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US Pennsylvania halts sales tax collections on remote Amazon FBA sellers

Court rules out-of-state e-commerce sellers not controlling stocks exempted them from in-state tax liabilities

Pennsylvania court has ruled that out-of-state sellers using Amazon’s Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) service are not subject to local sales tax. The case was brought by a seller association, Online Merchants Guild, which has a similar case due for hearing in October 2022 in California.

The Court held that since sellers did not control or know when and how their stocks were transferred into the state by Amazon FBA, they were not liable to the sales tax. Case ref: Online Merchants Guild v. Hassell, Pa. Commw. Ct. No. 179 MD 2021, 9/9/2022.  The court commented: “We are hard pressed to envision how, in these circumstances, an FBA Merchant has placed its merchandise in the stream of commerce with the expectation that it would be purchased by a customer located in the Commonwealth, or has availed itself of the Commonwealth’s protections, opportunities, and services.”

Amazon has been collecting sales tax on FBA sellers in Pennsylvania since 2018.

Pennsylvania’s state tax rate is 6% for remote sellers. Sellers within the state may be subject to other local municipalities and city taxes added up to a further 2%.

South Dakota vs Wayfair remote seller sales tax ruling

Following the July 2018 US Supreme Court Wayfair ruling, states have been free to levy sales tax on out-of-state sellers. Pennsylvania imposed Wayfair from 1 July 2019 for remote sellers with annual sales in the state above US$100,00.

US Sales Tax rates and selling thresholds

State State sales tax rate Remote seller annual thresholds Digital services taxable?
$ threshold Transactions threshold
Alabama 4.0% 1 Oct 2018 $250,000 Yes
Alaska 0% - n/a No state-wide tax
Arizona 5.6% 1 Oct 2019 $100,000 - Yes
Arkansas 6.5% 1 July 2019 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
California 6.0% 1 April 2019 $500,000 - No
Colorado 2.9% 1 Dec 2018 $100,000 - Yes
Connecticut 6.35% 1 Dec 2018 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Delaware 0.0% - n/a No state sales tax
Florida 6.0% 1 July 2021 $100,000 - No Communications Tax. E-books exempt
Georgia 4.0% 1 Jan 2019 $100,000 200 transactions No
Hawaii 4.0% 1 July 2018 $100,000 200 transactions Yes General Excise Tax
Idaho 6.0% 1 June 2019 $100,000 Yes Software exempt
Illinois 6.25% 1 Oct 2018 $100,000 200 transactions No
Indiana 7.0% 1 Oct 2018 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Iowa 6.0% 1 Jan 2019 $100,000 - Yes
Kansas 6.5% 1 July 2021 $100,000 - No
Kentucky 6.0% 1 Oct 2018 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Louisiana 4.45% 1 July 2020 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Maine 5.5% 1 July 2018 $100,000 - (since 2022) Yes
Maryland 6.0% 1 Oct 2018 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Massachusetts 5.6% 1 Oct 2018 $100,000 No
Michigan 6.0% 30 Sep 2018 $100,000 200 transactions No
Minnesota 6.875% 1 Oct 2018 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Mississippi 7.0% 1 Sep 2018 $250,000 - Yes
Missouri 4.225% 1 Jan 2023 $100,000 - No
Montana 0.0% - n/a No state sales tax
Nebraska 5.5% 1 April 2019 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Nevada 4.6% 1 Oct 2018 $100,000 200 transactions No
New Hampshire 0.0% - n/a
New Jersey 6.625% 1 Nov 2018 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
New Mexico 5.0% 1 July 2019 $100,000 - Yes
New York 4.0% 21 July 2018 $500,000 100 transactions No
North Carolina 4.75% 1 Nov 2018 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
North Dakota 5.0% 1 Oct 2018 $100,000 - No
Ohio 5.75% 1 Aug 2019 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Oklahoma 4.5% 1 Nov 2019 $100,000 - No
Oregon 0.0% - n/a No state sales tax
Pennsylvania 6.0% 1 July 2019 $100,000 Yes
Puerto Rico 10.5% 1 Jan 2021 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Rhode Island 7.0% 1 July 2019 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
South Carolina 6.0% 1 Nov 2018 $100,000 - No
South Dakota 4.5% 1 Nov 2018 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Tennessee 7.0% 1 July 2019 $100,000 - Yes
Texas 6.25% 1 Oct 2019 $500,000 - Yes Only if physcial equivilaent is taxable (e.g. books)
Utah 4.7% 1 Jan 2019 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Vermont 6.0% 1 July 2018 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
Virginia 4.3% 1 July 2019 $100,000 200 transactions No
Washington 6.5% 1 Oct 2018 $100,000 - Yes
Washington, DC 6.0% 1 Jan 2019 $100,000 200 transactions Yes
West Virginia 6.0% 1 Jan 2019 $100,000 200 transactions Yes Streaming services only
Wisconsin 5.0% 1 Oct 2018 $100,000 - (since 2021) Yes
Wyoming 4.0% 1 Feb 2019 $100,000 200 transactions Yes

 

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