Seems Like Amazon Is Disregarding Georgia’s Efforts To Collect Sales Tax

Back on New Year’s Eve, we predicted that a new state law intended to compel Amazon to collect sales tax on purchases made by Georgia residents would probably fail — and that seems to be exactly what is happening.

Under the previous law, online retailers had to collect sales tax on purchases made by people in Georgia if the website had any sort of physical presence in the state. The new law attempted to expand the definition of physical presence to include ads placed on sites based in Georgia.

And yet, nearly a month on, Amazon is still running ads on Georgia-based websites and still not collecting sales tax, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Our expectation is that the law would be abided by,” the executive counsel to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal tells the AJC.

A law professor at U. Conn. who reviewed the Georgia law says, “My inference is that [Amazon] feel comfortable challenging the legislation, probably with good reason… They probably feel comfortable not collecting. Georgia’s going to have litigation they probably didn’t expect.”

Meanwhile the president and CEO of the Georgia Retail Association, who had previously said he was “not very optimistic” the new law would succeed, says it may consider a lawsuit against Amazon if the online giant refuses to start collecting sales tax.

Amazon had made deals with about a dozen states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, and California, to collect taxes on purchases by those states’ residents.

This is the point where we remind you that, regardless of whether or not Amazon collects the sales tax, you are still obligated to pay the tax yourself when you file your tax return — excepting those few states that do not have sales tax.