Amazon Takes Action in Illinois as War on Sales Taxes Continues

Amazon.com Inc.’s battle with state governments over sales taxes is escalating.

The online retailer on Thursday took action in Illinois, as it had threatened to do, to counter a new law aimed at forcing online retailers to collect sales taxes in the state. Hawaii, North Carolina and Rhode Island have enacted similar laws, and California is weighing action. Amazon is also in a court battle with New York over such legislation.

The Illinois law, signed by Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday, requires online retailers that work with affiliates in the state to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Illinois residents and businesses. Amazon responded to the measure by cutting ties to its Illinois-based affiliates, which are blogs and other websites that refer traffic to Amazon’s website and get paid commissions if customers make purchases there.

Amazon, which is based in Seattle, has fiercely opposed all efforts to force it to collect sales taxes. “We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive,” Amazon said in its letter to Illinois affiliates. “We deeply regret that its enactment forces this action.”

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