Supreme Court lets states force online retailers to collect sales tax


He predicted the Legislature will attempt to clarify its own e-commerce-related tax laws in next year's session and said it was likely some e-retailers here would start voluntarily collecting sales tax in anticipation of those changes.

A federal audit said states lost $13.7 billion in uncollected sales tax revenue a year ago.

In theory, Thursday's decision should primarily impact bigger businesses rather than artisanal sellers.

Nebraska Tax Commissioner Tony Fulton said Thursday morning that officials were still reading the court opinion and could not comment on how it might affect the state.

For Amazon, the loyalty of its Amazon Prime subscribers, who pay monthly or yearly fees for shipping discounts, could soften the blow of tax collection, said a retail analyst at Moody's. Wayfair (W) operates five online retail sites that sell a variety of goods for the home.

"It's great to have an even playing field for business and not only that, but sales tax is really important to our communities and important to our state".

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The decision, in which South Dakota prevailed over the online furniture retailer Wayfair, immediately sent ripples through the internet shopping industry sending shares tumbling in Amazon, eBay, Etsy and others. Certainly, it puts in-state and brick-and-mortar retailers on a level playing field with online sellers. Target Corp was up 1.4 percent and Walmart Inc was up 0.3 percent. Big online retailers have, in many cases, managed to avoid paying sales tax when selling goods to consumers because previously, courts said that a company must have a physical presence in the state to be taxed.

The Supreme Court decision "will certainly change how states look at these laws but we may see states trying to see if their versions could survive even if they are less simplified and direct than South Dakota's law", Joseph Bishop-Henchman, an executive vice president at the Tax Foundation, said in a blog post.

"Startups and small businesses may benefit from the physical presence rule, but here South Dakota affords small merchants a reasonable degree of protection", the ruling says. She says the court decision will "level the playing field for IL brick-and-mortar retailers".

An anti-tax group led by former U.S. Sen. "It's clear that (retailers) are going to try to incorporate increases in the prices to pass along the higher costs to the consumer", said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey. The South Dakota Supreme Court invalidated the law because Quill Corp. v. He said that the court's decision would result in "48 to 58 million dollars that South Dakota can use for education, healthcare, and infrastructure". South Dakota, and held that "physical presence" is not necessary before States can validly apply their taxing powers to businesses that have neither persons nor property in a State but nevertheless conduct substantial business in that State.

Continuing, Justice Kennedy noted potential shortcomings in the former system: a product of Quill Corporation v. North Dakota, that involved mail-order catalogs.

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court is seen after the court revived Ohio's contentious policy of purging infrequent voters from its registration rolls, overturning a lower court ruling that Ohio's policy violated the National Voter Registration Act, in Washington, U.S., June 11, 2018. But, he adds, "the risk of audit will remain on the vendors in most states".

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