Amazon Pulling Plug on California Associates Program, Blames Taxes

Ryan Whitwam

It’s getting to be a highly predictable pattern. A state starts working on a bill that would force Amazon to pay sales tax up front on its sales in said state. Amazon then starts playing hardball by cancelling business deals and ending associate programs, and that’s what’s happening in California today.

A new bill in the California legislature would force Amazon to pony up sales tax to the state, and Bezos is not pleased. In an email sent out to members of the Amazon Associates Program, the retailer says the program will be terminated in California effective the day this law goes into effect, if it does. The Associates Program is a way for people to make money for linking to products that users end up buying.

This arrangement makes the point of sale more murky, and has become a target for local governments hungry for fresh sources of income. Traditionally, companies only had to pay sales tax when they had a physical presence in a state. it seems this issue isn’t going away, and California is a mighty big arena to take the tax fight to. Do you think Amazon should be paying sales tax?

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