Bezos to shareholders: Simplified sales tax will happen

Seattle Times

Seattle Times: Amazon tells shareholders it will stand firm on sales taxes

According to an article in the Seattle Times, at a shareholder meeting on Tuesday Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expressed support for the Main Street Fairness Act (without mentioning it by name):

Bezos reiterated his support of federal efforts to minimize the many differences among states on sales-tax collection from Internet retailers. Asked by one shareholder to look ahead 10 years, Bezos said, “I believe we’ll have the simplified sales-tax initiative passed.”

“I hope it might happen much sooner than that,” he added. “It’s the right thing to do, and I think it would be great for Amazon.”

However, he reiterated that Amazon is opposed to state-by-state legislation attempting to require online retailers to collect sales tax.

One clarification: It may be difficult to understand from the article that sales tax is already due on online sales. Currently the consumer is required to send the tax due directly to the state if the retailer doesn’t collect it.

The Main Street Fairness Act would allow states that have adopted sales tax simplification measures (thus making it easy for retailers to collect sales tax for multiple states) to require online retailers to collect sales tax.

 

2 Responses to Bezos to shareholders: Simplified sales tax will happen

  1. Kumar says:

    Wily Bezos is no dummy. Mr. Danny Diaz, instead of dismissing Bezos’ forked-tongue embrace of online sales tax as “disingenuous and convoluted”, should “think like a criminal” and understand that almost a third of items sold by Amazon are third-party sales.

    With almost universal consensus that small online retailers should be exempt from sales tax, Amazon will continue to be the go-to destination for sales-tax-free shopping. Amazon is molding its business model as a platform for advertising, payment processing, warehousing, order fulfillment etc. for these small third-party merchants. So B&M retailers will continue to face the same vexing un-level playing field even if the Main St. Fairness Act becomes law.

    So, proponents of the legislation should rethink the well-intentioned exemption for small retailers or tighten the language so that it does not once again provide a loophole for Amazon to gleefully exploit.

  2. […] federal legislation regarding online sales tax, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has publicly supported many times. Without federal legislation, individual states are creating a multitude of laws that end up […]

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