- Associated Press - Saturday, December 24, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Online retailer Amazon plans to start collecting sales taxes on purchases in Nebraska on Jan. 1, the company announced Friday.

The decision could generate millions of dollars in additional tax revenue for the state, although precise estimates aren’t yet available.

State Tax Commissioner Tony Fulton said the announcement will help ensure Nebraska consumers comply with existing laws. Consumers already are legally required to report and pay the tax through their annual tax returns, but few ever do.

Fulton said Amazon’s move is “exhibiting responsible corporate citizenship” and creating a chance to educate Nebraska residents about the law.

“The tax is owed. So their announcement will just help Nebraskans to comply with the existing law,” Fulton said.

Fulton said the Nebraska Department of Revenue will work on an estimate to see how much revenue the collections might generate.

The news follows a similar announcement by Amazon in Iowa, as more states push to collect taxes on internet purchases. Under current law, Internet retailers are not required to collect sales taxes on purchases from a state unless they have a physical presence in that state, such as a retail store or warehouse.

The policy bothers brick-and-mortar retailers, who say it creates unfair competition because they’re required to collect the tax.


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