Posted in: Opinion

Amazon Sales Tax: New York Court Is Fighting For It

Amazon sales tax is at war in New York court

COMMENTARY | New York courts are fighting over the sales tax imposed by online retailer Amazon.com.

Wednesday, major online retailers Amazon.com Inc and Overstock.com told a New York state court that they should be allowed to not charge state sales tax. The case, in the State of New York Court of Appeals, represents one of the first legal hassles involving “Amazon taxes”. This tax is meant to make online retailers start charging by the state.

Amazon and Overstock attorneys argued that a 2008 New York law requiring companies with affiliates in the state to collect sales tax was a breach of the constitution. According to the Huffington Post, retailers with a physical presence in any state must collect sales tax on purchases made either in a store or online.

But wait, isn’t Amazon corporate headquarters based in Seattle, Washington? Washington state has no state sales tax, so why should they demand it from other states? As previously reported in The Inquisitr, Amazon will be charging sales tax in Connecticut.

Amazon is hoping to remedy the situation by building new warehouses in other states, such as one in California, to cut down on shipping time. According to the New York Times, others are under way in Indiana, New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, in regards to the new warehouse being built in California states:

“We want fast delivery. We can work on making it the next day.”

Yet this isn’t stopping Amazon from wanting to pull out of Tennessee over the sales tax war. What aren’t they telling us?

Legislation to finalize these issues of sales tax has been introduced in the US Congress. The case has not come to a vote, and may end up before the US Supreme Court. Randy Mastro, a partner with law firm Gibson Dunn, representing Amazon said the case will be appealed either way.

How do you feel about Amazon’s tax policy? Should we pay state sales tax buying from an online store?

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Comments

4 Responses to “Amazon Sales Tax: New York Court Is Fighting For It”

  1. Keith Yockey

    The issue is over click-thru advertising, and the websites/blogs located in NY are considered Amazon Employees according to the NY law. This is clearly unconstitutional.

    The other States mentioned have warehouses, which constitutes physical nexus, a totally different issue.

    Last, it is Oregon that has no Sales Tax, Washington State DOES have Sales Tax.