Utah Tax Commission Releases Parts of Its Sales Tax Deal With Amazon

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    On April 14, the Utah Tax Commission released previously confidential details regarding its sales tax agreement with Amazon, as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune. The Utah State Records Committee had ordered the Commission to release the first six pages of the Amazon agreement after a request from the libertarian group Libertas Institute. Amazon began collecting and remitting sales tax in Utah on January 1, 2017.

    The agreement does not list any tax subsidies for Amazon, though it stipulates that Amazon has no liability for past tax collections.

    Tax Commission spokesman Charlie Roberts told the Tribune: “My understanding is it is pretty much a boilerplate.” The Tax Commission noted that the only financial incentive for Amazon is a 1.31 percent handling fee, which every large retailer gets to keep for collecting Utah state and local sales taxes.

    However, the article noted that this handling fee did not appear in the contract that was released on April 14. Roberts explained to the Tribune that there were other related documents reviewed privately by the committee that “were properly labeled as confidential.”

    Libertas Institute President Connor Boyack still has questions about Amazon’s motivation to collect and remit sales tax in Utah. “The question is, if theyre not legally bound, why is Amazon making these agreements with every state? That question remains unanswered,” Boyack said.