GA online sales tax law changes

Atlanta, GA (WXIA) – The days of tax-free online shopping in Georgia are over.

Up to now, shopping on Internet sites like Amazon, Overstock, and Zappos meant not having to pay the 8-percent sales tax because those sites didn't have retail outlets in Georgia.

That's unlike the websites from Home Depot, Walmart and Macy's, all of which have stores in the state and collect the full tax bite. But Georgia is changing all that.

The state is joining a growing trend, becoming the 10th state to change its tax code.

Many Internet shopping sites, like Amazon that have retailing ties to the state, will now collect that 8-percent sales tax. But if the site you shop on doesn't collect the tax, Georgia still has you in its sights.    

You'll be hit with a use tax paid to the Georgia department of revenue. But for many shoppers a big lure of online shopping was saving that 8%.

Internet shopper, Mae Armstrong says, “The sales tax, here in Georgia, is 8%, in Fulton County. So, retailers should offer 8% or some kind of equal discount to entice shoppers to continue to shop online through their stores, since they are not getting the benefit of saving on sales tax.”

Another Internet shopper says, “I would think twice about buying on the internet.  
Maybe if the merchants would subsidize the taxes by waiving the shipping fees, that would, maybe, entice me a little bit more, but I have to think about it now.

The state of Georgia says the changes in the tax code will bring in about 18-million-dollars a year in sales tax revenue on Internet purchases.

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