The States That Make You Pay an Amazon Sales Tax and Clever Tips to Avoid It

September 21, 2015 by Kyle
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(Updated 11/03/17) Approximately 74% of Americans have to pay a sales tax when purchasing from the online giant Amazon.com. That equates to over 230 million people. As Amazon continues to build distribution warehouses in new states, and thus have to collect sales tax from the residents of those states, this number will only increase. Here is the current list of states where Amazon collects sales tax, along with some timely tips to avoid paying online sales tax in your state.

The States That Make You Pay an Amazon Sales Tax and Clever Tips to Avoid It

The Amazon Sales Tax States

Here is an alphabetical list of all of the states that currently collect sales tax on Amazon.com purchases:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas – as of 3/01/17.
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii – as of 4/01/17.
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa – as of 1/01/17.
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana – as of 1/01/17.
  • Maryland – Started collecting sales tax in October of 2014.
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota – Started collecting tax in October of 2014.
  • Mississippi – as of 2/01/17.
  • Missouri – as of 2/01/17.
  • Nebraska – as of 1/01/17.
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma – as of 3/01/17.
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island – as of 2/01/17.
  • South Carolina – Starting in January of 2016, South Carolina residents will have to pay a sales tax on Amazon purchases.
  • South Dakota – as of 2/01/17.
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah – as of 1/01/17.
  • Vermont – as of 2/01/17.
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming – as of 3/01/17.

I’ll keep this list updated as new states implement Amazon warehouses.

See Also: 4 Ways to Get Free Shipping at Amazon (Without Paying for Prime)

3 Clever Tricks to Avoid Online Sales Tax

So if you live in one of the above states, you’re stuck paying sales tax on Amazon purchases until the end of time. But all hope is not lost. Here are three clever ways to avoid paying online sales tax, and in many cases get free shipping and a price at or below Amazon’s.

  1. Consider Shopping at Jet.com – Are you aware of the startup Jet.com which is attempting to take a slice of the pie away from Amazon.com? While they don’t offer the same number of products, they’re priced very competitively, and currently ONLY collect sales tax in Kansas, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Utah. So, if you live in a state that has a relatively high sales tax, check out Jet and easily save 7-10% off your online purchase. (Update 1/06/17: Now that Walmart has bought Jet.com, they’re going to start collecting sales tax from everyone.)
  2. Shop Elsewhere Online – Find other websites that offer free shipping similar to Amazon, but don’t collect sales tax except from the single state they’re located in. A good place to start your search is with my article about all of the online retailers who offer free shipping (with no minimum order required). The list of retailers fitting the bill is over 45, and many of them are “online only” and don’t collect sales tax either. A few of the more popular sites include Shoebuy.com, Overstock.com, and even eBay which doesn’t collect tax on most of the auctions you win.
  3. Offset the Sales Tax That You Do Pay – Consider using popular cashback websites as a way to recapture the money you pay out in online sales tax. Popular sites include Ebates, TopCashBack, and BeFrugal. Essentially they work by offering you a kickback on purchases you make using their links.  For example, right now Ebates is offering users 4% back on purchases made at American Eagle.com and 6% back on anything bought from Nordstrom.com. They offer “rebates” at thousands of online retail sites and serve as a nice way to offset the sales tax that you pay.
  4. Have a Friend Forward Your Mail – Simply have a friend who lives in a state that doesn’t pay Amazon sales tax forward your mail. You can also try a MyUS mailbox.

See Also: 6 Brilliantly Slick Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Ask the Reader: Any other ways to legally get around paying sales tax? Let me know in the comments below, thanks.


By Kyle James

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Comments

36 Responses to “The States That Make You Pay an Amazon Sales Tax and Clever Tips to Avoid It”

  1. Money Beagle on September 21st, 2015 9:26 am

    The CPA that does our taxes always makes it clear that although you don’t have to in our state (Michigan), it’s still the right thing to do and you could get in trouble if they ever somehow are able to audit. So, while I don’t have to pay it and while Amazon doesn’t collect it at the time of purchase, I actually add up our Amazon purchases and report it on my state income tax, at which point the state gets the sales tax money that they’re due.

  2. Kyle on September 21st, 2015 9:31 am

    Oh, so you’re the one person who actually does that, mystery solved. 😉

  3. John on November 8th, 2016 12:47 pm

    Your CPA is wrong! There is a specific line on the Michigan tax form for reporting this. Find a new CPA

  4. Jess Jesserton on March 23rd, 2017 1:23 pm

    That is the most insane thing I have ever heard from anyone using Amazon! Wtf is wrong with you!

