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Amazon to collect DC sales tax

  • Sep 21, 2016 | Gail Cole

 D.C. residents to pay sales tax on Amazon purchases beginning October 1, 2016.

Beginning October 1, 2016, Amazon will collect Washington, D.C. sales tax.

The news, revealed last Friday by an Amazon spokesperson, is intriguing. The actual statement, emailed to WTOP, read as follows: “Amazon will be required to collect sales tax in Washington, D.C. beginning on October 1.” Why “required?”

The internet retailer does not have a physical presence in the District, as it does in many of the states where it collects tax — unless you count The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. The District of Columbia does not have affiliate, click-through, or economic nexus laws that would require remote retailers to collect tax on sales to D.C. residents. So why is Amazon required to collect sales tax?

There is speculation that Amazon plans to open a store in the District. Although first and foremost an online retailer, the company does have three brick-and-mortar book stores: in Portland, Oregon, San Diego, and Seattle. It is currently hiring employees for a store in Dedham, Massachusetts (near Boston), and is reportedly looking for a good location in Washington D.C.

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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.