Internet sales tax ruling could have big impact in Florida

26 June, 2018, 03:15 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • US-POLITICS-SUPREME COURT

Nineteen of the 20 largest retailers are already collecting sales tax regardless of their physical presence in each state, according to briefs filed in the case as cited by The Washington Post. The attorney general of South Dakota, who defended a state rule that required out-of-state retailers to collect state taxes, said the decision is a win for the state and small businesses. Businesses had to collect sales tax only when shipping products to a state where they had a physical presence, such as a warehouse or office.

The US Supreme Court just upended 26 years of tax law by overturning a ruling that had blocked states from collecting sales taxes for all online purchases.

Soon after the South Dakota law passed, South Dakota took it to court with retailers Newegg, Wayfair and Overstock, alleging that the companies failed to comply with their state sales tax laws. Not to mention, notes Recode, Amazon already collects sales tax in states around the USA when it sells directly to customers.

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The court held that its prior "physical presence rule" was "unsound and incorrect" and so prior decisions from 1967 and 1992 were both overruled.

The law calls for a one-tenth percent rate cut per $20 million in new state revenue from purchases through online retailers.

An analysis of increased Oklahoma tax collections following an agreement with Amazon.com could lend insight into how much the state stands to gain following a U.S. Supreme Court decision Thursday.

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"Each year the physical presence rule becomes further removed from economic reality and results in significant revenue losses to the States", he wrote in an opinion joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. They said local tax laws vary widely across the nation and calculating sales taxes for 10,000 local taxing jurisdictions remains a daunting task.

A spokesperson for the department said the state is still reviewing the court's decision. Smaller, local businesses also complained that the previous decisions put them at a disadvantage with online competitors. "This decision finally levels that playing field, and I think that's all any business wants".

In the wake of the ruling, companies like Amazon will have to keep an eye on how each state handles sales tax legislation and whether they will have to collect the funds on behalf of third-party sellers.

A Supreme Court Ruling Could Make Your Online Purchases More Expensive
You have most likely been able to avoid paying sales tax on a lot of online purchases over the years, but that's coming to an end. The top court in the U.S. has ruled that states can force online companies to collect sales tax from their customers.

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