Amazon notified its marketplace sellers Tuesday that it would be handing over important merchant information to Massachusetts tax officials by January 26, 2018.
This is the first time that the online retailer giant has turned over seller data to state tax officials and could mean that Amazon will soon be doing the same in other states.
Amazon said in September that they would not hand over merchant information to Massachusetts state officials, but CNBC reported that Amazon “decided to comply after receiving a ‘valid and binding legal demand’ from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.”
Pace University law professor Paul Rafelson told CNBC that Amazon’s refusal to initially give up merchant information to Massachusetts tax officials was a “pretend fight” in an attempt by the online retailer to mitigate its own liability.
This stunning move, which could lead to consumers being taxed for online purchases from businesses with no physical presence in their state, will undoubtedly upset some Amazon consumers who overwhelmingly oppose an internet sales tax.
A recent poll conducted by Rasmussen found that 66 percent “of respondents said they opposed a sales tax on items purchased online, even if the store is not located in their state.”
Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, also recently bashed efforts by states to expand online sales taxes, saying these efforts were tantamount to “taxation without representation.”
Amazon’s decision to hand over important merchant information to the state of Massachusetts will have far reaching consequences that might result in backlash from consumers aimed towards the Amazon.