Etsy sellers confront unknowns after Supreme Court ruling

Supreme Court closes online sales tax loophole

The decision reverses two Supreme Court rulings from decades ago, which said states couldn't require retailers to collect and remit sales taxes if those retailers weren't physically located in the taxing state.

The nation's top court ruled on Thursday that states can collect sales taxes for purchases from businesses not within their borders.

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

Previous bills in the Utah State Legislature to require online retailers to collect sales taxes have failed under pushback from the public and taxpayer watchdog groups. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office estimated last year that collecting sales tax on all remote sales could bring state and local governments in Florida anywhere from $486 million to $758 million a year.

Honestly, this shouldn't be surprising to anyone, but it's a bummer nonetheless.

The 16 states with laws similar to South Dakota's, including IN and ME, are less likely to be challenged. Her Seattle-based online business sells through Amazon, which handles computation and collection. Even before the Supreme Court's ruling, however, Amazon had said it was moving to collect state sales taxes on its inventory sold in all 45 states with statewide taxes. With the bigger players now forced to add sales tax, the total cost of online products becomes less of an issue for smaller businesses with physical presences in the state. Our reading of the ruling is that the case now returns to the South Dakota Supreme Court to evaluate the case on its merits, unfettered by the now antiquated physical nexus standard defined by Bellas Hess (1967) and upheld in Quill (1992).

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The case the court ruled in has to do with a law passed by South Dakota in 2016. The law did carve out an exemption for small merchants - those with fewer than 200 customers in the state annually or sales below $100,000.

eBay has always supported tax policy that is fair to entrepreneurs, artisans, and small businesses. I don't think it ever went into effect because we were waiting to see (the Supreme Court ruling). Rep. Patrick Hatlestad, R-Williston, N.D., says the playing field is even now that online retailers don't have the advantage of not charging sales tax.

We asked Campbell who would have to collect taxes for transactions with South Dakota residents and when. Republican state lawmaker Jeff Partridge, who sponsored the provision in the teacher pay measure, said he's looking forward to the "prospect of a tax cut for the citizens of South Dakota".

As of Friday, the Trump Organization's online retailer, TrumpStore.com, collects sales tax in Florida, Louisiana, New York, and Virginia, according to its website.

Second, Hawaii is not a member of the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement and can not be a member unless its laws are amended significantly.

Neil Saunders, managing director of the research firm GlobalData Retail, predicted that consumers could pay as much as $15.2 billion a year in additional taxes.

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