Economy

Battle over sales taxes on online purchases heads to Supreme Court

Battle over sales taxes on online purchases heads to Supreme Court”

The ability to avoid paying sales tax was one of the attractions of online shopping in its early days.

Chances are good you already do, even though the law requires online retailers to collect the tax only in states where they have a physical presence.

There's been talk lately that all purchases, even from out of state retailers, should be subject to sales tax, collected by the seller.

The counter argument is that it is very hard for retailers to maintain sales tax accounts in all states they ship to.

But numerous sales these small retailers get are through bigger sites like Amazon and Walmart. For example, Amazon says half of the sales on the site are by small and medium size retailers.

The Supreme Court is hearing a case this week that could affect how much customers pay for online purchases.

But small businesses that sell online say the complexity and expense of collecting taxes nationwide could drive them out of business. Something brick-and-mortar have argued will level the playing field. Wayfair argues more than 16,000 different taxing units could demand sales tax collections.

On Tuesday, the justices will hear arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. "Now it might be something else that is going to take them back a step".



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