- Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
- The Trump Organization updated its online retailer’s website to include New York as a state where it collects sales taxes.
- The update comes after President Donald Trump has attacked Amazon over the issue of sales tax collection.
The Trump Organization quietly updated the list of states in which its online retailer, TrumpStore.com, collects sales taxes to include New York.
The addition comes weeks after President Donald Trump attacked Amazon over its sales tax collection policies. The Trump Organization confirmed the addition to Business Insider.
A Trump Store spokesperson told Business Insider the online retailer “as stated previously” has “always, and will continue to collect, report, and remit sales taxes in jurisdictions where we have an obligation to do so.” The spokesperson noted that it began a new return policy on Tuesday, the last day when New York did not appear on the list of states where the Trump Store collected sales taxes.
New York’s addition to the list of states where TrumpStore.com collects sales tax, which previously included Louisiana, Florida, and Virginia, was first spotted Thursday by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonpartisan think tank.
“Refusing to collect sales tax in New York was a risky move, and it’s not surprising that they’ve reversed course,” Carl Davis, research director for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, told Business Insider in an email. “But there are still dozens of states where they’re refusing to collect, and that’s a bad sign for the fairness and enforceability of sales taxes in all of those states.”
“This raises obvious questions about why they weren’t collecting the tax already,” he continued. “It’s unlikely that their business structure suddenly changed so much that they’re just now coming within reach of New York sales tax collection laws for the first time.
The Wayback Machine, a digital internet archive, showed that as recently as Tuesday, the list of states that appeared on the same page only included Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. Meanwhile, Virginia was added to the list sometime between April 3 and April 12, just after Trump’s Amazon criticism reached a climax.
- The Wayback Machine
Davis said that while Amazon “may be the poster child when it comes to non-collection of sales taxes,” this “is a good reminder that Amazon isn’t alone.”
In a post on the organization’s website, Davis questioned whether the Trump Organization could face any penalties or back taxes for failing to collect the tax earlier.
Trump frequently attacked Amazon over the issue of sales tax collection that the online retailer collects.
Amazon, the e-commerce giant that found itself in Trump’s crosshairs, originally collected sales taxes in just five states. But the company has more recently moved to collect sales taxes on its inventory in the 45 states that have such taxes, as well as Washington, DC. The White House has said Trump is referring to third-party sellers on the platform – not the company itself – when discussing the collection of sales taxes.
Amazon’s collection of sales taxes in most of those 45 states is not required by law. Online retailers are obliged to collect the taxes only in states where they have a physical presence. The Trump Organization, notably, has a clear presence in New York.
The Supreme Court heard arguments in a case on the subject last month after the Trump administration filed a brief with the high court in March. The administration argued that retailers like Amazon had to collect the tax in states where they do not have a physical location. A ruling in that case could affect the Trump Organization.
In using the sales tax issue to target Amazon, Trump tweeted earlier this year that “fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country…not a level playing field!”