And for all you non-Californians laughing at the luck of the Golden State, beware – Amazon will be forced to start collecting in your state very soon.
The retail giant was forced to include tax on Texas purchases this summer and tax on Pennsylvania invoices on September 1st. New Jersey is next up, as Amazon will begin charging sales tax on Jersey residents at the point of sale next year.
Internet sales tax is hotly contested right now in the Senate and House of Representatives, but at the rate Congress passes legislation, it’ll be a while before we see any comprehensive Internet tax reform. It’s a complicated issue - you’re supposed to be paying a use tax to your state government whenever you buy something online, but the impossibilities of enforcing this system let almost everyone get away with a tax-free Internet.
For now, however, Californians are scrambling to place large Amazon purchases before doomsday. Grumbling has already gathered lots of steam, and rightly so – consumers could end up paying hundreds of extra dollars a year, and analysts fear slowing down an online shopping industry that has boomed in post-recession years.