The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that states and cities can collect sales tax from online purchases
24 June, 2018, 23:44
It should also help brick-and-mortar retailers, who have suffered for years from uneven competition with online stores that don't have to collect the state's 6.25 percent sales tax.
For a better understanding of how the ruling could impact consumers and businesses in the Chicago area, reach out to local legal experts. The Court noted that the law had three features created to prevent discrimination against or undue burdens upon interstate commerce: it had a safe harbor for those transacting limited business in the State; it was not retroactive; and the State was a member of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement, which has been adopted by more than 20 States to standardize taxes to reduce administrative and compliance costs. Amazon.com, with its network of warehouses, also collects sales tax in every state that charges it, though third party sellers who use the site to sell goods don't have to.
Honestly, this shouldn't be surprising to anyone, but it's a bummer nonetheless. Under the agreement, retailers can use a sales tax compliance service of their choice without charge for transactions in the participating states, according to Craig Johnson, executive director of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board. The South Dakota Supreme Court invalidated the law because Quill Corp. v. "Regardless of how Americans shop for goods, whether that's on the internet or in our neighborhood small businesses, we must expect that all retailers face equal sales tax treatment". NY and California's rules are more complex, and those states have sought to increase sales tax collection by using broader definitions of what it means to do business within their borders.
The case the court ruled in has to do with a law passed by South Dakota in 2016. "States do want retailers to collect the sales tax those states' citizens rely on to fund local priorities". The Act takes effect on July 1, 2018 and applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. "They have very different needs and challenges than larger online retailers and we are encouraging them to sign a petition that tells policy makers to support microbusinesses like theirs".
Those governments are now expected to swiftly start forcing online vendors to collect taxes. Until that case is resolved, South Dakota has already enjoined itself from enforcing that law on any out-of-state retailers.
"Statutes of this sort are likely to embroil courts in technical and arbitrary disputes about what counts as a physical presence", he wrote. South Dakota is a "great victory for consumers and retailers".
"There's no reason you should have to pay sales taxes in one scenario and not the other", Deskins said. South Dakota's governor has said his state loses out on an estimated $50 million a year in sales tax that doesn't get collected by out-of-state sellers. In 2015, 72.5 percent of Tennessee's total tax revenues came from sales tax.
But to brick-and-mortar stores, the ruling righted a decades-old imbalance that favored internet retailers and led to the demise of thousands of merchants.
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What's that extra in my online cart? Soon, maybe a sales tax
Tom Reed, R-N.Y., said he supported the ruling's creation of a level playing field between online sellers and physical retailers. The court gave South Dakota a victory, knocking aside the physical-presence rule as arbitrary and obsolete in the digital age.
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