Amazon Associates drops Minnesota over Dayton’s Internet sales tax


Amazon AssocaitesAmazon is closing the accounts of Minnesotan’s who participate in the Amazon Associates program, their widely popular affiliate arrangement that compensates marketers and advertisers for e-commerce transactions.  

The action is direct response to the 6.875 percent sales tax on purchases made in Minnesota starting July 1, 2013. In an abrupt blanket notice sent to Amazon Associates in Minnesota, the company states:

“We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account will be closed and your Amazon Services LLC Associates Program Operating Agreement will be terminated effective June 30, 2013. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional Minnesota state tax collection legislation passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Dayton on May 23, 2013, with an effective date of July 1, 2013. As a result, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon Site after June 30 nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Minnesota residents.”

“While we oppose this unconstitutional state legislation, we strongly support the federal Marketplace Fairness Act now pending before Congress. Congressional legislation is the only way to create a simplified, constitutional framework to resolve interstate sales tax issues and it would allow us to re-open our Associates program to Minnesota residents. We thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates Program, and look forward to re-opening our program when Congress passes the Marketplace Fairness Act.”



  • Jim

    This law hurts. I am going to sell two growing, side businesses as a result. Both businesses were generating profits, employing local contractors, creating revenue streams that I could pump right back into future growth. Amazon and Commission Junction are two top affiliates, and I suspect others will follow. Why ride a business into the ground when I can sell to someone in Idaho, Colorado, or Wisconsin who doesn’t have the same draconian restrictions? Dayton thinks he will get $5 mil a year from this crazy tax. He will get zero. Everyone will liquidate. The growth of these businesses will now happen in other states.

  • Fred Overtaxed

    Way to go Amazon! Since the small guys (me) can’t seem to get heard by the government, perhaps a loud message from a huge business will be heard. I’m a Minnesotan and I applaud Amazon for standing by the constitution. I encourage any business that interacts with a over-taxed, over-governed state to do likewise.

    • rick

      THis may be ok for you to say but I have 3 websites that were just shut down…. screw Dayton and Minnesota!!!

  • Jeff Pesek

    So what is the difference between MInnesota’s version of the tax and the marketplace fairness act at the end of the day? Would the federal negate or override the state?

    • Jim

      The federal law would make Minnesota’s state law (and 9 other similar state laws) irrelevant and meaningless. It would allow states to collect sales tax from any internet retailer, regardless of where they are located. Amazon, for example, could be taxed by Minnesota whether or not it had affiliates like me in the state. Today, Amazon can only be taxed by Minnesota if affiliates like me are in the state, so the easy answer for them is to simply drop me from their business to avoid the tax administration.

    • Jim

      Amazon’s position has consistently been that they are willing to collect sales taxes on all sales if the Marketplace Fairness passes. They simply don’t want to do it on a one-off, state-by-state basis that creates an administrative nightmare for them and their retail partners.