A ruling earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for states to collect online sales taxes on internet transactions.
But South Carolina’s Department of Revenue (SCDOR) is in a legal fight with Amazon over what it owes. The online retailer has said it is not responsible for remitting sales tax on items sold by third-party vendors on their website.
SCDOR director Hartley Powell said that argument goes againststate law defining retail sales. “Obviously we have a major dispute out there with a large Internet retailer,” he told the Joint Senate Education and Finance Committee last week. “They’re changing the law.”
State regulations require a remote seller in South Carolina whose gross revenue from sales exceeds $100,000 in the previous or current calendar year is responsible for obtaining a retail license and remitting South Carolina Sales and Use Tax.
“(Amazon is) saying, look, we’re just an Internet mall. Walk into our mall you go buy something from a third-party store, we’re the mall, not the retailer,” Powell told the committee.
The case against Amazon awaits federal court.
“Under the definition of a retailer in our statute, you are required to collect and remit sales tax,” Powell insisted. “We look at Internet sales in a comprehensive way, I don’t care if you’re selling a good from a third-party guy or your selling one out of your stock.”