Donald Trump's tweet on Amazon and "internet taxes" is nonsense in a handful of ways. Most notably, Amazon—to its discredit—actually supports and lobbies for a federal law requiring the collection of sales tax on Internet sales.

1) 'internet taxes' aren't a thing that exist

Trump's tweet refers to "internet taxes." There aren't really things called Internet taxes. What exists, instead, are state sales taxes that sometimes are and sometimes not collected and paid when people buy things online, especially when the vendor and the buyer are in different states.

2) Amazon actually *does* collect and remit sales tax on most sales.

Look at your receipt of your last purchase. You'll notice sales tax, based on the state to which you're having the good shipped. Amazon used to not collect state sales tax. But then courts began to rule in most states that Amazon had a duty to collect and remit the sales tax wherever Amazon had a "physical presence."

As the e-commerce titan expanded its network of warehouses this decade, it began to have a "physical presence" in most states. Soon, your Amazon purchases began having sales tax (if you live in a state that charges sales tax).

3) Amazon lobbies in favor of federal laws forcing all online retailers to collect sales tax.

In 2012, facing a slew of these court rulings, Amazon dropped its opposition to the federal "marketplace fairness" laws Walmart had long pushed. In fact, Amazon joined the lobbying coalition to pass such legislation, which would force all online retailers to collect sales tax on every sale and remit it to the state of the buyer.

This is a huge compliance burden for smaller retailers but no big deal for Amazon. Also smaller retailers, with no network of warehouses, are not required under current law to collect sales taxes, and Amazon didn't like that. Pass the Marketplace Fairness Act, and bam—you impose a big burden on Amazon's smaller competitors.

So Trump is 180 degrees from the truth here: Amazon's dirtiness is in supporting federal legislation expanding the collection of "internet taxes."

Timothy P. Carney, The Washington Examiner's commentary editor, can be contacted at His column appears Tuesday nights on