Supreme Court ruling lets states collect sales tax from online purchases

22 June, 2018, 02:27 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • Yuri Gripas  Reuters

Some retailers argued it's unreasonable to expect businesses to monitor and comply with sales tax regulations in parts of the country where they have customers, but no operations.

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. Collecting taxes makes it marginally more hard for them, and so, Roberts wants the Court to leave it alone.

I'm not really a fan of stare decisis, so I'm not a fan of arguments defending it. Roberts says that Commerce Clause precedent deserved "heightened" stare decisis, which reminds me of JoAnn Galloway stating she "strenuously objects".

Before this ruling, online retailers had to have a physical presence in a state to be subjected to that state's sales tax. "For a long time, we've been pointing out a real unfairness in the fact that mega online sellers like Wayfair or Amazon or Jet were not paying the sales tax".

Dominic Calabro, president of Florida TaxWatch, a business-oriented advocacy group, said the ability to apply the sales tax to more internet sales will keep the state's tax structure in sync with the evolving economy. But some states, including Washington, have recently passed marketplace bills which force the company that provides the platform for sellers - such as Amazon, Etsy and, eBay - to collect sales tax rather than the asking the seller to do so. "There are now significant complexities in the thousands of state and local sales tax laws, including different minimum thresholds, tax holidays, and product tax category rules".

But many smaller online retailers are women, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities who have taken advantage of the protections granted by the Supreme Court and Congress over the years.

Retail trade groups praised the ruling, saying it levels the playing field for local and online businesses.

The original decision had the unintended but incredibly beneficial impact of boosting e-commerce in the early days of the internet. That software, too, can be an added cost.

Stocks of online retailers were down significantly immediately following the ruling. Dissenting justices were John Roberts, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. For instance, South Dakota is hoping to collect as much as $50 million per year which is still fairly noticeable for a state that only collects $1.5B in total revenue per year.

"Will states step forward and pass laws similar to South Dakota?" asked Annette Nellen, director of the Masters in Science in Taxation program at San Jose State University, on Thursday.

Today's ruling overturns a decision from the Court in 1992 that paved the way for the explosion of online retail in the United States.

Local merchants and large chains complained over the years that shoppers used their stores as showrooms and would then go online to make the purchase tax-free.

South Dakota specifically brought this lawsuit against Wayfair,, and Newegg. The decision reverses a 1992 Supreme Court ruling in Quill vs. The decision noted that South Dakota is reliant on sales taxes for 60 per cent of its general fund and uses those taxes to fund essential services. The market mourned the loss of an advantage beyond convenience that e-commerce had over bricks-and-mortar.

In South Dakota v. Wayfair, the question the High Court considered was this: "Should this Court abrogate Quill'ssales-tax-only, physical-presence requirement?"


  • Koko, the Bay Area gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

    Koko, the Bay Area gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

    Koko was born on the Fourth of July, 1971, at the San Francisco Zoo; her full name, Hanabi-Ko, is Japanese for "fireworks child". Five years later, the Gorilla Foundation was created in the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 40 kilometers south of San Francisco.
    Parents brawl at youth softball tournament

    Parents brawl at youth softball tournament

    The clip shows almost a dozen adults involved in the altercation, as punches are thrown, while others tussle on the ground. Both teams were disqualified from the tournament at Brickyard Park in Kingsport, Tenn.
    Ant McPartlin latest: Anne-Marie 'romance' branded 'violation of girl code'

    Ant McPartlin latest: Anne-Marie 'romance' branded 'violation of girl code'

    She also said that she'd only found out about the relationship when the story broke in the press on Sunday . There has been no official confirmation from Ant or Anne-Marie on whether the claims are true.
  • Trump tariffs: Markets fall as trade war fears mount

    Trump tariffs: Markets fall as trade war fears mount

    For that to happen though, it is important that the iPhone be allowed to cross the USA and China borders unfettered by tariffs . Chips from non-Chinese wafer fabs sold to American companies that pass through those facilities likely would not be hit.
    Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

    Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

    In a report from The Associated Press , the outlet states that investigators believe suspects ambushed him at the store. According to TMZ , Williams was also charged with violating probation after a prior grand theft auto charge.
    Intel CEO Resigns Over Affair With Employee

