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Amazon Reminds S.C. Buyers to Pay Taxes

Emails fulfill part of a deal reached with state lawmakers.

Amazon is reminding shoppers in South Carolina that they need to pay sales tax for the items they bought on its site last year.

The marketplace recently began sending emails to its South Carolina buyers, telling them they are responsible for reporting and paying sales tax for purchases made in 2011, though Amazon does not have to collect these taxes.

In the emails, Amazon tells residents how much they owe the state for their Amazon purchases, but assures them it will not provide lawmakers with buyers’ personal information, according to news reports.

The email messages are part of a deal Amazon reached with lawmakers in 2011 that gives the retailer a five-year exemption from having to collect sales tax in South Carolina if it tells customers what they owe, urges them to pay, invests at least $125 million and provides at least 2,000 full-time jobs in the state. Any online retailer that opens a facility in the state and meets these requirements can also take advantage of the exemption, according to news reports.

Last week, Amazon announced it would open a $50 million fulfillment facility as part of the deal.

Many South Carolina residents have ignored the requirement to pay online sales tax for purchases made from online retailers that have a physical presence in the state. Of the 2 million South Carolina residents who reported income taxes in 2009, only 12,000 declared online sales taxes on their forms. Experts say that leaves more than $110 million of uncollected sales tax on the table.

The easiest way for residents to report sales tax for items purchased online is on their income tax forms, according to news reports.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Linda

    Amazon Reminds S.C. Buyers to Pay Taxes
    Oh, please. Since Amazon is building the new facility in South Carolina with a BIG tax credit they should be collecting the SC sales taxes themselves.

    SC resident

  • Larry

    Amazon is nothing but a bunch of jerks. They are just like all big companies. Making their pocket books fatter while the middle man struggles to survive. I fought with them over and over on several issues. only to find folks that you can barely understand trying to resolve other issues besides what you are actually calling about. They pass you on from one person to another never resolving any issues.

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