Supreme Court rules states can require online retailers to collect sales tax

By Stephen Frothingham

Some see the decision as a victory for mom-and-pop store owners; but a challenge for those with small e-commerce businesses.

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that states may require online retailers to collect sales tax revenue from online consumers who live in their states.

The National Retail Federation called the decision “a major victory” for retailers.

“Retailers have been waiting for this day for more than two decades,” said NRF’s president and CEO, Matthew Shay. “The retail industry is changing, and the Supreme Court has acted correctly in recognizing that it’s time for outdated sales tax policies to change as well. This ruling clears the way for a fair and level playing field where all retailers compete under the same sales tax rules whether they sell merchandise online, in-store or both.”

The decision provides clarity that could lead to Congress passing legislation to create uniform national rules for collecting state taxes, to avoid a hodgepodge of individual state rules that would make the tax collection especially onerous for small e-commerce businesses.

The court upheld a 2016 South Dakota law requiring some online merchants — those with more than $100,000 in annual sales to state residents or 200 transactions with …read more

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