February 3, 2012

Arizona joins growing list of states wanting millions in taxes from Amazon


Add Arizona to the list of states wanting back taxes from Amazon.com. A Publishers Weekly report says Amazon disclosed yesterday that “Arizona issued assessments on behalf of the state and certain cities in the amount of approximately $53 million, including tax and interest, for uncollected tax for the periods March 1, 2006 through December 31, 2010.”

A Seattle Times report notes that Amazon won’t be able to claim it doesn’t have “nexus” (i.e., buildings or employees) in the state: “Amazon has four distribution centers in Arizona, putting its total footprint in the state at more than 4 million square feet.” Of course, the company could threaten to remove its business and fire those employees in response, which would not be an untypical retaliation for the company.

Meanwhile, the Times report also notes that Amazon also disclosed that a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of a claim by Texas against Amazon for $269 million in back taxes had be been completed … but a spokesman “would not provide more comment.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.