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Amazon "Tax" Begins Saturday

Sep 13, 2012

If you need to make a purchase on Amazon, now would be a good time to do it. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, starting Saturday, Californians will have to pay sales taxes on purchases.

The new requirement comes after a long battle last year between Amazon and California lawmakers. But 200 other out of state companies with major business in California could also be on the hook to collect sales taxes. It applies to any company with more than a million dollars in sales to Californians in the past year or more than $10,000 dollars in sales referred by an affiliate in the state.

Board of Equalization member George Runner says it’s hard to say exactly how much the tax will bring in to the cash-strapped state.

“The estimate was that there is probably maybe around a billion dollars that is potentially out there, and this bill was estimated to collect about $200 million of that.”

Californians are already required to pay a sales tax – called a use tax- on out-of-state purchases. But most customers don’t pay it.