Calif. Passes Law Requiring Online Retailers to Charge Sales Tax

Lyla Katz

SACRAMENTO — California has become the latest state to be dropped from Amazon’s affiliate program, less than two weeks after Amazon took the same action with affiliates in Arkansas and Connecticut because of tax reasons.

Amazon reportedly dropped California affiliates after Gov. Jerry Brown passed a portion of the state budget that would require large out-of-state Internet retailers with affiliates in the state to collect taxes from customers who reside in California.

The law would require online businesses with affiliates in California to report and pay sales tax. But there are exceptions to the law. Small businesses that recorded less than $500,000 in revenue for the last 12 months, wouldn’t be subject to the law, provided that “total cumulative sales price from all of the retailer’s sales” didn’t exceed $10,000.

In a letter to its California affiliates, Amazon said that it opposed the law because it is “unconstitutional and counterproductive,” according to the LA Times.

Smaller business owners say they will be hurt by the new law because it will result in a loss of jobs and revenue.

The new tax collection requirement is expected to raise an estimated $317 million a year in new state and local government revenue.

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