California Taxes the Internet | Gov Brown: “It’s Just Common Sense”

California tells online retailers to start collecting sales taxes from customers


Marc Lifsher|Los Angeles Times

Beginning Friday, Amazon.com and other large out-of-state retailers will be required to collect sales taxes on purchases that their California customers make online.

California is the seventh and largest state in the country to pass a law to collect taxes on out-of-state Internet sales.

Shopping at Amazon.com Inc. and other major Internet stores is poised to get more expensive.

Beginning Friday, a new state law will require large out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases that their California customers make on the Internet — a prospect eased only slightly by a 1-percentage-point drop in the tax that also takes effect at the same time.

Getting the taxes, which consumers typically don’t pay to the state if online merchants don’t charge them, is “a common-sense idea,” said Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed the legislation into law Wednesday.

The new tax collection requirement — part of budget-related legislation — is expected to raise an estimated $317 million a year in new state and local government revenue.

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