Prepare to Pay Sales Tax on Your Amazon Purchases

The company will start applying the 6.25 percent tax in November 2013.

Amazon will begin automatically applying the 6.25 percent Massachusetts sales tax to purchases made here, Gov. Deval Patrick announced Tuesday in a press release. There seems to be a universal reaction among consumers in our Twitter feed to the news:



This move has looked ever-more likely as Gov. Deval Patrick pressured them to collect the sales tax, arguing that their physical presence here meant that legally they had to. (Technically, in states where online retailers don’t apply the tax, you are suppposed to be recording and paying the it on your online purchases yourselves. What, you forgot? We won’t tell.) Indeed, it has sometimes seemed like a simple question of when the tax would come into play: before or after the holiday shopping season. The silver lining for disappointed consumers is that the November 2013 date puts it way, way after. (Buy your 2013 Halloween costume on Amazon while it’s hot!)

There are a lot of interested parties for whom this is a win, though. As Patrick says in a press release today, “We are thankful Amazon was willing to come to the table and we will continue our conversations with them about creating jobs here. This agreement is a win for all sides, and I am pleased it promises to generate millions in long-term revenue for the Commonwealth.”

The state, for instance, will get as much as $45 million from Amazon that currently goes uncollected. (The MBTA, which gets a cut of sales tax revenue, could sure use the money right around now.) Brick and mortar retailers, who are put at an automatic 6.25 percent disadvantage, are also pretty happy. And The Globe’s Steven Syre makes the case that with this hurdle overcome, Amazon can consider opening a distribution center near a large population of online retailers, a consideration that probably outweighs Amazon’s aversion to collecting the tax.

So this is happy news for a lot of interested parties. Of course, for many an online consumer, there appears to be only one appropriate response: “Nooooooo.”