Monday, April 16, 2018

Supreme Court takes up expansion of Internet sales tax

On Tuesday,  April 17, 2018, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on litigation brought by the State of South Dakota on whether the a state can collect sales taxes from residents buying online from out of state retailers where retailers don’t have a physical presence in the state.
The NBC News story by Peter Williams is here.

Very much as the case with legislation that has been proposed, the measure could make compliance much more costly for small businesses.

Businesses normally register to collect sales taxes only in the states that they operate. But conceivably a system could be developed to route payments among states, and could be offered by hosting providers along with payment portals to businesses.  Automatic transfer of payments is common;  I worked on mainframe systems that could do that back in the 1990s when I was “working”.

Update: April 17

Here is the transcript of the oral arguments today.

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