Published: Wed, June 27, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Realtors® Commend Supreme Court Decision Promoting Fairness Between Online, Main Street Businesses

Realtors® Commend Supreme Court Decision Promoting Fairness Between Online, Main Street 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. Customers were generally supposed to pay the tax to the state themselves if they didn't get charged it, but the vast majority didn't. E-commerce giant Amazon has collected sales tax from IL shoppers since 2015.

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that declares states can collect sales tax for online purchases could potentially boost Washington state's bottom line by hundreds of millions of dollars.

While Amazon and other large online retailers regularly collect sales taxes on purchases, many others have refused to do so.

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The Supreme Court vote was five to four. With the courts ruling, internet companies can now be required to collect states sales tax in states where they don't have a physical presence.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

The court decision could also be important in Florida because of the state's heavy reliance on sales-tax revenue. Other states are now expected to pursue sales tax on out-of-state online purchases, with more legal fights likely. "This is about 2 to 4% of total 2016 state and local government general sales and gross receipts tax revenues", GAO said. Matt bought has a Syracuse gnome thta he bought online, and since the store has no physical presence in Arizona, he didn't have to pay sales tax.

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These small retailers will be less impacted by an uptick in prices as they will be able to pass that on to the consumer. Meanwhile, eCommerce businesses have claimed that their success was because of the convenience they offer, not the sales tax (or lack thereof). It passed a law requiring online retailers with $100,000 in sales of goods or with more than 200 transactions to collect and remit a sales tax.

Overstock closed down 7.2 percent and Wayfair dropped 1.6 percent, though both said the ruling would have no major impact on their businesses. But the tax is not applied to "third-party" sales through the Amazon network. Heitkamp suggested that states follow South Dakota's lead and enact laws tailored not to target small businesses. President Donald Trump, who has bashed online retail powerhouse Amazon.com Inc and whose administration backed South Dakota, said on Twitter.

Jewelers of America (JA), which has long advocated for so-called sales tax fairness, applauded the ruling. More than 20 states define a seller's physical presence as including any affiliated website. The tax advantage that they enjoyed under previous guidelines would help offset some of the disadvantages that they faced against more developed competitors.

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We've seen that over the decades: Since 1970s, sales tax rates have gone up by a couple of points on average around the country, but sales tax collections have stayed about flat as a share of the economy.

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