U.S. court backs states over web sales tax

Ivan Schwartz
June 24, 2018

"SC already collects (sales tax) on 22 of the top 25 e-retailers". IN supported the legal challenge led by South Dakota. This reverses the Court's 1992 decision that state's could only collect sales tax from online retailers with a physical presence in that state, such as a warehouse or office building. Of course, a lot has changed since the fledgling days of the internet 26 years ago.

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"The Indiana Chamber is very pleased to see today's Supreme Court decision to permit states to move forward with sales tax collection from online retailers", said Bill Waltz, vice president of taxation and public finance for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. In his ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that states were losing an estimated $8 billion to $33 billion in revenue. Last month, Trump's business quietly updated the list of states to include NY, while Virginia was added not long before that. State Representative Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) said only about one percent of people in IN actually paid an online sales tax previous year.

In a dissenting opinion citing the court's prior ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts said federal lawmakers, not the court, should decide whether to tax remote sales.

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Buyers have to pay sales tax if they are shopping from a big box store online because many have stores in every state. "We're taking a careful look at the ruling to better understand its implications for Indiana", Holcomb said. The Retailers Association of MA called the ruling a big win for businesses. However, Alaska and Montana allow individual individual cities to collect local sales taxes, according to the Tax Foundation. Five states don't charge sales tax.

Online shoppers may have to pay a little more at checkout due to a decision from the highest court in the land.

"Until the legislature can reconvene, pass a bill, expanding who is required to collect tax under Nebraska law and from that point forward, the state cant take advantage of that ruling", said UNL Law Professor Adam Thimmesh.

In Florida, the sales tax has been applied to a wider range of internet sales over the last few years.

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