Amazon has long fought to keep its customers from paying sales tax, but now that's looking like a losing battle. More and more states are now forcing customers to pay sales tax on Amazon purchases. In fact, 69% of Americans can expect to pay a little extra tax on any purchase they make on the online retail giant.
In the past, Amazon's lack of sales tax was a huge selling point for the company. But, states are now cracking down on that advantage by citing an old Supreme Court ruling.
Now, Amazon perceives itself as disadvantaged versus online rivals such as eBay and Overstock. That's because a 1992 Supreme Court ruling allows states to apply sales tax to any retailer with operations in the state, which some states have interpreted to include partners.
Amazon customers who live in states that have the company's offices, warehouse or distribution facilities have probably paid taxes for a while now. But, citing that ruling means that states could also force customers to pay sales tax if any of Amazon's partners operate in their state. That's casting a really wide net because Amazon works with almost every major retailer across the country to sell goods.
But, that doesn't mean every state forces you to pay sales tax on Amazon. There are still a few out there where you can get by tax-free.