Photo: Stephen Garfield (Flickr)
Indiana retailers are pressing legislators to crack down on unpaid sales taxes from internet purchases. The Indiana retail council estimates Indiana is losing at least a $250 million a year in sales taxes because online shoppers ignore the requirement to add the sales tax to their state income tax form.
President Grant Monahan says bricks-and-mortar stores can‘t compete against what amounts to a seven-percent discount. You‘re already supposed to pay sales tax when you shop online, but most people don‘t. And federal courts have ruled states can‘t force businesses to collect it unless they have a physical presence in the state.
At least five states have passed so-called Amazon laws to get at that money by targeting in-state affiliates which work with e-commerce sites. Retailers are pressing legislators to include a similar provision in the budget bill.
Monahan says he‘s encouraged at the reception the proposal has gotten. Amazon itself operates two distribution centers in Indiana.
Monahan says the company should be forced not only to charge sales tax to Indiana customers, but pay four years of back taxes.