Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Amazon's decision on sales tax brings scrutiny

A Wall Street Journal columnist today examines Amazon's strategy to avoid collecting sales tax in eight states, reporting that several tax experts say the bookseller's legal case appears to be weak.

"Despite operating hundreds of thousands of square feet of distribution facilities in the eight states, Amazon says it doesn't have any presence in them," the column says. "The company argues that it doesn't operate the plants, its wholly owned subsidiaries do."

Online retailers don't have to collect sales tax except where they have a physical presence. Texas is reviewing Amazon's position, the Journal says.