Supreme Court Decision Is In – Sales Tax for Online Purchases Coming.

With the big news about online sales tax handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court today, we thought we’d post a few early articles that may be of interest.  The actual implementation and implications for each business will be coming in the weeks and months to come.  But for now, the idea that a business had to have a physical presence – Nexus – to be responsible for collecting sales tax, is no longer the law of the land.

There will be so many questions and this isn’t a particularly easy problem to solve. There are companies who provide sales tax software add-ons for e-commerce, but as the individual taxing jurisdictions realize their potential windfall, will they start making changes?  Will the changes be more difficult to encode in software?  Or will the changes be more difficult to integrate with existing shopping carts? There are literally thousands of taxing jurisdictions and rates can change as local areas pass and end of life various bond measures. How all that data be kept up to date and guaranteed to be accurate and up to date? Who will oversee that process?

Also, who will be responsible for the actual work of creating, implementing and enforcing the new laws?   Congress?  Each individual state legislature/taxing authority?  And we all know how quickly those bodies act, so we may not know anything for a while.…..We’ll just have to wait see.

In the meantime, here are a few links that start the conversation.  A few of them were published before the court decision, but provide good background, others will no doubt be updated as the implications of the decision start to become apparent.


Supreme Court rules states can require online retailers to collect sales tax – By Pete Williams

INSIGHT: The Supreme Court Will Determine Who Has to Do the Sales Tax Collection Dirty Work – By Darcy Kooiker and Mary Bernard 

Will You Soon Have To Pay Sales Tax On Every Online Purchase? By Nina Totenburg

With Billions At Stake, Supreme Court Rules States May Tax Online Retailers – By Nina Totenburg

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