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

Supreme Court closes online sales tax loophole

It was a South Dakota case that led to Thursday's high court decision, which opens the door for consumers to see sales tax on more online purchases and eventual reductions in the state sales tax rate that were built into a 2016 tax hike to raise teacher pay. Wayfair, which sells home goods, came in for a lashing from Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion. "I'd much rather have people buy their tickets at our front desk and keep the tax local".

Do you agree or disagree with how the Supreme Court ruled in this case? The Government Accountability Office estimated that state and local governments could have collected between $8 billion and $13 billion in sales taxes in 2017 "if states were given authority to require sales tax collection from all remote sellers". "South Dakota has a uniquely simple law since it generally taxes all consumer purchases instead of carving out a bunch of exceptions, and online sellers can remit their taxes to the state instead of each and every locality". Under the agreement, retailers can use a sales tax compliance service of their choice without charge for transactions in the participating states, according to Craig Johnson, executive director of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board.

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance didn't respond to a request for comment. "The challenge for smaller players will be significant, and the concern here is that complexity could stymie innovation and entrepreneurialism", he said.

"When you are dealing with the virtual cloud, it gets complicated", Reed said. Reaction to the ruling is mixed Companies with a physical retail presence in states have cheered the decision since before they were at a competitive disadvantage with online sellers.

Lawmakers have tried unsuccessfully to pass online sales tax legislation for years, with the most recent attempt failing after several conservatives called the provision a tax increase on online shoppers.

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The Illinois law takes effect on October 1, and it's built on legislation passed in South Dakota that is the focus of the recent Supreme Court decision. Out-of-state sellers that meet minimum standards can be required to charge, collect and remit sales tax.

"So this is about sales tax collection, but it's also about equality and support of those people who have businesses in our community".

"One report says West Virginia stands to have the second-biggest gain on a percentage basis in the country by collecting on online sales", he said. Large states, in particular, have been reluctant to join, in part because of the flexibility they must give up in customizing their sales tax rules. The Court in Wayfair overruled Quill as well as an earlier physical presence case, National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue of IL.

HBK's Tax Advisory Group (TAG) will provide updates about the decision as they become available. If a company doesn't expect to reach the threshold in a state, it may decide not to collect tax. Congress could also step in and block retroactivity, Jones said.

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