Monday, January 09, 2012

Simon Drops Lawsuit After Amazon.com Agrees To Collect Indiana Sales Tax

Amazon.com has reached an agreement with the Indiana Department of Revenue and Simon Property Group, which had sued the state of Indiana because it refused to collect sales tax from the online e-tailer for sales it made in Indiana, to begin collecting Indiana's 7% sales tax starting in 2014. The Indianapolis-based mall giant claimed in a lawsuit it filed last November that the state's decision to exempt Amazon.com from Indiana's sales tax unconstitutionally favored the company over other brick-and-mortar retailers. Amazon.com has established several distribution centers in the state, but the Department of Revenue had reached an agreement with the company that said it didn't have to collect sales taxes on purchases made within the state despite its physical presence within the state. The IBJ reports on the agreement under which Simon has agreed to drop its lawsuit:

Amazon.com will begin collecting Indiana's 7-percent sales tax from customers in 2014 under an agreement with the state announced Monday.
Gov. Mitch Daniels and an Amazon executive said the agreement could lead to Indiana collecting at least $20 million more in annual sales-tax revenues . . .
Simon said in a prepared statement that it will drop its complaint because of the agreement.
The deal with Seattle-based Amazon doesn't include any other companies, but Daniels said the state is asking Congress to require all online businesses to collect state sales taxes.
Estimates on Indiana's uncollected online sales taxes range from $75 million to $250 million per year. A report from the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute released in November estimated a range of $40 million to $114 million.
The fact that Amazon.com is being given a two-year break on collecting the sales tax is a major victory for the company. If Simon had won its lawsuit, Amazon.com could have been liable for back taxes it had not collected from past sales after acquiring a physical presence in Indiana. If Congress enacts legislation requiring all online e-tailers to collect state sales taxes prior to January, 2014, the company's obligation to collect the tax would begin within 90 days of the effective date of the federal law.

11 comments:

Indy4u2c said...

Now, will Simon pay the city proper rent for use of OUR Fieldhouse? Will Simon give the city revenue from concession sales at OUR Fieldhouse? Will Simon give us parking revenue from OUR Fieldhouse? Will Simon give us fair market rent for use of OUR Fieldhouse? Will Simon allow the City to use OUR Fieldhouse for events other than its Pacers/Fever games?

Why does Simon gain so much from the use of OUR tax money? Why does Simon cry when even the biggest employers aren't paying TAXES to the Simons' ventures, that perhaps lower their cost as owners?

How much TAX is Simon paying for its downtown office headquarters?

Gary R. Welsh said...

You've lived in Indy long enough to know it's all about what Simon says. The politicians are all bought and paid for when it comes to their interests.

Paul said...

Does Amazon have an actual physical presence in Indiana?

Paul said...

(besides its "affiliates)

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Don't forget the underground garage Bart Peterson gave him, as well as 1/2 of one of the best parks downtown and a beautiful fountain.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

WAH-H-H-H-H...WAH-H-H-H-H...WAH-H-H-H IT'S NOT FAIR! IT'S NOT FAIR!
Just because we rip off the taxpayers doesn't mean Amazon has the right to make money!
WAH-H-H-H-H...WAH-H-H-H-H-H!!

Gary R. Welsh said...

Are you not familiar with the large distribution centers Amazon.com has built in Indiana, Paul?

Guest said...

Lets see, the state makes a deal with Amazon exempting them from collecting sales taxes and then the legislators buddy Simon steps up to do the dirty work of rescinding that. After two years Amazon can say goodbye like in other places that tried to pull that trick.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Of course one could call the fieldhouse, parking revenue, headquarters land etc. all "distribution centers" for Simon -- distributing our tax dollars to this private entity!

Which is more appalling: changing the meaning of "physical presence" definition or continuing to bankroll hometown billionaires?

Jon said...

How about we change the name of Bankers Life Fieldhouse to Billionaire Looting Fans?

Paul said...

Gary: I wasn't aware of it (I live in SW Indiana), but am now. Thanks.