    Intel CEO Resigns Over Affair With Employee

    INTC notes that it is its intention to search both internally and externally for a new permanent CEO to replace Brian Krzanich . At the time, Intel countered that the sale was unrelated to Krzanich's knowledge of the industry-wide processor problems.
  • North Korea returns remains of 200 US troops

    North Korea returns remains of 200 US troops

    It's been more than a decade since North Korea turned over the remains of American troops missing from the Korean War. Trump told reporters after the two met that Kim had agreed to destroy one of his missile centers.
    Love Island viewers want Samira to ‘back off’ from Alex

    Love Island viewers want Samira to ‘back off’ from Alex

    Love Island fans vented their frustration after the 60 minute episode left them on an excruciating cliffhanger with Alex George . Following on from the argument, Twitter was awash with comments saying their views on the Dreamgirls performer had changed.
    Prices Dip Slightly on Reports Iran May Agree to Small Production Hike

    Prices Dip Slightly on Reports Iran May Agree to Small Production Hike

    OPEC will discuss possible changes to the supply-cut deal in the Austrian capital later this week. Zanganeh was due to attend a ministerial committee on Thursday, two sources said.
  • Algeria goes offline to stop students cheating

    Algeria goes offline to stop students cheating

    Last year, the authorities tried to stop it by shutting down social media access - but that was not thought to be tough enough. Ms Benghrabit also said surveillance cameras and mobile phone jammers had been installed at exam printing presses.
    Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic: Argentina will be our 'easiest game'

    Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic: Argentina will be our 'easiest game'

    We are getting a good price on the draw and it is a fair result so it is the wager which I am going to suggest for this game. It's hard to tell my teammates something new about Messi, as he is an outstanding player.
    Microsoft buys student social video platform Flipgrid

    Microsoft buys student social video platform Flipgrid

    Flipgrid is a video tool that allows teachers and students to engage with one another, the way they know how. With this deal, Flipgrid's services will be integrated into the products offered by Microsoft .


France defeats Peru, qualifies for knockout World Cup stage
It was a frustrating loss for Peru , which kept control of possession and placed six shots on target, twice as many as Denmark . However, the French team know they need to improve if they stand a chance of winning football's biggest tournament.

Melania Trump visits with immigrant children at Texas border
In allowing journalists to accompany her, Melania Trump ensured that her meetings with immigrants would be well publicised. On Wednesday, Grisham said that Trump urged her husband to end the family-separation policy.

Morocco Caused Portugal a Lot of Trouble: Coach Santos
Cristiano Ronaldo became Europe's top global scorer, but Portugal were lucky to come out on top against a resilient Morocco. Morocco officially is eliminated from World Cup 2018 contention with its second loss in as many games.

'Love Island' 2016 star Sophie Gradon has died
While Geordie Shore starlet Holly Hagan wrote in disbelief: "You were only helping me battle the Twitter trolls yesterday". Co-star Olivia Buckland wrote on Twitter: "Awful terrible news this morning". "Awful terrible news this morning".

Ozark Season 2 Premiere Date, Trailer Revealed: What Is the Endgame?
Bateman's other Netflix series, Arrested Development , is still awaiting word on a release date for the second half of Season 5. The stakes are even higher than before and The Byrdes soon realize they have to go all in before they can get out.

Reporter groped, kissed during live FIFA World Cup broadcast in Russian Federation
Ms Theran said she had been working in sports reporting for a long time and she had never been attacked, even though she was "exposed to the fans and some insane people".

Wawrinka clears first hurdle at Queen’s
You can't live on the glory from a year ago . 'And for me it was really tough, because I had to start from zero physically. Rybarikova's versatility and shot-making fluidity enabled her to control the match nearly from start to finish.

Amazon expands StitchFix competitor Prime Wardrobe to all customers
Not all clothing items are eligible for Prime Wardrobe , but items that are eligible will have a Prime Wardrobe logo. From there, customers have seven days to decide what they want to keep.

Phillies fan injured when Phanatic shoots hot dog into stands
She's not considering legal action, she told ABC 6 News and understands why people might find her story slightly amusing. Using his customary launcher, the Phanatic sent a hot dog to fans behind home plate, where Kathy McVay was sitting.

The World's Best Restaurant Is Osteria Francescana
Massimo Bottura accepted the award for the three-Michelin-star restaurant in Modena, Italy, saying, "This is unbelievable . It's also the best restaurant on the African continent . "I don't have the answers".