Supreme Court Let States Tax Online Shopping

Supreme Court Let States Tax Online Shopping

In a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to reverse a 26-year-old decision saying that all states can now require internet retailers to collect sales and use tax in states where they lack a physical presence.

The case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, overturned a 1992 Supreme Court decision that protected online vendors from sales tax obligations if the vendor did not have a physical brick and mortar store in the state. Walmart is another retailer that collects online sales tax because it has physical locations in the state. Customers were generally supposed to pay the tax to the state themselves if they don't get charged it, but the vast majority didn't. The ruling was praised by some in the retail industry for clarifying how sales taxes should be handled in the ecommerce era.

South Dakota residents may see lower sales tax rates because of a provision in state law passed years ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing states to make online shoppers pay it.

Bridgett Lambert, the executive director of the West Virginia Retailers Association, said she was not sure if Justice understands the impact of the ruling.

While some online sellers recently have started collecting sales taxes, others, like L.L. Bean, do not.

Meanwhile, a statement release Thursday said the state Chamber was "very pleased" with the decision. Tom McGee CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers said: "We think this levels the playing field and promotes competition".

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The conservative chief justice, John Roberts, dissented along with liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Second, Hawaii is not a member of the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement and can not be a member unless its laws are amended significantly. Local tax attorneys are now weighing in to break down how this effects small businesses that sell products online, across the world.

The winners are local brick and mortar businesses, which will be able to compete pricewise with online retail giants. But it's also "much bigger than that", Jackley said.

The problem the additional revenue creates, according to Washington County Commissioner Joe Grandy, is the way those online sales tax dollars are remitted back to local governments. Amazon does collect on direct sales, but not indirect sales. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office estimated last year that collecting sales tax on all remote sales could bring state and local governments in Florida anywhere from $486 million to $758 million a year. The state also provides sales tax collection software for free for any business that wants it, and using that software immunizes the business from audit liability.

In 2016, Gov. Bill Haslam proposed a rule that would require out-of-state businesses that make sales in excess of $500,000 in Tennessee to begin collecting and paying sales tax, but ultimately, that rule was put on the back burner in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling.

A case study Vince Kadlubek was originally happy enough when he heard of the Supreme Court ruling. Forty five of the 50 states impose sales taxes.

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