Amazon Fires Maine Affiliates
Two months ago, Maine clarified its sales tax law to require remote retailers with a network of online affiliates acting as sales agents in the state to collect and remit sales tax to the state. Now, as it has done in a number of other states with similar laws, Amazon has fired its Maine-based online affiliates in an effort to skirt nexus in the state, as reported by the Portland Press Herald.
The Herald noted that last Thursday Amazon affiliates began receiving notices informing them of the termination of their affiliate relationship as of October 6.
Mike Allen, Governor Paul LePage’s chief of tax policy, told the Herald the affiliate nexus law seeks to recapture some of the lost sales tax revenue from online sales, though he acknowledged, “We’re never going to get the whole piece of lost revenues.” Maine Revenue Services has estimated that the state loses $20 million a year in uncollected sales tax revenue.
Maine is one of 16 other states that have affiliate nexus laws: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Amazon Begins Collecting Sales Tax in West Virginia
This week, Amazon began collecting sales tax on purchases shipped into West Virginia, as reported by Saturday Gazette-Mail. In April, West Virginia passed a law requiring remote retailers with a warehouse or subsidiary in the state to collect and remit sales tax for in-state purchases. Amazon.com has a customer service center in the state, which it opened in 2011, the article noted.
West Virginia estimates that it could recoup some $7 million to $10 million per year through the law, the article noted.