States Want to Force Online Retailers to Collect Billions in Sales Tax

NATION-NOW    
          Supreme Court closely divided on changing rules for online sales tax collection        Supreme Court divided over online sales taxes

NATION-NOW Supreme Court closely divided on changing rules for online sales tax collection Supreme Court divided over online sales taxes

That practice stems from a 1992 Supreme Court decision.

Amazon, which is not involved in the Supreme Court case, collects sales taxes on direct purchases on its site but does not collect taxes for items sold on its platform by third-party venders, constituting around half of total sales.

Under a 2016 law, South Dakota requires retailers with more than $100,000 in annual sales in the state to pay a 4.5 percent tax on purchases.

At issue in the South Dakota case is a rule stemming from two, decades-old Supreme Court cases: If a business is shipping to a state where it doesn't have an office, warehouse or other physical presence, it doesn't have to collect the state's sales tax.

"Although online businesses may not have a physical presence in some states, the Web has, in many ways, brought the average American closer to most major retailers", he wrote in suggesting the days of inconsistent sales tax collection may be numbered.

A ruling for the states would put new pressure on internet retailers and marketplaces that don't always collect taxes - including Overstock.com Inc. But small businesses that sell online say the complexity and expense of collecting taxes nationwide could drive them out of business. The company now charges consumers in every state that imposes a sales tax, but only when selling products that come from its own inventory.

That sort of discrepancy is at the heart of a multibillion-dollar U.S. Supreme Court case set for argument Tuesday. "The entire nature of interstate commerce has changed", Martz said.

More news: Utah's Donovan Mitchell clear to play in Game 2 after stubbing toe
More news: Tesla Inc (TSLA) Has Been Underreporting Worker Injuries
More news: This is how Beyonce took everyone's breath away with her Coachella performance

And while the issue is portrayed as one of fairness for small brick-and-mortar retailers that have to compete against online retailers, experts say those small retailers could be among the ones that get hurt.

"South Dakota's choice to forego its remedy for back taxes in the event that the Court were to overrule [existing law] will not limit the retroactive application of such a ruling with respect to other state and local jurisdictions", said Wayfair's attorneys.

It's unclear how the justices might align on the question this time.

Those fighting the change say that it would impose an undue burden on small retailers who would owe not just state sales taxes but local sales taxes that many states and counties also impose. But three justices - Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy - have suggested a willingness to rethink those decisions.

Kennedy said in 2015 that Quill had produced a "startling revenue shortfall" in many states, as well as "unfairness" to local retailers and their customers.

But Congress also could have acted any time since 1992. "The "physical presence" rule of those eras was enunciated by the Court long before virtual presence was even imaginable", added White.

"We have waited more than 25 years for Congress to act and they haven't", White said.

Recommended News

  • Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur charged in eighth death

    Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur charged in eighth death

    Police have said they plan to search at least 70 more properties where they believe McArthur, a self-employed landscaper, worked. After receiving assistance from an unnamed global government agency, Idsinga said police were able to identify the victim.
    Bank of America's profit rises 34% on higher interest rates, loan growth

    Bank of America's profit rises 34% on higher interest rates, loan growth

    With $37 highest and $24.0 lowest [Target] Bank of America has $33.63 average [Target] or 12.85% above the current ($29.8) price. Therefore 67% are positive. 17 are the (NYSE: BAC)'s analyst reports since October 31, 2017 according to StockzIntelligence Inc.
    United Kingdom  joins Syria air strikes in response to chemical attack

    United Kingdom joins Syria air strikes in response to chemical attack

    He said: "The goal of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread, and use of chemical weapons".
  • US Retail Sales Rose 0.6% in March

    US Retail Sales Rose 0.6% in March

    The result put sales up 4.5 per cent over the same month previous year , pointing to a trend of steady overall increases. Clothing and clothing accessory stores were up 6.1% year-over-year but down 0.8% from February seasonally adjusted.
    Eagles release cornerback Worley after Sunday morning arrest

    Eagles release cornerback Worley after Sunday morning arrest

    The Philadelphia Eagles have made a decision to terminate his contract and release Worley from their list of contracted players. On questioning, the police allege that Worley had a gun in his vehicle and wasn't willing to be cooperative with the police.
    7 inmates dead, 17 hurt in SC  prison fight

    7 inmates dead, 17 hurt in SC prison fight

    Autopsies should confirm their causes of death, and their names won't be released until their families are notified, Logan said. Several emergency crews responded to the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville where seven inmates were killed.
  • British Jets Take off from Cyprus Base Before Hitting Targets in Syria

    British Jets Take off from Cyprus Base Before Hitting Targets in Syria

    The prime minister "should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump", he said. The suspected use of chemical weapons has drawn the West back into Syria's seven-year conflict.
    Sega Ages May Include Saturn And Dreamcast Games If It Does Well

    Sega Ages May Include Saturn And Dreamcast Games If It Does Well

    SEGA AGES aims to bring prominent titles from a selection of home console classics and a host of perfectly-emulated arcade games . Thunder Force IV will see the Styx Mode from the SEGA Saturn edition return, and online leaderboards will also be supported.
    Senior US official briefs Turkey on Syria situation

    Senior US official briefs Turkey on Syria situation

    Andrew Brunson goes on trial on charges of aiding terror groups in a case that has raised tensions between Washington and Ankara . Monday's court session will be attended by North Carolina senator Thom Tillis and US envoy for religious freedom Sam Brownback.
  • Montage: A Blue Monday for United as City are crowned champions

    And Mourinho, speaking after the game, insisted he was making no excuses and noted that Man City were deserved champions. Manchester City have wrapped up the Premier League title despite five games still left to be played this season.
    Sensex falls almost  300 points; Infosys tanks 4%

    Sensex falls almost 300 points; Infosys tanks 4%

    Hero MotoCorp (2.02%), Kotak Mahindra Bank (1.88%) and Adani Ports (1.85%) were the top gainers on Sensex . In the broader market, the BSE Midcap was little changed, while the BSE Smallcap gained 0.4 per cent.
    China protest against Weibo's cleanup campaign

    China protest against Weibo's cleanup campaign

    While homosexuality is not illegal in the country, there is a strong conservative mindset which the government often pushes. China's internet censors previously announced intentions to ban gay content from the internet .

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.