Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Amazon begins tacking sales tax onto Indiana customers' purchases

Truth Staff
Posted on Jan. 4, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 4, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.

ELKHART – As 2013 fades into the past, so do the days of sales tax-free shopping at the web's largest marketplace –

As of the new year, online shoppers in Indiana, Nevada and Tennessee had to begin paying sales taxes on Amazon purchases, joining the 19 states that were already doing so, the Wall Street Journal reported. Up until now, the company has depended on customers to account for the difference in their annual income tax returns.

The decision, which was made two years ago, will require the retail giant to tack Indiana's 7 percent sales tax onto all purchases. In part, the change was made because nondigital business owners' complained Amazon's bypassing state sales taxes gave it an unfair advantage over them. The controversy peaked when Simon Property Group, LC filed suit against the state because of the disparity, which resulted in a settlement that stipulated Amazon begin charging sales tax in 2014.

Robert Thatcher, the general manager and director of leasing at Concord Mall, believed the decision would benefit communities in Indiana when the Truth interviewed him regarding the decision after it was made in January 2012.

"It's all good news for brick-and-mortar, mom-and-pop retailers," Thatcher said. "It brings parity to the competitive marketplace.

Despite the change costing online shoppers in Indiana more money, Jillian Koeneman, a Goshen-ite who buys electronics and books through Amazon, said she doesn't think it will affect her use of the website.

"As a whole, I try to shop locally as much as I can, and I use Amazon as a secondary source," Koeneman said.

All things considered, Koeneman thinks tacking sales tax onto Amazon purchases is a good thing for consumers and the state.

"Not only will the state get more revenue, but for the buyer it makes it easier because you won't have to go back and make that calculation (in your annual income tax returns)," she said.

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