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President Trump goes after Amazon, again


Published: Wed, August 16, 2017 @ 2:05 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on e-commerce giant Amazon, saying today the company is "doing great damage to tax paying retailers."

Trump, in a tweet, said that "towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost!"

The president has been a frequent critic of the company and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.

Many traditional retailers are closing stores and blaming Amazon for a shift to buying goods online. But the company has been hiring thousands of warehouse workers on the spot at job fairs across the country. Amazon has announced goal of adding 100,000 full-time workers by the middle of next year.

Trump has said Amazon does not pay "Internet taxes," but it's unclear what he meant by that. Amazon.com collects state sales taxes in all 45 states with a sales tax and the District of Columbia, according to their website. State governments have sought to capture sales taxes lost to internet retailers, though they have struggled with a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that found for a state to collect sales tax from retailer, the retailer must have a physical presence within state borders.

The issue arose recently in South Carolina, which is attempting recoup tax revenue it says it's owed in court. This summer, the state Department of Revenue filed a case with the Administrative Law Court, alleging Amazon had failed to collect taxes on third-party merchant sales.

Third-party merchant sales involve items that can be bought on Amazon.com, but the company acts solely as a middleman between buyers and sellers. Amazon processes the payments and offers other support to the parties involved.

The state claims Amazon owes the state $12.5 million in taxes, penalties and interest from first quarter of last year alone, according to the complaint obtained by The Associated Press.


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