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Starting Friday, Mass. To Collect Sales Tax From Amazon

BOSTON — Massachusetts residents who shop on Amazon.com have just a couple of days left to make tax-free purchases.

A UPS driver delivers packages from Amazon.com in Palo Alto, Calif., in this June 30, 2011, file photo. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

A UPS driver delivers packages from Amazon.com in Palo Alto, Calif., in this June 30, 2011, file photo. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

Beginning Friday, the state will apply its 6.25 percent sales tax to purchases made from the online retail giant, following an accord reached late last year between the Patrick administration and Amazon.

The tax will not apply to third-party vendors who use the site.

Owners of brick and mortar stores have long complained of being at a competitive disadvantage to online retailers, which are not required to collect sales taxes unless they have a physical presence in a consumer’s state.

Last year’s agreement with the state followed Amazon’s opening of an office in Cambridge and the purchase of a robotics firm in North Reading.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue estimates that sales taxes from goods sold by Amazon in the state will generate $36.7 million during this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

While supporting the state’s deal with Amazon, a group representing brick and mortar businesses in Massachusetts has called for a federal law requiring states to collect sales taxes from all online retailers.

With reporting by WBUR, The Associated Press and State House News Service

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