Trump's Amazon Tweet Comes at Eventful Time for State-Local Taxes

Trump escalates attack on Amazon focussing on tax shipping

An independent agency of theUS federal government, USPS reported a net loss of $2.7 billion for fiscal 2017, largely due to increased costs of retirement benefits.

Trump's frustrations with Amazon are no surprise.

President Trump responded to the article on Twitter.

"A lot of people have made this, with respect to Amazon, about personalities and the CEO at Amazon - we're talking about Jeff Bezos here", he said on Thursday on the Fox News channel.

Amazon could not be reached immediately for comment.

The Postal Service could charge Amazon higher rates, but first, Trump would need more appointees on the Postal Regulatory Commission, which lacks a quorum.

As for the Postal Service, it has lost money for years, but online shopping has led to growth in its package-delivery business.

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But with that network in its early stages, it's a paying customer of the post office.

News site Axios, citing five unnamed sources who spoke with the president, reported that Trump has openly discussed going after Amazon using antitrust or tax laws.

Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday: "I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election". "They pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!" he tweeted.

Trump also wants to change Amazon's tax treatment, the report said, an issue the president raised publicly past year when he called for an internet tax for online retailers, even though Amazon already collects sales tax on items it sells direct to customers.

The retailer and cloud computing pioneer is the latest company Trump has singled out for praise or condemnation, although the effect on stock prices of his targets is generally short-lived. Now the company charges sales taxes in the 45 states that have them and the District of Columbia. The online retail giant clearly leverages many tools to keep the tax man at bay.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that the White House favours an internet sales tax.

The issue is still being disputed at the federal level, with the US Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments on April 17 in a case which could reverse a 1992 decision that only companies with a physical presence in a state are required to collect state sales tax.

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Cloudtail, the largest seller entity on Amazon, is asking third party sellers to list their products through it and align with the entity, merchants aware of the matter said.

It's also true that Amazon, as well as other online retailers, may not pay taxes in some areas, but that's because the laws there haven't kept pace with technology, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

"Common sense suggests USPS needs Amazon more than Amazon needs USPS", Stifel analysts wrote in a research report this week.

"So for Amazon there really is a big advantage on the state sales tax because of current policy", Hassett said.

For more than two years, President Donald Trump has lashed out at Amazon, its founder Jeff Bezos, and the Bezos-owned Washington Post. Separate figures in the report show it was expecting to pay $100 million to $200 million in taxes at the US state level in 2017.

Amazon founder Bezos also privately owns the Washington Post, which won a Pulitzer Prize a year ago for its investigation of Trump's donations to charities. "Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly?"

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