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Amazon to begin collecting Massachusetts sales tax Friday

Retailers long complained that Amazon had an unfair advantage, tax-wise.
Retailers long complained that Amazon had an unfair advantage, tax-wise.Scott Sady/Associated Press/File 2008

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If you’re considering making a big-ticket purchase on Amazon.com, you might want to do it before Friday.

That’s when Massachusetts shoppers will start paying the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax on items they buy from Amazon. The state Department of Revenue expects the tax will raise $36.7 million over the balance of the fiscal year ending June 30. The tax applies to items purchased from Amazon and not third-party vendors using the site.

Transactions on Amazon and other large Internet retail sites have long been handled tax-free for residents of Massachusetts and most other states. Other retailers that were required by law to collect Massachusetts sales taxes—brick and mortar stores as well as others that sell online but maintain a physical presence in the state—complained they were competing at an unfair disadvantage.

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