At the end of June, a bill will be floated at Capitol Hill, proposing Amazon start collecting sales tax from its customers. Meaning, in essence, that online shopping could become more expensive.
There's still a chance the Main Street Fairness Act bill might not go through, considering it's been suggested many times in the past. This time however the future is looking ominous, with online shops granted enough of a head start that they now need to start paying their sales tax like brick-and-mortar stores. This could net states $US11.3 billion in revenue next year, if approved.
Oh sure, you may argue that customers are required to declare any online purchases on their income tax forms, but how many people actually do - and how many even knew they were supposed to?
At least we know that Amazon has our back, so to speak. They're obviously against the introduction of sales tax, and have constantly fought off state plans to force them into it, by threatening to close distribution depots and fire hundreds of employees in any area that tries to take them on.
There is a silver lining, however - even without sales tax, Amazon's prices are still lower than Target, Wal-Mart and other US chains. It's a comfort and convenience that will have customers returning time and time again, with sales tax not likely to put them off too much. [BusinessWeek]