Online sales tax collection clears Indiana House

A central Indiana Amazon fulfillment center
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If you like to make purchases online to avoid paying Indiana sales tax, those days may be numbered.

Hoosiers are already required to estimate how much they spent online and pay the appropriate tax when they file an Indiana tax return. But that's a step that some people may conveniently forget come tax time.

Now Indiana lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to require and other online-only retailers to start collecting Indiana's seven-percent sales tax this summer.

The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the Indiana House of Representatives on Monday.

The bill approved by a 79-18 vote on Monday would negate an agreement between Amazon and former Gov. Mitch Daniels that gave the company until next year to start charging the sales tax.

Republican Rep. David Wolkins of Winona Lake argued against the bill, saying that Amazon met its agreement to open several warehouses in Indiana. Wolkins says forcing the earlier tax collection would hurt Indiana's reputation with other companies.

Democratic Rep. Matt Pierce of Bloomington says Daniels didn't have the authority to allow some companies ignore state law requiring collection of the sales tax.

Democratic State Rep. Ed Delaney of Indianapolis and Republican Rep. Tom Dermody of LaPorte said in November 2012 that the legislation would create more equal competition for Indiana's brick-and-mortar retailers in time for the 2013 back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons. Delaney says there's no reason to give a tax preference to one retail segment and not to others.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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