Amazon Now Charging Sales Tax For Virginia Residents | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Amazon Now Charging Sales Tax For Virginia Residents

Amazon purchases just got 5.3 percent more expensive for residents of Virginia.
Soumit Namdi: http://www.flickr.com/photos/soumit/2734471/
Amazon purchases just got 5.3 percent more expensive for residents of Virginia.

Frequent online shoppers might may be in for an unexpected surprise the next time they hit checkout — Amazon will now be collecting state sales tax for residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Amazon agreed to collect state sales tax effective Sept. 1 as part of the "Tax Fairness Bill," legislation intended to level the playing field between online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores.

Prior to the Tax Fairness Bill, Virginia residents were required to self-report consumer use taxes on their tax returns. Advocates of the bill argued that this put brick-and-mortar stores at a disadvantage, because they were required to collect the 5.3 percent sales tax at the point of sale.

The new rule doesn't apply only to Amazon — any out-of-state online retailer with distribution facilities in Virginia are now required to collect sales tax. Amazon opened two new distribution facilities in Chesterfield County and Dinwiddie County last year.

It's unclear what effect, if any, the addition of sales tax to online purchases will have on the shopping habits of Virginia residents. But according to fiscal impact statement estimates, the state could collect an additional $24 million in previously uncollected revenue, further bolstering the state's $585 million budget surplus.

While Virginians started feeling the effects Sunday, similar legislation on the national level is still winding its way through Congress. The Senate approved the "Marketplace Fairness Act" last year, which would require Internet retailers with sales exceeding $1 million per year to collect sales tax for all states.

The legislation is currently being considered by the House Judiciary Committee.

NPR

Not My Job: Comedian Jenny Slate Gets Quizzed On Jennifer Lopez

Slate has rocketed to fame with her online film series Marcel the Shell with Shoes On and the movie Obvious Child — but there are some other famous Jennifers out there ...
NPR

Antarctic Holiday: A Christmas Feast In The Loneliest Spot On Earth

For Dr. Gavin Francis, Christmas Eve marked the start of a year-long stay in an icy research base 8,700 miles from home. In this "empire of ice and isolation," he says, food is essential to morale.
NPR

North Korea Has An Interesting Offer. And Another Threat

The secretive regime denies any involvement with the Sony Pictures hack and says the U.S. must allow it to help find the real culprit. Or else.
NPR

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

Some in the entertainment industry are wondering if they'll have to be careful now about the stories they tell or the jokes they make in the wake of Sony's withdrawal of The Interview.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.