With Billions At Stake, Supreme Court Rules States May Tax Online Retailers

22 June, 2018, 02:30 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • The Supreme Court rules against Wayfair and other online retailers and overturns ban on the collection of online sales taxes. Jenny Kane  AP

Under the Supreme Court's decision Thursday, states can pass laws requiring sellers without a physical presence in the state to collect the state's sales tax from customers and send it to the state.

The case before the Supreme Court, South Dakota v. Wayfair, stemmed from a law South Dakota passed requiring online retailers to collect and remit sales tax even if they don't have a physical presence in the state. The law requires out-of-state sellers who do more than $100,000 of business in the state or more than 200 transactions annually with state residents to collect sales tax and turn it over to the state.

States could see a boost in tax revenue after the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that they can collect sales taxes from online shoppers.

For the full story, head on over to CNN Money. Billions in sales every year will now be taxed, which had been left untouched for over a generation.

More than 40 states had submitted testimony in favor of upholding the South Dakota law.

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A November 2017 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that MA could gain an estimated $169 million to $279 million in additional tax revenue if it could tax all remote sellers.

The decision provides clarity that could lead to Congress passing legislation to create uniform national rules for collecting state taxes, to avoid a hodgepodge of individual state rules that would make the tax collection especially onerous for small e-commerce businesses. The 1992 decision predates e-commerce and once the internet came of age it accelerated the demise of mom and pop retailers on Main Street, he said on CNBC. North Dakota, that involved mail-order catalogs.

"Ecommerce has grown into a significant and vibrant part of our national economy against the backdrop of established rules, including the physical-presence rule". After doing so, it filed a lawsuit against Newegg, Overstock.com, and Wayfair to validate the law. Amazon collects state sales tax on items it sells directly, but third party vendors on Amazon are now not required to collect the tax. Before this ruling, Amazon, for example, collected sales tax only from customers in Washington and Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Supreme Court is clearing the way for Iowa to collect sales taxes on digital goods and services.

Chris Geehern, a spokesman for Associated Industries of MA, a business trade group, said the court ruling has the potential to "introduce a high degree of complexity for companies that do sell things over the web".

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Brick-and-mortar retailers cheered the decision.

Online sellers may have to change their practices around collecting online sales tax after the Supreme Court ruled in a key online sales tax case.

The Supreme Court just voted to close a loophole that has seen American consumers dodge billions in sales tax on online orders since 1992. Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, saying the decision should be left to Congress, and was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Meanwhile, a statement release Thursday said the state Chamber was "very pleased" with the decision.

The Quill majority expressed concern that without the physical presence rule "a state tax might unduly burden interstate commerce" by subjecting retailers to tax collection obligations in thousands of different taxing jurisdictions. "It's not the merchants who are playing - paying the sales tax; it's the consumer".

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Kennedy wrote that the 1992 precedent that affirmed that a physical presence is required - a case called Quill v.

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