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Originally published August 16, 2013 at 1:48 PM | Page modified August 16, 2013 at 1:54 PM

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Amazon ends Missouri referral program to avoid sales taxes

The online retailer tells Amazon Associates in Missouri that they will not receive fees after Aug. 27 for sending business to Amazon.com.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Amazon has told Missouri website owners who drive traffic to the online shopping site that it will stop paying a bounty for that business in order to avoid a new state sales tax.

The company sent an email this week informing Missourians who are Amazon Associates that is terminating the program for them on Aug. 27. The company said the move is a “direct result of the unconstitutional Missouri state tax collection legislation” that goes into effect Aug. 28.

That law requires online retailers to collect taxes on sales from click-through referrals from sites owned by Missouri residents when sales top $10,000 over the course of a year. Associates earn 4 percent to 8.5 percent on referrals that lead to sales of everything from groceries to books to electronics from Amazon.

Amazon has ended its Associates program in several other states including Minnesota last month. The company said in its email that it prefers pending federal legislation, dubbed the Marketplace Fairness Act, that would let states collect taxes from retailers who generate more than $1 million in annual out-of-state sales in a uniform manner throughout the country.

Jay Greene: 206-464-2231 or jgreene@seattletimes.com. Twitter: iamjaygreene

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