SEC Filings

AMAZON COM INC filed this Form 10-K on 01/30/2013
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Table of Contents

We Do Not Collect Sales or Consumption Taxes in Some Jurisdictions

U.S. Supreme Court decisions restrict the imposition of obligations to collect state and local sales taxes with respect to remote sales. However, an increasing number of states have considered or adopted laws that attempt to impose obligations on out-of-state retailers to collect taxes on their behalf. We support a Federal law that would allow states to require sales tax collection under a nationwide system. More than half of our revenue is already earned in jurisdictions where we collect sales tax or its equivalent. A successful assertion by one or more states or foreign countries requiring us to collect taxes where we do not do so could result in substantial tax liabilities, including for past sales, as well as penalties and interest.

We Could be Subject to Additional Income Tax Liabilities

We are subject to income taxes in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in evaluating and estimating our provision and accruals for these taxes. During the ordinary course of business, there are many transactions for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Our effective tax rates could be adversely affected by earnings being lower than anticipated in countries where we have lower statutory rates and higher than anticipated in countries where we have higher statutory rates, by losses incurred in jurisdictions for which we are not able to realize the related tax benefit, by changes in foreign currency exchange rates, by entry into new businesses and geographies and changes to our existing businesses, by acquisitions (including integrations) and investments, by changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, or by changes in the relevant tax, accounting and other laws, regulations, administrative practices, principles, and interpretations, with a number of countries actively considering changes in this regard. In addition, we are subject to audit in various jurisdictions, and such jurisdictions may assess additional income tax liabilities against us. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final outcome of tax audits and any related litigation could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals. Developments in an audit or litigation could have a material effect on our operating results or cash flows in the period or periods for which that development occurs, as well as for prior and subsequent periods.

Our Supplier Relationships Subject Us to a Number of Risks

We have significant suppliers, including licensors, and in some cases, limited or single-sources of supply, that are important to our sourcing, services, manufacturing, and any related ongoing servicing of merchandise and content. We do not have long-term arrangements with most of our suppliers to guarantee availability of merchandise, content, components or services, particular payment terms, or the extension of credit limits. If our current suppliers were to stop selling or licensing merchandise, content, components or services to us on acceptable terms, or delay delivery, including as a result of one or more supplier bankruptcies due to poor economic conditions, as a result of natural disasters or for other reasons, we may be unable to procure alternatives from other suppliers in a timely and efficient manner and on acceptable terms, or at all.

We May be Subject to Risks Related to Government Contracts and Related Procurement Regulations

Our contracts with U.S., as well as state, local and foreign, government entities are subject to various procurement regulations and other requirements relating to their formation, administration and performance. We may be subject to audits and investigations relating to our government contracts and any violations could result in various civil and criminal penalties and administrative sanctions, including termination of contract, refunding or suspending of payments, forfeiture of profits, payment of fines and suspension or debarment from future government business. In addition, such contracts may provide for termination by the government at any time, without cause.

We May Be Subject to Product Liability Claims if People or Property Are Harmed by the Products We Sell

Some of the products we sell or manufacture may expose us to product liability claims relating to personal injury, death, or environmental or property damage, and may require product recalls or other actions. Certain