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California Dangles Sales Tax Relief to Amazon FBA Sellers

Online sales tax
California Dangles Sales Tax Relief to Amazon FBA Sellers

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration sent an email to Amazon FBA sellers on Tuesday, with subject line promising: “Relief May Be Available to Marketplace Sellers Using Fulfillment Centers in California.”

It’s the latest in the ongoing saga related to sales-tax collection. In May, the LA Times editorial board had called for the state’s revenue department to reconsider its approach to back taxes, calling it a “gotcha” approach to tax collection.

Sellers discussing the letter on the Amazon boards were wary of yesterday’s letter. “It’s the same sort of “relief” that a lame horse gets from a bullet to the head,” one seller wrote.

Sellers are wise to be cautious, and there’s a lot of money at stake. The LA Times had pointed to sellers who faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes, penalties and interest. If you sold through Amazon FBA from outside of California and think you may be impacted, be sure to get expert advice.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

One thought on “California Dangles Sales Tax Relief to Amazon FBA Sellers”

  1. I see this as nothing more than a phishing scheme by California – voluntarily agree to pay lot of taxes, and potentially open yourself up to others (like franchise and\or income tax) and we’ll promise not to do what we weren’t going to be able to do anywhere. It’s sorta like the DA offering not to charge you with the death penalty if you plead guilty, when you were only cited for speeding.
    No one is more creative than a govt looking for ways to get more taxes.

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