CHICAGO (AP) - Amazon will start collecting sales tax from Illinois consumers next month to comply with a new state law, the company said.
The Seattle-based e-commerce giant will be required to collect the 6.25 percent tax starting Feb. 1, Amazon spokesman Ty Rogers said Friday. “Amazon offers the best prices with or without sales tax,” he said.
Illinois lawmakers passed the measure last year after the state Supreme Court threw out an earlier attempt at legislation. The court ruled the earlier law violated federal rules against “discriminatory taxes” on digital transactions. The updated law addressed the court’s concerns.
State retailers supported the legislation to level the playing field for brick-and-mortar businesses.
“We want to say welcome, Amazon, to Illinois,” said Rob Karr of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
Illinois taxpayers who purchased items online were supposed to do the math and add the owed sales tax when figuring their state income-tax return in the spring. That left taxpayers subject to audit and penalties if they miscalculated, Karr said. “Remote sellers are putting consumers in a bad position by not collecting” the tax, Karr said.
It’s unclear how much tax revenue Amazon sales will generate, but it could amount to tens of millions of dollars. The Illinois Department of Revenue estimated uncollected taxes in 2013 from online purchases from Amazon and other retailers at $212 million.
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