Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Supreme Court Decision Will Cost Consumers

Supreme Court closes online sales tax loophole US States can now require sales tax on all online purchases from Amazon, eBay, and more
| 24 June, 2018, 23:46

So it passed a law requiring all but the smallest retailers, including Internet companies, to collect taxes on the sales they make in the state, even if they had no physical presence there. Some states have exemptions for collecting sales tax.

The Supreme Court's ruling in favour of South Dakota and against Wayfair Inc (W.N) and two other online retailers was a victory for state governments, and a boost for brick-and-mortar stores. The ruling authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy revived a 2016 law that required larger out-of-state e-commerce companies to collect sales tax a law that retailers fought in court.

At the March 24 Johnson City Commission meeting, Finance Director Janet Jennings spoke about how online sales have slowly deteriorated in recent years, citing online sales as the driving factor.

But when and if that happens depends on the state: Some may pass laws quickly, others can take years and some states, like the ones that don't have a sales tax, may choose not to require it, says Bishop-Henchman. "Remote sellers will no longer be using the tax code as an arbitrary competitive advantage", Rob Karr, president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, tells us.

The winners are local brick and mortar businesses, which will be able to compete pricewise with online retail giants. I mean you've got the folks that have made the investment to build a facility and employ local people. Kosewicz pays $3,600 a year for tax collection software to handle payments and reports to her home state, Washington.

The decisions had resulted in some companies not collecting sales tax on every online purchase.

Major online retailers' stock prices dropped.

In fact, the unfair burden has been on local retailers who have been collecting sales taxes.


While almost impossible to determine how much revenue Johnson City or Washington County loses to online sales, state officials estimate Tennessee loses between $200 million and $450 million annually. By design, South Dakota lost before its state supreme court and appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling also concerns some small business advocates, who see it as government interference in business.

"We are a revenue neutral legislature". I don't think it ever went into effect because we were waiting to see (the Supreme Court ruling).

"This decision is not the end of the days for this case", said Jamie Yesnowitz, a National Tax Office leader at accounting firm Grant Thornton.

"I want to stress that we're not looking at this as an additional revenue stream".

And we need your help. Kennedy wrote that the unfairness of the tax collection situation also could be an incentive to avoid opening storefronts or distribution centers in states such as Florida, just to avoid collecting the sales tax. Hatlestad says the small businesses that are the economic backbone of the community should benefit from the change.

What happens next? IL has on the books a provision identical to South Dakota's, so it should be able to move quickly to require sales tax in most online transactions.

"What this does for Washington County government is it provides more resources for our school system".

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