South Carolina online shoppers now must pay sales tax
The Palmetto State is 27th* in which Amazon collects state & local sales taxes from buyers
I hope you enjoyed your online holiday shopping spree last month, South Carolinians. Amazon is now collecting sales tax on products you order.
Palmetto State shoppers have been buying from the online retail giant tax free since 2011. That year, South Carolina lawmakers agreed to the tax collection waiver as part of a deal that encouraged the Seattle-based company to build a distribution center in Lexington County.
The e-tailer now has a second South Carolina facility in Spartanburg. Both operations employ more than 1,500 workers.
S.C. sales tax time: But effective Jan. 1, South Carolina shoppers have had to include the state's 6 percent sales tax plus the 1 percent added levy applied by some local tax jurisdictions in the price of products they buy from Amazon.
With the transition to tax collection, the state's Revenue and Fiscal Affairs office estimates that an additional $13.8 million a year will go into the South Carolina treasury.
The new sales tax money will be divided among South Carolina's General Fund, the Education Improvement Act Fund and the Homestead Exemption, which is a property tax relief fund.
Most states tax online sales: South Carolina is not alone in giving Amazon a temporary tax break. It was among 10 states that gave Amazon a temporary tax reprieve in exchange for jobs and investment.
But since this tax tit-for-tax system began, Amazon has changed its tune on online sales taxation. The company now backs the federal Marketplace Fairness Act, which has stalled in Congress but is showing some signs of life. This would establish a framework for nationwide sales tax collection on Internet sales.
Even without Congressional imprimatur, Amazon now collects sales taxes on products shipped to 27 states:
Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Colorado is expected to become the 28th state in which Amazon will start collecting sales taxes on Feb. 1.
*UPDATE: It's official. Colorado is the 28th Amazon tax state.
In addition to being numerically more than half of the United States, the states in which Amazon collects sales taxes are home to more than 80 percent of the country's population, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
It looks like the Internet, our shopping habits and taxes are bringing us together.
You also might find these items of interest: