Supreme Court to hear online sales tax case

Supreme Court to hear online sales tax case

A total of 36 states - including Nebraska and Iowa - and the District of Columbia had asked the high court to take up the issue. In Quill, the court said sales tax laws across the country were too complicated for retailers to know how much tax to collect unless they were physically present in the customer's state.

Part of the court's logic was that it would be too hard for mail order companies to compute the widely varying tax rates among, and even within, the 50 states. It's time to pass legislation to settle this critical issue once and for all. "These companies can surely calculate sales tax from a zip code", the state said. As such, many states can not collect sales taxes off of e-commerce behemoths like Amazon.

The Supreme Court will decide whether to expand the power of the states to collect sales tax from online sales, which could precipitate a vast increase in internet sales tax.

The Senate passed bipartisan legislation in 2013 that would allow states to require out-of-state businesses to collect their sales taxes if the states simplified their sales tax laws.

Lawyers for the states said they're losing almost $34 billion a year because of the physical presence rule, though estimates from the federal Government Accountability Office said the figure is much smaller. "Congress should not sit on the sidelines as the Supreme Court considers this case". "But in 1992, the Internet was in its infancy".

They urged the Supreme Court to stay out of the fight while Congress is considering what to do.

While Amazon is not affected by the suit, other online retailers including Overstock.com, home goods company Wayfair and electronics retailer Newegg, are part of the case.

"The Court's decision to grant South Dakota's petition is an important signal for retailers that invest in storefronts and jobs in local communities", said Deborah White, general counsel and retail litigation center president for the Retail Industry Leaders Association. North Dakota. "States' inability to effectively collect sales tax from internet sellers imposes crushing harm on state treasuries and brick-and-mortar retailers alike", South Dakota argued in its appeal to the Supreme Court, which this week agreed to take up the case.

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