Monika Miles, Tax Advisor

States are continuing to come up with ways to collect sales tax from online sellers (specifically Amazon’s third-party sellers). South Carolina recently filed a motion in court to force Amazon to collect these taxes and fees on behalf of its third-party sellers.

As it is now, Amazon collects sales tax on items purchased directly from them, but the retail giant does not collect it on sales made on the site by a third party. South Carolina is claiming it could lose more than $500 million in sales tax if Amazon doesn’t begin collecting them now, and is asking the court to require the retailer to charge sales tax and put it into a trust or escrow-type account until the case is settled. Read More

For decades, states have sought ways to get remote (non-present) vendors to collect sales/use tax when they sell to customers in the state. States have been pushing Congress to provide assistance and many have enacted laws to broaden their nexus reach.

I’ve been researching, writing and testifying on this topic for many years. One of my suggestions has been to only let the state and its agencies purchase from vendors that are registered with the state to collect sales tax. That is, if a vendor wants to have the state or any of its agencies be a customer, it must register to collect sales/use tax.

Before California enacted its “Amazon law” in 2011, I always thought it was odd that my Read More