President Donald Trump has spent an inordinate amount of time attacking Amazon in recent weeks, slamming the online giant for paying “little or no taxes to state & local governments,” among other things.
Numerous media outlets have reported that Trump’s statements about Amazon’s tax-paying status are untrue -- the company collects sales tax in all 45 states where it’s levied -- but on Friday a new piece of information entered the scenario: The Trump Organization’s online retail site collects sales tax for only two of those 45 states.
The TrumpStore.com website sells Trump-labeled glassware, baseball caps, luggage tags, spa slippers and key chains, among several other items. It collects sales tax only on orders shipped to buyers in Florida and Louisiana, according to the company’s own website, The Wall Street Journal was the first to point out on Friday.
TrumpStore.com, which touts itself as the “official retail website of the The Trump Organization,” doesn’t even pay sales taxes on its online shipments in New York, according to the information on its site. Its physical store and headquarters are located in the Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Amazon, on the other hand, collected sales tax in every state but Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon, which do not have sales tax.
Amazon doesn’t have to pay all those taxes. A 1992 Supreme Court ruling effectively restricts states from forcing online retailers to pay state and local sales taxes if the company has no physical presence or employees in the state.
Amazon reportedly also supports legislation that would require all online retail operations — such as TrumpStore.com — to pay local taxes so companies operate on a level competitive playing field.
And TrumpStore.com could be doing that sooner than later.
According to HuffPost, the Trump administration and Amazon seem to be on the same page regarding sales tax collection:
The Trump administration last month filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to allow states to require that online retailers collect and pay sales taxes even where they have no physical presence.