  5. Chop on September 21st, 2015 3:13 pm

    “Ask the Reader: Any other ways to legally get around paying sales tax? Let me know in the comments below, thanks.”

    There is no “legal way to get around paying” sales tax. Just because it’s not collected doesn’t mean you don’t owe it..

  6. Kyle on September 22nd, 2015 1:27 pm

    What you’re talking about is a “Use” tax, not a sales tax, and is a voluntary payment to the state you live in. The truth is that states realize the cost of chasing these “use” taxes is quite high, and thus it’s not actively enforced. The only time you see it in action is on big-ticket items like cars and boats.

  7. Chop on September 23rd, 2015 4:15 pm

    In this case, “voluntary” does not mean you can simply choose to not pay it, and the obligation goes away. The real problem with use taxes is that there is so much disinformation surrounding it. Most consumers honestly think that there is such a thing as a free lunch when it comes to buying things on the internet, and your post encourages this.

    You can still be penalized for this if you are audited, and this is especially risky for small businesses (of which, I am one) that often buy supplies and equipment online. I AM “the one person who actually does” voluntarily pay use tax, because the risk of penalties and fees from an audit is real.

    I am AGAINST these types of taxes… but it is the law, and everyone should pay it.

  8. TWW on December 3rd, 2015 4:40 pm

    Then again, you could either live in or move to a state with absolutely NO sales tax what so ever (such as I do in Oregon, I think 1 of 4 states),……. Or maybe try buying or ordering from a vendor in a state in which there is no sales tax. And then have it shipped to you.

    By the way, the theory is,.. How is this any different than if you were a tourist coming thru our state (ex: Oregon) and buying in person and packing it in your suit case to take home. Atleast Oregon would not charge nor collect sales tax. (The caveat being I’m not in the tax or law profession and I’m not sure what the duties expected of a citizen of each state that they reside in, regarding honest reporting or filings).

    This among some of the many reasons tourist come to Oregon.

  9. Auden L. Grumet, Esq. on January 17th, 2016 5:13 pm

    While this is not formal legal advice, couldn’t you also simply purchase from an Amazon seller located in a non sales tax state if the seller fulfills the purchase? So you can compare sellers and choose accordingly.

  10. E Guthm on January 2nd, 2017 11:29 pm

    I don’t know why this comment has not gotten more love. Most of the items I buy through Amazon are also offered with prime delivery through the FBA program. All one has to do is click on the right side of page link in the box of “Other Sellers on Amazon”. It will be an active link and say for example,

    “Used & new (79) from $10.24 + $5.20 shipping”

    On that page there is almost always another seller that is not based in your state and thus has $0 for estimated sales tax. There is a bit of a caveat – buying items Sold DIRECTLY by Amazon has other advantages in the case of post sale issues. Amazon has refunded me on items bought a year ago out of goodwill. You will not get as much “goodwilling” on items that are simply FBA.

  11. Bob on May 2nd, 2017 7:29 am

    If you had the item for a year why on earth would you think you had the right to return it? That is what is wrong with people these days. You buy something have it for a long time, tear it up and then expect to be able to return the item to get your money back. That’s called taking advantage of a company. Shame on you.

  12. Ken Fox on June 19th, 2016 11:12 am

    My friend lives in California, but has a private mailbox in Oregon to forward his packages. He avoids the sales tax, but pays the shipping from Oregon to his home. He only does this on certain
    expensive purchases so that the sales tax savings offsets the shipping cost….

  13. Alex on November 6th, 2016 3:25 pm

    Thanks for the article. However I think you should eliminate the jet.com option because they just started charging sales tax in many states (including CA). I placed many orders from jet to avoid the sales tax and was saddened to find it pop out of nowhere when I was checking out today.

  14. IHateAmazon on November 17th, 2016 12:51 pm

    Also, keep in mind that Amazon isn’t about doing the work to make sure you pay your own tax rate. They are choosing the cheapest path which is often using a blanket tax rate so if your state doesn’t have 1 tax rate through out you might be paying more, which hurts Amazon business or you might be paying less, which hurts local business. If you’re lucky to be the average then it doesn’t matter.

  15. Gene Stanton on December 5th, 2016 11:51 am

    I live in Alabama which is not listed as a state that collects tax but Amazon is still charging me tax. Can you tell me why?

