The Alliance for Main Street Fairness, a trade and lobbying organization representing “brick and mortar” retailers, have issued a press release calling for Amazon to quit breaking the law. Amazon should be collecting sales taxes on purchases made by Georgia residents based on Georgia’s recent tax reform package that expanded the definition of who must collect taxes on Georgia sales. Says the group via press release:
Georgia’s small business owners collect and remit the state’s sales tax everyday from their customers,” said Sean Donnelly, spokesperson for AMSF in Georgia. “For some reason, Amazon.com believes they are above the law and can play by a different set of rules. Clearly Amazon.com is doing everything they can to protect their unfair advantage over local retailers, but it is time to put a stop to this special treatment once and for all.”
“Amazon continues to thumb its nose at the state of Georgia by not collecting our state sales tax,” said Ben Johnson, owner of Liberty Technology in Griffin, Georgia. “If I did that, I’d be in big trouble with the state. I’m not sure why Amazon thinks they should be treated differently than every other business in Georgia-but they shouldn’t get away with it. If any other business in Georgia conducted themselves this way, they’d be hauled into court.”
As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Shoppers buying items from Amazon.com to be shipped to Georgia should be prompted to pay sales tax under the law that took effect Jan. 1. But repeated checks of Amazon.com show that isn’t happening.” Georgia small business owners and elected officials are all asking the same question – why is one retailer failing to follow Georgia law?
As more and more taxes are collected via sales taxes (and with proposals before the GA General Assembly to transition the income tax into additional sales tax, the advantage given to out of state retailers will become more and more of an incentive for people to invest elsewhere to sell into Georgia. “E-Fairness” is a concept that upsets many, but without it we continue to maintain a system that punishes those who invest here while rewarding competitors from other states.