Amazon has suffered a defeat in their long-running war against collection sales taxes. The governor of VA announced last week that he’d worked out a deal for the retail giant to start collection sales taxes by September 2013.
Amazon has a datacenter and a distribution center in the state, and they are also planning a couple new facilities in VA. In fact, it was their expansion plans that spurred this discussion. Retailer groups based in VA objected to the advantage had over brick-and-mortar stores, and they were incensed that Amazon continued to avoid collecting sales taxes while expanding their presence in the state.
Yes, September 2013 is quite some ways away, but this is still a marked change for Amazon. It was only a couple weeks ago that they were doing their best to duck the duty in VA, and they’ve gone to far as to abandon partners in Arkansas, Connecticut, and other states.
This agreement is likely going to encourage other states to push forward on their efforts to get the taxes their due. Right now amazon only collects taxes for 5 states: Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, or Washington. That will likely increase, shortly.