Mass. Will Collect Sales Taxes On Online Purchases

A person shopping at the Wayfair retail website. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A person shopping at the Wayfair retail website. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Online shoppers will start paying sales tax on more of their purchases.

New rules go into effect Tuesday that require online retailers to collect Massachusetts' 6.25% sales tax from customers.

The new rules apply to online sellers and marketplaces — like Amazon or eBay — where third-party vendors sell their goods.

"Out-of-state remote sellers and marketplace facilitators with sales in Massachusetts exceeding $100,000 in a calendar year will be required to register with MassTaxConnect, and collect sales and use tax," said Christopher Harding, the state's department of revenue commissioner, in a statement.

Some companies have already been collecting sales tax. Now, all online retailers will have to collect these taxes. Massachusetts Retailers Association President Jon Hurst said the new rules even the playing field for brick and mortar businesses.

"A lot more sellers that have been avoiding the tax and frankly using it as a competitive advantage over actual employers, actual stores here in Massachusetts are going to have to follow the tax rules," Hurst said. "This is about fairness and, you know, it's good for the small businesses."

Online sellers will be required to file Massachusetts sales and use tax returns each month, and tax payments are due with each return.

The rules come more than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled -- in a case involving Boston-based Wayfair — that states can require online retailers to collect and remit sales tax.

With the new tax rules in place, the state expects to generate $41.7 million for the fiscal 2020 budget.


Zeninjor Enwemeka Senior Business Reporter
Zeninjor Enwemeka is a senior business reporter who covers business, tech and culture as part of WBUR's Bostonomix team, which focuses on the innovation economy.



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