Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

With Billions At Stake, Supreme Court Rules States May Tax Online Retailers

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Mandy Jefferson | 21 June, 2018, 19:07

In a case involving MA online retailer Wayfair, the US Supreme Court Thursday opened the door for states to collect sales taxes on products their residents buy from Internet retailers in other states.

Louisiana is one of the states that can now collect taxes on retail sales over the internet after a Thursday morning ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Shares of online retailers fell sharply following the ruling, with Wayfair down 3.8 percent, Overstock off 2.1 percent and Etsy Inc shares off 4.4 percent.

In response to the ruling, the stocks of several internet retailers, including Amazon, eBay and Wayfair, all dropped.

E-commerce now makes up about 10 percent of US retail sales, according to the Commerce Department.

Anyway, that's that. Within a year or less, every state will collect sales tax on internet and mail-order sales. Brick-and-mortar retailers have argued that online retailers have an unfair advantage.

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During an interview with FOX Business in April, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said changing the law could level the playing field between traditional and e-commerce retailers.

Retailers said overturning Quill would allow states to go far beyond the model legislation that South Dakota passed, requiring collection by retailers with a single sale in a state or perhaps trying to force the companies to comply retroactively.

Forty-five states rely on sales taxes for revenue, and for those states that have no income tax, sales taxes are very important.

South Dakota has estimated that it could take in up to $50 million a year in additional revenue with these taxes being collected.

You will soon likely be paying more in taxes for online purchases. Louisiana is beefing up its efforts to collect taxes on purchases made from out-of-state in...

Most states would need to pass legislation before seeking to collect the additional taxes, although some have already enacted laws or regulations similar to South Dakota's.

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