The Supreme Court says states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax.
The 5-4 ruling Thursday is a win for states, who said they were losing out on billions of dollars annually under two decades-old Supreme Court decisions that impacted online sales tax collection.
The high court ruled Thursday to overturn those decisions. They had resulted in some companies not collecting sales tax on every online purchase. The cases the court overturned said that if a business was shipping a product to a state where it didn’t have a physical presence such as a warehouse or office, the business didn’t have to collect the state’s sales tax. Customers were generally supposed to pay the tax to the state themselves if they don’t get charged it, but the vast majority didn’t.
The case the court ruled in has to do with a law passed by South Dakota in 2016. South Dakota’s governor has said his state loses out on an estimated $50 million a year in sales tax that doesn’t get collected by out-of-state sellers. Lawmakers in the state, which has no income tax, passed a law designed to directly challenge the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision. The law required 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.
South Dakota wanted out-of-state retailers to begin collecting the tax and sued several of them: Overstock.com, electronics retailer Newegg and home goods company Wayfair. The state conceded in court, however, that it could only win by persuading the Supreme Court to do away with its physical presence rule.
The Trump administration had urged the justices to side with South Dakota.
The case is South Dakota v. Wayfair, 17-494.
All of your online shopping just got much more expensive.
Extra magazines, parts, accessories, ammo, you name it...
My own FFL had decried the unfairness of online retailers not charging the sales tax he had to, and I hear his lamentations. He's not incorrect, nor can he blame the consumer. The wrong way to level the playing field is to tax the consumer more, seeing as how we retain income taxes, use taxes, licensing fees, property taxes, etc (why list the 100 when one can link it) ...
Economic freedom regarding your RKBA took a hit today. Approximately 6% less sales for the RKBA economy.
Don't want a point to be missed here: The largely "law-abiding" public disobeyed / ignored / disregarded the law in many states requiring them to pay sales tax on interstate sales. Mass non-compliance (be it unwitting or knowingly) led to this ruling. The Federal response is to allow the States to turn the screws in even further on the people.