Online Sales Tax Holiday Ends Today

Amazon will begin to charge sales tax Saturday

by Brian Leubitz

I've mentioned before that online purchases aren't supposed to be tax-free. Purchasers are supposed to pay use tax, but it turns out that few people actually do that. After the big hubub last year with Amazon threatening California affiliates, they agreed to start collecting taxes in 2012.  And guess what, that date is tomorrow, September 15.

A deal inked last year between Amazon and Sacramento means that, for most items shipped from the online retailer's warehouses, sales tax will be collected at checkout starting tomorrow. But, as CNET reported earlier this week, that doesn't apply to hundreds of thousands of items "fulfilled" by Amazon from its warehouses on behalf of other sellers.

That means a New York camera shop could have inventory located in an Amazon warehouse outside of San Francisco, and provide next-day -- or even same-day -- tax-free delivery to northern California customers.

"You can assume we'll have ways of finding out who's holding stocks of goods in California," a representative of the State Board of Equalization, which collects California sales taxes, told CNET. "We have enforcement authority to obtain information in a variety of ways. We'll be approaching them with respect to their tax obligations." (CNET)

It won't bring the deficit down overnight, but everything helps these days. The marketplace sellers, while substantial, are relatively small, but those too will also come in line.

Go to CA State Page
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