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Amazon Begins Collecting Florida Taxes for Internet Sales

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. today begins collecting sales taxes on purchases in Florida, adding the fourth most-populous state to the list of places where the world’s largest Internet retailer levies the charges.

The Seattle-based company last year agreed to collect Florida’s 6 percent sales tax as it builds two warehouses in the state. Amazon will collect as much as $80 million annually in levies, according to an estimate by the Florida Retail Federation, a business trade group based in Tallahassee.

Amazon now collects taxes in 21 states, including California, Texas and New York. Amazon doesn’t charge levies in states where it lacks a physical presence, such as as a warehouse.

Researchers at Ohio State University published a paper last month that said sales dropped in states where Amazon added the charge

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that retailers can be forced to collect a tax only in states where they have a physical presence.

To contact the reporter on this story: Toluse Olorunnipa in Tallahassee, Florida at tolorunnipa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net Justin Blum, Pete Young

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