Supreme Court rules states can collect sales tax for online purchases nationwide

Yuri Gripas  Reuters

The court said then, in Quill vs.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Thursday that online retailers can add state tax to their sales, even if they do not have a physical location in that state.

The high court ruled Thursday to overturn those decisions. All three companies sold online merchandise in the state, but did not have a physical location or employees there, and were exempted from collecting sales tax from their South Dakota customers.

Numerous largest online retailers, such as Amazon, already pay sales taxes because they have enough of a physical presence in most states through their network of warehouses and distribution facilities to qualify as taxable by states. Before this ruling, Amazon, for example, collected sales tax only from customers in Washington and Pennsylvania. Amazon.com, with its network of warehouses, also collects sales tax in every state that charges it, though third party sellers who use the site to sell goods don't have to.

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Amazon has been collecting sales taxes in all states that have the tax since April 2017 and in many states - including Texas - much earlier. It's likely to negate some of the price advantages that come from buying online, as you might guess, but there's also the possibility of creating headaches for smaller e-commerce outfits that might lose a price advantage over heavyweights already paying state sales taxes. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a dissenting opinion. That will open the door to more states passing laws similar to South Dakota's.

Andrew Moylan, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, said the Court dealt a blow to taxpayers and is allowing states the power to tax businesses all over the country. The law requires out-of-state sellers who do more than $100,000 of business in the state or more than 200 transactions annually with state residents to collect sales tax and turn it over to the state.

Taxes on TV services is not new. Amazon stock is down over 1.2%.

The Trump administration had urged the justices to side with South Dakota.

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