Lawmakers Trying to Tame Amazon in Sales Tax Fight
Florida lawmakers want Internet retailers such as Amazon to start collecting and handing over sales taxes when consumers in the Sunshine State shop online. The push to get it done may go nowhere this year, lawmakers say, in part because it appears Amazon simply can refuse to do it. That's because Amazon has no physical presence in Florida. The Seattle-based retailer sells billions of dollars in merchandise here every year, but it has no warehouses in Florida. No delivery trucks. No employees. Even the Legislature's staff analysis of several Internet sales tax bills found "it remains unclear" whether Florida could compel Amazon to collect taxes given the constitutional issues. According to Tax Partner Bernie Barton, "Companies will likely challenge any such legislation, and some are challenging such new laws in other states."