New State Sales Tax Nixes Online Referrals To Amazon.com
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana bloggers and YouTubers will no longer be able to get kickbacks for online referrals to Amazon.com, thanks to a new state sales tax law that went into effect Friday.
The Advocate reports the online retail giant has notified members of its Amazon Associates program that because Louisiana will now be collecting sales taxes on some purchases made online through "dealers" in the state, it's no longer going to dole out commissions when people buy goods from Amazon after clicking through from Louisiana affiliates' websites.
Amazon has done the same thing in other states that have similar so-called "Amazon tax" laws that deem out-of-state retailers as having an in-state presence when they offer commissioned referrals in the state.
Louisiana's new sales tax law on referral relationships was approved during the recent 25-day special session. It would require Amazon to collect sales taxes on purchases if a "dealer" could reasonably be expected to meet a $50,000 sales threshold in a year.
"The unfortunate consequences of this legislation affecting Louisiana residents like you were explained to the Louisiana Legislature, including Senate and House leadership, as well as to the governor's staff," Amazon wrote in a recent email to Amazon Associates located in Louisiana. "Over a dozen other states have considered essentially identical legislation but have rejected these proposals largely because of the adverse impact on their states' residents."
The new sales tax law doesn't require Amazon to collect sales taxes on purchases directly made from its site without referrals.
It's unclear how many people will be affected by the end of the Amazon Associates program. It doesn't typically generate a lot of money for associates, but offers a monetary incentive for bloggers to promote Amazon and its products.
Amazon.com didn't immediately respond to requests for comment about its decision to shutter the program in Louisiana. But the site is no longer allowing Louisiana residents to sign up for the program, and a disclaimer explains that any member of the program who moves to Louisiana can no longer take part in it.
The program is also unavailable to residents of Arkansas, Maine, Missouri, Rhode Island and Vermont.