Supreme Court Rules States Can Require Sales Tax for Online Purchases

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The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can compel retailers to collect sales taxes even if they don't have a physical presence in the state.

Collecting taxes on all e-commerce sales "will likely prove baffling for many retailers", Roberts said.

Kennedy also wrote that the concerns of small retailers, who do minimal online sales, could be dealt with by Congress or by a further court case.

Like Schumacher, Carlyle didn't have an estimate of how much more revenue the state could bring in.

The case the court ruled on involved a 2016 law passed by South Dakota, which said it was losing out on an estimated $50 million a year in sales tax not collected by out-of-state sellers. "It's exciting to have it overturned, but it's disappointing to not have a law in place".

Gov. Pete Ricketts was among those opponents, although he had been seeking a compromise at the time the bill failed.

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The Illinois provision mirrors the South Dakota law at the center of the Supreme Court case, and is scheduled to go into effect on October 1.

Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, issued a prepared statement supportive of the court decision that will create a "stronger, more resilient economy for Oklahoma". In his majority opinion, Justice Kennedy said it was "inconsistent" for the Supreme Court to ask Congress to "address a false constitutional premise of this Court's own creation". The decision could result in billions of dollars in extra tax revenues at the state and local level. "These issues are not before the Court in the instant case; but their potential to arise in some later case can not justify retaining this artificial, anachronistic rule that deprives States of vast revenues from major businesses".

Two popular companies named in the Supreme Court decision - home-goods retailer Overstock.com and electronics merchant Newegg.com - now collect no NY sales tax because they have no physical offices here. "They'll need to pay multinational corporations a pretty penny to comply with an endless web of new tax jurisdictions". "These critiques underscore that the physical presence rule, both as first formulated and as applied today, is an incorrect interpretation of the Commerce Clause", he wrote. Consumers were supposed to voluntarily pay sales taxes on remote purchases, although it rarely happened. They only had to collect it when shipping the product to a state where the company had a physical presence - like a store or warehouse.

Currently, more than 230 out-of-state, online vendors are signed up for the Simplified Sellers Use Tax program in Alabama.

"This is just insuring that all businesses.regardless of whether or not they have a presence in the State of Florida are collecting the tax", said Carolyn Johnson, the Director of Business Economic Development for the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

In Florida, the sales tax has been applied to a wider range of internet sales over the last few years. "The South Dakota law is not going into effect this afternoon". It also provides sellers access to sales tax administration software paid for by the State. About 16 states already have laws that will let them require tax collection by internet retailers in the coming months, and more could follow quickly. Furthermore, because most of the larger catalog and online retailers are based in Florida and Pennsylvania-two states with no tax on cigars-the move to collect additional taxes would be dramatic. "This would lead other states to quickly pass legislation that is consistent with South Dakota's legislation".

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