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Amazon Reaches Pact To Collect Sales Taxes In Nevada

--Amazon agreed to collect sales tax on items sold in Nevada beginning at least by 2014 --Online retailer says it will collect taxes in the same manner as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers --Amazon has touted federal bill permitting states to collect online sales tax, which was introduced last year By John Kell Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) has agreed to collect a sales tax on items sold in Nevada beginning in 2014, or earlier should proposed federal legislation mandate online retailers collect sales taxes. The online retailing giant said it will collect and use taxes in the same manner as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, an agreement that is expected to raise at least $16 million a year for the state, according to the Las Vegas Sun, which initially reported the news. Like many online retailers, Amazon has said it is obliged to add state and local sales taxes only on purchases from residents of states where Amazon has physical retail operations. But it also has defined retailing narrowly as selling, so related operations such as warehouses don't put it on the hook to charge tax. In response, lawmakers in several states have passed new legislation aimed at limited online retailers' wiggle room to avoid charging sales tax. Amazon has challenged those bills and is also known to retreat from states it deems unfriendly. Instead, Amazon has touted a federal bill permitting states to collect online sales tax, which was introduced last year, claiming the change would make matters simpler than a wide number of state initiatives. That bill has faced some opposition, including from EBay Inc. (EBAY), which has argued that it could hurt businesses far smaller than Amazon by putting them on the hook for sales tax collection. "We strongly support federal legislation permitting interstate sales tax collection because it is the only way to level the playing field for all sellers, the only way for Nevada to obtain all the sales tax revenue that is already owed, and the only way to fully protect states' rights," said Amazon vice president of global public policy Paul Misener. For all of 2011, Amazon earned $631 million in profit on $48.1 billion in sales, compared with $1.2 billion in profit and $34.2 billion in revenue a year earlier. Amazon has been spending more on warehouses, technology and its Kindle electronic devices, though sales also continue to outpace the growth of overall Internet sales. -By John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2480; [email protected] -Stu Woo of The Wall Street Journal and John Letzing of Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report

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