A story out of Massachusetts may be the crack in the dam for collection of Internet sales tax receipts.
Amazon today agreed to start collecting sales taxes on customers in Massachusetts, and it did so without any legislation requiring it to.
"We are thankful Amazon was willing to come to the table and we will continue our conversations with them about creating jobs here," Gov. Deval Patrick said today. "This agreement is a win for all sides, and I am pleased it promises to generate millions in long-term revenue for the Commonwealth."
Like Minnesota, Massachusetts has been under pressure from brick-and-mortar stores to start collecting the tax.
Unlike Minnesota, as far as we know, the state didn't wait for lawmakers to pass legislation. It started negotiating with Amazon, which has a research facility in Cambridge.
In Minnesota, people who order more than $770 of goods over the Internet are required to pay a sales tax, but the sellers aren't required to be the one to collect it. People are supposed to fill out forms online and pay the money, which everyone does. Wink.
Efforts to change the system have gone nowhere in Minnesota.
When I used to do the sales and use tax for my old job that was one (ordering something and not paying sales tax) that was always hard to swallow.
Were were audited on Sales and Use tax a few years back. I was on vacation so my boss had to go over the numbers. They found a internet purchase I missed (no winks, really just missed) for about $13-16 in tax. Demanded it on the spot.
$770? is that total, or average?
If it's total, it's cool MN I'll cover the sales tax for your purchases this time around, some one else can get it next time around.