In what may appear to be an about face, Amazon voluntarily announced that it will begin collecting sales taxes in North Carolina. This collection of sales taxes is estimated to give state and local governments up to $43 million (up to $30 million for the state) in additional sales tax revenue annually.
We suspect this move was a carefully evaluated and strategic move by Amazon, which historically has begun collection only in states where it plans to create a physical presence (and thus, subjecting it to laws requiring the collection of sales taxes). Accordingly, Amazon announced that it would be making an unspecified investment in North Carolina, indicating that this decision was likely driven by business needs and the compliance requirements arising as a result of those decisions. Interestingly, it does not appear that Amazon acquired any concessions from state lawmakers prior to agreeing to collect state sales taxes, which has often been the case for the online retailer before it agrees to begin collecting sales taxes in a new jurisdiction.
The addition of North Carolina will mark Amazon’s 20th sales tax collection state.