A few days after becoming enmeshed in a sales tax issue in Texas, Amazon won a round regarding North Carolina, where the online retail giant is in court. A federal judge ruled against North Carolina’s request for Amazon customer data, stating that the request is unconstitutional, violating First Amendment rights.
Amazon dropped its North Carolina affiliates after the state claimed that the affiliate program constituted enough of a presence in the state for Amazon to be required to charge sales tax to North Carolina residents. The state has been trying to gather info about Amazon purchases from state residents so it could collect sales tax from them. U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle ruled that customer data already collected by North Carolina’s Department of Revenue should be destroyed, though the department could make a new request for data. Amazon had the support of some unusual allies in the case, including ABFFE since the organization agreed North Carolina's request violated reader privacy.
This ruling follows hot on the heels of last week’s statement by the State of Texas, which claimed that Amazon owes it $269 million for uncollected sales taxes.