he was metro editor and city editor for the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group, where he was in charge of local news. Besides managing daily content, including multimedia, he oversaw investigative stories. He also led a team in revamping the group's website.

Before that, he was a reporter and blogger, covering business, politics and government for newspapers in New York and California.

Reader Comments.

Good news for brick and mortar stores. Bad news for any e-commerce site that requires shipping and handling fees. Amazing how direct mail catalogs have avoided this issue for over 100 years.

Posted by Chris Smith | 11:20 am on April 20, 2009.

this is the biggest load of crap. the government can’t stop spending money so they keep digging into our pockets. Lots of mom and pop online stores will be affected by this and plenty of online buyers will be hit by this. I already hate paying taxes from certain retailers that I buy online from – they charge taxes on me. I live in an area where the bricks and mortar stores qualify for 3.5% sales tax (half of the state’s tax) because it’s considered an urban area.

This is ridiculous! The Government needs to stop spending. Do like all of us – spend what it gets, not spend what it doesn’t have!

Posted by AK Works | 11:49 am on April 20, 2009.

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