IN officials react to Supreme Court's online sales tax decision

Sheri Evans
June 24, 2018

Amazon.com and Overstock.com are among the companies that say they support a nationwide law that would relieve retailers from dealing with a patchwork of state tax laws.

It should also help brick-and-mortar retailers, who have suffered for years from uneven competition with online stores that don't have to collect the state's 6.25 percent sales tax.

Some companies like online retail giant Amazon already pay those taxes to the state, but many others do not, said State Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn.

Gary Herbert is praising a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on sales tax collection from online purchases. But it would affect the smaller business that exclusively have an online presence.

Some internet retailers are shrugging and making plans to adhere to the new rules. Back then, "I was a junior in high school", she said, adding that her youngest son just finished his junior year in high school. "It's not something that needs to be a panic situation". Republican state lawmaker Jeff Partridge, who sponsored the provision in the teacher pay measure, said he's looking forward to the "prospect of a tax cut for the citizens of South Dakota". "Each state gets to determine whether the products, goods, and services sold by the sellers should be subject to that state's sales tax".

There are still many unknowns.

The South Dakota Supreme Court invalidated the law because Quill Corp. v. But Layne says Virginia's general fund won't see that revenue until the General Assembly adopts legislation on how to apply the sales tax. Each state sets its own standards.

Meanwhile, a statement release Thursday said the state Chamber was "very pleased" with the decision. He suggests retailers consult with their accountants to determine the states where they should be in compliance. Amazon does collect on direct sales, but not indirect sales. States also argued that the previous interpretation prevented them from maximizing potential tax revenues.

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"This decision is not the end of the days for this case", said Jamie Yesnowitz, a National Tax Office leader at accounting firm Grant Thornton.

But sellers that only have a physical presence in a single state or a few states could avoid charging customers sales tax when they're shipping to addresses outside those states. If a company doesn't expect to reach the threshold in a state, it may decide not to collect tax.

As of Friday, the Trump Organization's online retailer, TrumpStore.com, collects sales tax in Florida, Louisiana, New York, and Virginia, according to its website. Some states have exemptions for collecting sales tax. Betty Lou Kranz initially anxious about being able to stay in business if she had to track tax rates in hundreds of jurisdictions where her Port Jervis, New York-based company, The Pretzel Princess, sells candy and snacks.

The ruling also concerns some small business advocates, who see it as government interference in business. Online retail has grown at the expense of physical stores.

"They've been getting an unfair advantage for 20 years".

"I understand that the customer is going to have to pay more".

Businesses that aren't traditional retailers hope they'll get back lost sales.

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