The Saga of State ‘Amazon’ Laws: Reflections on the Colorado Decision
6 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2012 Last revised: 2 Dec 2014
Date Written: July 17, 2012
We analyze the Colorado district court’s decision in Direct Marketing Association v. Huber – a decision that permanently enjoined Colorado’s "Amazon" law. Had it not been enjoined, the Colorado law would have mandated information reporting by remote e-commerce vendors so that Colorado could levy its sales and use tax on the e-commerce purchases made by Colorado residents. We evaluate the applicability of the Tax (Anti-)Injunction Act and whether the Colorado statute and regulations should be reviewed as a tax or as a regulation. We also suggest alternative approaches that state legislatures might use in order to levy taxes on remote e-commerce transactions.
(Subsequent to the publication of this essay, the 10th Circuit reversed the Colorado district court’s opinion based on similar arguments to those forwarded in this essay. The U.S. Supreme Court is now scheduled to hear this dispute, in the case of Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl.)
Keywords: tax, e-commerce, Amazon laws, injunction act, colorado, huber
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation