Just a heads-up to my Pennsylvania readers: if you do any shopping on Amazon.com, you will start paying sales tax on your purchases starting Saturday, September 1, 2012. If you wish to get any last-minute tax-free shopping done on Amazon then now is the time to do it!
Please keep in mind that PA also imposes sales tax on shipping charges, so that item will be taxed on your Amazon order as well.
We could get angry that our tax-free shopping days are over (at least, with Amazon), but the bottom line is, if you wish to follow state law, this is how it SHOULD be done!
(begin “nutshell version” of the legalities…feel free to skip this if you want)
This is the result of a statement released by the PA Dept of Revenue in December 2011 clarifying PA’s tax-collection laws for companies that maintain a presence in the state of PA. While Amazon is a Seattle, WA -based, the operate 6 fulfillment centers in Pennsylvania and having those centers “triggers” their tax-collection responsibilities for shipments made to those states. The original deadline was February 1, 2012, but was extended to September 1, 2012.
While this tax law is not new (PA residents have to pay sales tax on their purchases, whether they are charged sales tax or not…they are supposed to declare and pay the unpaid tax on their annual PA Tax returns), the reality is that nobody ever does. Just as someone living in Chadds Ford, PA may choose to drive a few miles down Route 100 to a Delaware Best Buy to save $120 in taxes on their $2000 purchase, PA residents have looked to Amazon as our “own personal Delaware” and as a way to save sales tax. Those days are now over!
Pennsylvania will become the 7th state in which Amazon collects sales taxes (the others are Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, New York, Texas and Washington). California is scheduled to become the 8th state in which Amazon begins to collect sales tax, starting September 15, 2012.
You can read more about this by simply Googling “Amazon Pennsylvania Sales Tax“