Internet sales tax ruling ‘rebalances things’

The U.S. Supreme Court building

In a ruling that could benefit Nebraska's tax coffers, the Supreme Court says states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax.

However, before Thursday's Supreme Court decision state leaders were bracing for companies to challenge that law in court.

In South Dakota, lawmakers in 2016 boosted the state's sales tax rate from 4 percent to 4.5 percent, but required the increase to be scaled back if the state could ever collect from out-of-state online retailers.

"(Local option sales tax revenue) is 24 percent of our general fund budget.

In addition to being a win for states, the ruling is a win for large retailers, who argued the physical presence rule was unfair.

Georgia state officials have been pushing for more internet retailers to pay taxes in recent years. He said the court had other legal tools to ensure that sales taxes don't become an "undue burden" on small businesses and startups.

One person not in favor of the ruling is Gov. Jim Justice; he said Thursday in a statement Thursday he might have supported the additional taxes if the state when the state was struggling financially, but not right now.

But using the compliance services won't be without complications, says Jamie Yesnowitz, an accountant specializing in state and local taxes with the firm Grant Thornton.

The conservative chief justice, John Roberts, dissented along with liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Other sellers she's spoken with "are afraid they are going to have to do 50 sales tax returns". Part of the draw to buying things online, aside from the convenience, was avoiding sales tax (assuming you bought from a smaller merchant), which on more expensive products could cost more than shipping - that's not to mention the possibility of free shipping in some cases, too. The court gave South Dakota a victory, knocking aside the physical-presence rule as arbitrary and obsolete in the digital age. The ruling should also eliminate the need for the kind of workarounds that MA regulators have recently devised to snare more online vendors, such as arguing that Internet "cookies" constituted a physical presence, a policy Kennedy cited as he dispensed with the physical-presence test. But it's also "much bigger than that", Jackley said. Will a sales tax on online purchases affect your shopping habits?

The tax compliance software and services are created to work with the programs retailers use to process their sales transactions. Pointing to the company's ads, he wrote: "What Wayfair ignores in its subtle offer to assist in tax evasion is that creating a dream home assumes solvent state and local governments".

Owners who have never collected out-of-state sales tax will need to get up to speed. "The playing field will be evened for local businesses who have been collecting and paying sales tax". She recalled Thursday that she started looking at this issue in 1992, when the Supreme Court in Quill v.

The state government also is expected to receive hundreds of millions of dollars through online sales tax, according to estimates from Georgia State University's Fiscal Research Center.

"The world has changed", she said with a smile.

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