Amazon Sues Texas For Sales Tax Audit

AUSTIN (AP) – Online retail giant has filed suit against the state of Texas, demanding it produce an audit on which the state bases its demand for $269 million in uncollected sales taxes.

The state made the demand of the Seattle-based company in September, citing the audit, the Austin American-Statesman reported in its online edition Wednesday. The newspaper reported the Texas comptroller’s office has been withholding the report from Amazon, citing a Dec. 16 attorney general’s opinion that it was protected by attorney-client privilege.

The Texas attorney general’s office referred all questions to the state comptroller’s office. Comptroller’s spokesman R.J. DeSilva said no papers had been served yet and declined to comment.

The state contends that is responsible for sales taxes not collected on online sales in Texas because Amazon has a distribution center in Irving, a Dallas suburb. Other companies with retail outlets or other types of physical presence in a state collect sales taxes on online sales.

Amazon filed the lawsuit Friday in Travis County state district court, contending that the state must disclose the audit under the state’s Public Information Act.

According to the court documents, Amazon sent letters in September and October to the state comptroller’s office, requesting “Information related to the audit and the assessment.”

The online giant has been the target of numerous lawsuits filed by states seeking sales taxes on online purchases made from within their jurisdictions. Online competitors such as Dell Inc., J.C. Penney Co. and Sears Roebuck and Co. have complained about having to levy the sales taxes while Amazon does not.

State Comptroller Susan Combs has estimated that Texas loses about $600 million in sales taxes each year from interstate online sales.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Amazon Sues Texas For Sales Tax Audit « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Amazon Sues Texas For Sales Tax Audit Amazon is demanding an audit on which the state bases its demand for $269 million in uncollected sales taxes. Go to News Source […]

  • Kreative

    We have a similar problem in’s home state of Washington. Although they collect sales tax on ‘new’ books, doesn’t collect sales tax on the millions of “used” books they also sell for other businesses. Some big companies based in our state take advantage of this loophole selling used books (as well as DVDs, video games, etc) on Amazon’s platform. Amazon doesn’t collect sales tax and doesn’t allow re-sellers to collect it either.

    Although used bookstores have to collect sales tax…Amazon doesn’t, and we are missing a huge amount of tax revenue

    The general feeling in Washington is that our state legislators are simply receiving too many political contributions from Amazon to worry about it…

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