  16. Kyle on December 5th, 2016 12:03 pm

    Hey Gene, looks like Amazon started collecting tax from Alabama residents on Nov 1st, I’ll update article

  17. Hiker on December 8th, 2016 6:34 am

    Add Utah to this list starting Jan. 2017.

  18. Taco Loco on January 4th, 2017 4:35 pm

    Add Iowa and Louisiana to the list as of 2017

  19. tony on January 6th, 2017 9:34 am

    Article is BS JET.com charges sales tax. No advantage over Amazon.

  20. yaliblu on January 13th, 2017 2:28 pm

    From March 1, 2017, Wyoming will be added to the list of states that collect sales tax on purchases made at Amazon.com.

  21. Judy on January 25th, 2017 7:40 pm

    Looks like MS is joining the sales tax states February 1, 2017.

  22. Chris on February 1st, 2017 3:23 pm

    This state will result in more people avoiding filing state income because this tax grab. I am opposed to this company charging me more to buy online than I buy offline. We do no pay a state sales on football tickets and food at football games.

    I am opposed to increase in state taxes on anybody and this tax increase will cost some of our state legislators to lose their jobs and hope and pray this gets appealed and since it is a tax grab. If I decided to file taxes I will want my Amazon prime membership to paid by the state of Mississippi. There are other ways to get more taxes rather than make people pay more online. Our state legislators is very stupid and they only care about what the city and counties want. This tax will hurt online sales because of the state legislators wants to punish us by taxes us more.

    If the state legislators gets rid of the tax on food and grocery items, then I buy online but this nobody but a tax grab at the expense of the working poor and the middle class which has less money to spend and that money will get tighter and these state legislators only care about themselves and this tax is nothing but a tax grab. I have been against last year and I still against this tax grab still.

    I will never vote for any hypocrite that claimed he is against this tax grab than be for something that I am opposed to and I hope this will lead to limit people buying online to pay these legislators stupidly. I will cut the number of counties we have and that will reduce our cost and this will save us money instead of putting more taxes on the people.

  23. Joe on January 26th, 2017 9:36 pm

    Sames tax for MO (Missouri) as of 02-01-2017

  24. Kyle on January 29th, 2017 5:10 pm

    Thanks, I’ll add the new states to my article.

  25. Abby on February 10th, 2017 2:14 pm

    Need to add Arkansas to that list too! Effective March 1, 2017

  26. Rob on March 8th, 2017 10:11 am

    Oklahoma started March 1, 2017…

  27. terry on January 27th, 2017 12:06 pm

    best way to do it is not reelect the morons that allowed the taxes in the first place… we pay to much as it is now ….

  28. Jenna on February 10th, 2017 8:39 pm

    you can add Arkansas to the list as of March 1st 2017

  29. CLR on March 1st, 2017 8:47 am

    I don’t want to avoid the Nebraska sales tax, but I don’t live in the city of our zip code. I am 11 miles from it. I just don’t want to pay the city sales tax. When I put in my zip of 68874 it automatically charges both the state and city to my purchase

  30. Krys on March 2nd, 2017 2:01 pm

    Amazon began collecting tax in Arkansas on March 1st 2017 :((((

  31. Jeff on March 27th, 2017 10:25 pm

    Might as well remove this article, not much left that is good at this point. Pretty much all states getting sales tax from Amazon, and Jet same and Walmart same. Not only that media report one after other said Amazon would collect just state portion in Missouri, no they are getting city and county as well. Nearly every press report was wrong. I’m done with Amazon, pay less tax driving 2 miles up road to Walmart.

  32. metahd on March 30th, 2017 2:59 pm

    Come April 2017, Hawaii residents will now be charged a sales tax, on top of our other taxes. Price of paradise? No, it’s tax hell.

  33. Mrs. Williams on April 6th, 2017 5:33 am

    Recently noticed Amazon collecting tax on my orders! I’m in Maine.

  34. Glenn Powell on April 25th, 2017 1:51 pm

    I just made a purchase on Amazon Prime and got taxed, canceling my Prime Membership, what did they think I was paying for a membership for.

  35. Johanna on September 17th, 2017 10:06 am

    You do not list Colorado which does require Amazon to tax purchases.

  36. Jeff on November 2nd, 2017 9:27 am

    This Article is misleading, at least for Maryland. You are required to keep track of items you purchase online from any site that does not collect the State tax and then when filing taxes you are required to pay the 6% on all those items where you did not pay when purchasing.

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