Saturday, 22 September, 2018

NH leaders decry court ruling on online sales tax

The Supreme Court rules against Wayfair and other online retailers and overturns ban on the collection of online sales taxes. Jenny Kane  AP The Supreme Court rules against Wayfair and other online retailers and overturns ban on the collection of online sales taxes. Jenny Kane AP
Mandy Jefferson | 22 June, 2018, 18:00

The new ruling will force online retailers to pay billions more in taxes, dealing a blow to smaller companies that were previously exempt from state taxes.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Thursday that online retailers can add state tax to their sales, even if they do not have a physical location in that state. "As expressed in both the Supreme Court's decision and throughout oral arguments, the operations of small businesses are different than large retailers, and state tax actions targeting them raise additional legal questions that are not addressed by this decision". NY taxes shower caps and walking boots, but not swimming caps or hiking boots, says Avalara (AVLR), which makes automated tax software.

The organization filed an amicus brief in the case that urged the court to uphold the requirement that in order to require a business to collect sales tax in a state, it must have a physical presence in that state.

States were losing out on an estimated $8 billion to $33 billion in revenue as a result of the Quill ruling, according to Thursday's opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. "While we believe the court was not the ideal venue for creating this level playing field, we expect that today's decision will bring clarity and certainty to this issue". The ruling means states may now seek to tax more of those sales, Moody's analyst Charlie O'Shea said. "Over 10,000 jurisdictions levy sales taxes". Marketplace sellers weren't previously required to automatically collect sales tax on their sales, and the ruling may hurt their sales. Noticeably absent is Amazon which has been collecting tax in every state for some time now, perhaps because Jeff Bezos saw this coming and wanted to be ahead of the curve.

South Carolinians soon could pay more to shop online after the U.S. Mail-order sales in 1992 were only $180 billion, while online sales a year ago topped $450 billion. South Dakota took that as a prompt to change its state laws, demanding that retailers - whether online or with a physical presence - must collect taxes on their sales to state residents. If it becomes apparent that the Court's Commerce Clause decisions prohibit the States from exercising their lawful sovereign powers, the Court should be vigilant in correcting the error. Brick-and-mortar retailers have argued that online retailers have an unfair advantage. Those retailers may face headaches complying with various state sales tax laws, though there are software options to help.

Lukaku double sinks Panama
They were among four unbeaten European teams to qualify for the World Cup and were joint top goal scorers with Germany on 43. In terms of possession, Belgium had its way with Panama and had little difficulty forcing turnovers in the attacking half.


The court decision was praised by Florida business groups. The lineup of justices on each side of the case was unusual, with Roberts joining three more liberal justices and Ginsburg joining her more conservative colleagues.

South Dakota's case was supported by 35 states and the federal government and saw the Supreme Court undo a 1992 ruling in which it had held that the mail-order company Quill did not have to collect sales taxes in North Dakota.

"If physical nexus is no longer required for sales taxes, then it is no longer required for personal or corporate income taxes", he said.

Stocks for several major online retailers dropped in response to the news, including Amazon, Wayfair, and eBay. Shares in large chains with more stores traded higher.

MA law was similar to laws in several other states.

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