Saturday, 21 July, 2018

What's that extra in my online cart? Soon, maybe a sales tax

Sales tax now can be collected on online purchases due to a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court Sales tax now can be collected on online purchases due to a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court
Jodi Jackson | 24 June, 2018, 23:49

The decision reverses two Supreme Court rulings from decades ago, which said states couldn't require retailers to collect and remit sales taxes if those retailers weren't physically located in the taxing state.

Groups representing West Virginia's business community support the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing states to collect sales tax from retailers involved in online purchases. Part of the draw to buying things online, aside from the convenience, was avoiding sales tax (assuming you bought from a smaller merchant), which on more expensive products could cost more than shipping - that's not to mention the possibility of free shipping in some cases, too. However, consumers have the option to shop online, pay no sales tax, and get the item cheaper which is not fair to local stores, Deskins said.

Honestly, this shouldn't be surprising to anyone, but it's a bummer nonetheless. The decision was seen as a victory for brick-and-mortar stores, which felt they were at a disadvantage to online outlets that did not need to collect the taxes.

The 16 states with laws similar to South Dakota's, including IN and ME, are less likely to be challenged. The ruling should also eliminate the need for the kind of workarounds that MA regulators have recently devised to snare more online vendors, such as arguing that Internet "cookies" constituted a physical presence, a policy Kennedy cited as he dispensed with the physical-presence test. The big losers in the ruling are not behemoth companies like Amazon, which already collects sales tax, but smaller online sites like Boston-based Wayfair - one of the companies that was at the center of the litigation, which was brought by the state of South Dakota.

Lawmakers have tried unsuccessfully to pass online sales tax legislation for years, with the most recent attempt failing after several conservatives called the provision a tax increase on online shoppers.

If you enjoyed the illicit thrill of avoiding the 6.25 percent IL sales tax on internet purchases of running shoes or steaks, you'll mourn the court's opinion in South Dakota v. Wayfair.

The case the court ruled in has to do with a law passed by South Dakota in 2016. Many small online sellers may use Amazon's platform as it will collect and remit sales tax for them.

The Supreme Court of the United States today decided Wayfair, Inc. v.

She says prices may go up on her website, but it's important states see tax dollars for online purchases.

Nevertheless, there will be a mad scramble by the 45 states that have sales taxes to try to collect sales taxes from out-of-state retailers.

Nevertheless, the Court stopped short of giving its full blessing to the South Dakota law, stating that the taxpayers had made other challenges to the law and those need to be addressed by the state courts first. "While we don't know how much this will specifically mean for our sales tax revenue, we are certain it will have a positive impact on our sales tax revenue". Supreme Court in a decision that should help level the playing field between bricks-and-mortar and internet-based sellers.

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