Amazon Lawsuit Against North Carolina Department of Revenue Settled

A lawsuit filed against the North Carolina Department of Revenue by, LLC has been settled. The lawsuit alleged that an information request issued by the North Carolina Department of Revenue violated the First Amendment as it sought all information pertaining to sales made by Amazon to North Carolina residents for the purposes of collecting sales and use tax. Both parties wish to resolve any remaining issues without further litigation. A court order was filed in federal district court stating that judgment has been entered in favor of Amazon. In October 2010, the court had granted Amazon’s motion for summary judgment on all claims except their state constitutional claims. The court had held that the First Amendment protects buyers from disclosing to the government the content of their purchases of books, music and audiovisual materials. The North Carolina Department of Revenue had issued an information request seeking the name, address, and the product purchased or product description for all of Amazon’s North Carolina customers. Amazon alleged that complying with the information request would violate the U.S. Constitution, the Washington Constitution, and federal law. Amazon has dropped its remaining state constitutional claims. The North Carolina Department of Revenue maintains that it doesn’t want titles or similar details of the products purchased by Amazon’s customers. Any information that Amazon did provide to the Department of Revenue was voluntarily destroyed, and the Department extended an offer to Amazon to comply with state tax laws moving forward. The Department further stated that customer privacy would have never been an issue if Amazon had already been collecting and remitting North Carolina sales tax. (, LLC v. Hoyle, U.S. District Court, W.D. Washington, No. 2:10-cv-00664-MJP, January 28, 2011) (Note: See prior posting

Posted on March 14, 2011