Published Thursday, January 03, 2013
From STAFF REPORTS
With the coming of 2013, out-of-state retailers who sell merchandise to Georgia residents through commission-based Internet links are legally required to collect state and local sales taxes.
The Georgia Retail Association — the trade group representing the state’s retail businesses — said the arrival of “e-fairness” in 2013 would bring a new era of growth to e-commerce.
The new law means that large online retailers — such as Amazon.com — who reach customers through “affiliate” websites based in Georgia, must collect sales tax on their transactions. The change means that Georgia’s retailers are gaining a level playing field with remote sellers, who until this year were not required to collect sales tax.
“E-commerce is the future. We commend Georgia’s leaders for taking this important step to create a level playing field for the state’s retailers,” said Rick McAllister, president of the Georgia Retail Association.
“From catalogue sales to the Internet, our Main Street retailers have been playing by the rules for as long as we’ve had a sales tax. It’s a new year, and we’re beginning a new era of growth in online retail.”
Under the legislation passed during the 2012 Session of the Georgia General Assembly, the sales tax collection rules now apply to any retailer who pays a commission in Georgia for Internet sales referred by third-party websites. The change took effect Dec. 31 and applies to sales made on or after that day.
For more information, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website at https://etax.dor.ga.gov/ or call the department’s Business Service Unit at (877) 423-6711 between 8 a.m. 5 p.m.
The e-fairness legislation passed almost unanimously in House Bill 386, a tax package that created a net reduction in the overall tax burden on Georgia residents. GRA worked with the Governor’s office, the Senate and House leadership, member companies and other state associations to educate key elected officials and the general public about this important issue.
Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 18 percent of Georgia’s gross domestic product.