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Georgia: Amazon in Violation of Sales Tax Law?

  • Jan 24, 2013 | Gail Cole

 Georgia Wants Its Share of Online Sales Tax Revenue.

Many people in Georgia have had Amazon on the mind since the start of 2013, when House Bill 386 took effect. The bill requires online retailers that advertise on Georgia-based affiliate websites to collect and remit sales tax. To date, there is no evidence that Amazon has done so.

Under the new law, "[s]hoppers buying items from Amazon.com to be shipped to Georgia should be prompted to pay sales tax… ." However, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reports that "repeated checks of Amazon.com show that isn't happening." Overstock.com and Vitacost.com, two other larger online retailers, have terminated their relationships with Georgia-based websites in response to the law.

Thus far, Amazon has not commented on the issue. While it has made deals with some states to expand its presence and eventually collect and remit sales and use tax, it has also fought states over the issue. There is speculation that Amazon is biding its time in Georgia, waiting to be challenged so that it can go to court. "By provoking an audit, Amazon may set itself up to challenge the constitutionality of Georgia's law… ." (AJC).

The silent treatment certainly makes some folks uncomfortable. The president of the Georgia Retail Association, which advocates for retail businesses in the state, has said that "Georgia's retail businesses are very troubled by this flaunting of the tax code."

If Amazon does intend to remit sales tax to the state of Georgia, it has until February 20, 2013, to do so.

Until then, we'll just have to wait.

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Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.