US Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Internet sales tax case

Growing Number of State Sales Tax Jurisdictions Makes South Dakota v. Wayfair That Much More Imperative

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case this week that will determine, to some degree, what you pay for things purchased online.

South Dakota is looking to overturn a 1992 precedent that only allows states to collect sales tax on companies with a physical presence in the state.

He, and other supporters of the law, argue states lose out on billions of dollars for vital projects - like roads, schools and hospitals.

Lawyers representing South Dakota will ask the Supreme Court Monday to overturn a decades-old law that says states can't require a merchant to collect a sales tax if that merchant has no physical presence within the state's boundaries. It's time for the Supreme Court to clear the way for modern sales tax policy that will finally put all channels of retail - from stores to online - on a level playing field where everyone competes under the same rules.

"Just like technology has changed how we shop, the way that retail happens, it has changed the era of sales tax collections", said Alabama Retail Association spokesperson Melissa Warnke. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told a Congressional hearing in February that Trump believes sales tax should be paid on all purchases, whether they are made in a brick-and-mortar store or online.

Q: Why is the Supreme Court taking up this issue now?




Faced with Congress's inability to act, South Dakota and other states wishing to enforce their tax codes have heeded the words of Associate Justice Kennedy and taken the issue back to the highest court in the land.

The law was struck down previous year by South Dakota's highest court, which cited the Supreme Court's 1992 Quill Corp. v. Can a state require an out-of-state retailer to collect the sales tax on behalf of the state? It's South Dakota's law that's now at the center of the case at the Supreme Court. The ruling, which is expected by the end of June, could give states more power to tax e-commerce sales, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Supreme Court granted certiorari to re-examine Quill.

"This issue is about fairness for states and local businesses", Enzi said.

Many retailers already collect state sales taxes, either voluntarily or because they have a physical presence in-state, so this impact might not be as noticeable to consumers as it was when internet commerce was new and seemingly few sales included state sales taxes.

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