Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Favourable U.S. tax ruling gives limited boost to big-box retailers

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Mandy Jefferson | 26 June, 2018, 08:27

Officials say that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that retailers must collect sales tax from buyers in other states could mean more than $200 million a year to IL.

It's unclear how long it could take for such sales tax collections to begin, or how much money the treasury could collect. Disagreement also emerged about whether Louisiana has several key provisions on the books to match the requirements involved in the Supreme Court ruling for online sales tax collection. But the court found it is "unworkable" to apply a rule based on physical offices to online sales, saying it caused more confusion as some states maintained that even allowing users to download an app in their state counted as a "physical presence".

When the court ruled in 1967 and 1992 that IL and North Dakota could not squeeze sales taxes from sellers with no presence in those states, there wasn't almost as much at stake.

Still, the ruling was a central topic of discussion Thursday in the House, where lawmakers in a special session are haggling over sales tax measures aimed at lessening steep budget cuts that hit in July.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. "This ruling clears the way for a fair and level playing field where all retailers compete under the same sales tax rules whether they sell merchandise online, in-store or both". But he said there were insufficient reasons to overrule the precedents and that Congress should have been left to address the matter. Justice Roberts penned the dissenting opinion and was joined by three other justices: Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan.

"(Twix have flour; Snickers don't), and taxes them differently".

"One vitalizing effect of the internet has been connecting small, even "micro" businesses to potential buyers across the nation", Roberts wrote.

Heather Locklear arrested again for battery of a police officer, EMT
It is unclear now how these new misdemeanors might impact Locklear's parole given her previous arrest for the same offense. She was fined $900 (£678) and sentenced to three years' informal probation after pleading guilty to reckless driving.


Congress could still intervene.

Edwards and House Democrats want to renew half the 1 percent tax, a proposal previously backed by the Senate.

NRF argued in a friend-of-the-court brief previous year that the court's 1992 Quill Corp. v. North Dakota had been "wrongly decided". More than 20 states define a seller's physical presence as including any affiliated website.

Shoppers were generally supposed to pay the sales tax to the state themselves, but most didn't, says Gerald Storch, who was CEO of department store operator Hudson's Bay and now runs a retail consulting firm.

Grover Norquist, president of the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, said in a statement, "Today the Supreme Court said yes - you can be taxed by politicians you do not elect and who act knowing you are powerless to object". "The Internet's prevalence and power have changed the dynamics of the national economy", the court said in its decision in the case, South Dakota v. Wayfair.

Information for this article was contributed by Greg Stohr, Alexa Green, Molly Schuetz and Spencer Soper of Bloomberg News and by Adam Liptak of The New York Times.

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