Supreme Court rejects 'Amazon-tax' cases

Dec. 2, 2013 at 10:30 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday left in place a lower-court ruling that upheld New York's taxes on some Internet sales.

Earlier this year, New York's highest court, in a 4-1 ruling, upheld that state's "Amazon tax" designed to collect taxes for online sales from out-of-state companies that have in-state affiliates.

Online retail giant Amazon.com and Overstock.com asked the Supreme Court to step in, saying if each state enacts an "Amazon tax" it will lead to chaos.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Amazon and Overstock petitions in one-line orders without comment.

Challenges to Internet sales taxes levied by other states are still in the judicial pipeline, and one case could be accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the future.

The proposed Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow states desperate for new revenue to collect sales tax and consumption tax from online and other out-of-state retailers, passed the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate in May. Even Amazon supports the proposal.

But few expect a new tax to be approved in the Republican-controlled U.S. House.

Though it challenged the New York ruling, Amazon said it is collecting sales tax for the states that require it: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Amazon's revenue in the last quarter was more than $17 billion.

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