internet sales tax

Florida Amazon Shoppers Will Start Paying Sales Tax May 1

Apr 16, 2014
Chris Watt via Flickr

Floridians who have full shopping carts on Amazon.com might want to complete their purchases by the end of the month. The Internet retail giant has announced it will start collecting sales tax in the Sunshine State on May 1.

Amazon must comply with the Florida law requiring businesses to collect sales tax if they have a physical presence in the state. That’s because it’s nearing completion on the first of two planned distribution warehouses in Central Florida.

The company says it will hire up to 2,500 workers to start shipping items by the holiday season.

Florida business organizations are promoting a recent study which suggests the Marketplace Fairness Act can create jobs and build revenue for state governments.  But critics say the law will be detrimental for small businesses.

At a press conference Friday, officials from Florida TaxWatch, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and the Florida Retail Federation unveiled a study conducted by conservative economist Art Laffer.  The study analyzes the benefits of the Marketplace Fairness Act – a law allowing states to collect tax on internet sales.

A bill that would let Florida collect sales tax from online retailers cleared a hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday. The change could bring in hundreds of millions of revenue dollars, but the cash influx would be offset by new tax breaks.

The bill is being called the Detert-Margolis Tax Reform Act, named for co-sponsors, Republican Sen. Nancy Detert and Democratic Sen. Gwen Margolis. It passed the Commerce and Tourism Committee on Tuesday.

Florida House and Senate conferees have begun trying to work out the differences between the two chambers’ versions of the new state budget.  Nearly all the budget-balancing emphasis has been on spending cuts, but one way to boost state revenue is still alive in the senate.  Tom Flanigan reports a Capital City meeting was the site of a pro-and-con debate on that idea.