Supreme Court ruling may boost Virginia tax income by $300M

The U.S. Supreme Court building

Not everyone on Etsy is anxious about the Supreme Court ruling, though. "If this would increase collections by 20 percent, that's nearly $16 million".

"(Local option sales tax revenue) is 24 percent of our general fund budget. Kadlubek then said to NBC news: "This is going to be a headache. I suspect that we will be hearing from SD shortly on this point". For calendar year taxpayers, for example, the tax paying obligation goes back six months, and could apply hundreds or thousands of dollars of liability to taxpayers with closed and completed transactions. Perhaps, Kadlubek could simply limit online sales to residents of New Mexico.

Though the company earlier collected sales taxes in just five states, it more recently moved to start collecting the taxes in each of the 45 states with such a tax, as well as Washington, DC, prior to the Supreme Court ruling. "We've been operating in a system where we've been at a competitive disadvantage". He believes the new ruling could bring a significant amount of revenue to the Mountain State. It remains to be seen if the ruling has much of an effect on online sales. Her Seattle-based online business sells through Amazon, which handles computation and collection.

What happens next? IL has on the books a provision identical to South Dakota's, so it should be able to move quickly to require sales tax in most online transactions.

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"This will increase our ability to collect", said Scott, who is a member of the firm's Administrative & Regulatory Practice Group. While she runs an online shop, her husband works with bricks-and-mortar. Out-of-state sellers that meet minimum standards can be required to charge, collect and remit sales tax. The ruling opens the door to their having to worry about local taxes according to Mikesell. The cases the court overturned said that if a business was shipping a product to a state where it didn't have a physical presence such as a warehouse or office, the business didn't have to collect the state's sales tax. Kennedy also noted the existence of software that "may make it easier for small businesses to cope" with compliance. States have been trying to get this fixed for several years, especially as online retail has encroached on brick-and-mortar sales. To be compliant with the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement, a State must administer one tax rate.

A sales tax is supposed to be a broad tax on consumption: You buy and use things, you pay tax. North Dakota is "unsound and incorrect". Allen Walton CEO of SpyGuy.com, an online seller of security equipment complained: "This makes life very hard for people like me". It's a wide ranging list of companies ranging from Lyft to AirBnB and global mega-commerce sites Amazon and Alibaba. Hart Posen an associate professor at the Wisconsin School of Business thinks that the decision can be a boon for Amazon. "They have very different needs and challenges than larger online retailers and we are encouraging them to sign a petition that tells policy makers to support microbusinesses like theirs".

Soon after the South Dakota law passed, South Dakota took it to court with retailers Newegg, Wayfair and Overstock, alleging that the companies failed to comply with their state sales tax laws. But, he adds, "the risk of audit will remain on the vendors in most states".

The 5-4 decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, June 21, will now allow states to collect sales taxes from online businesses whether they have a physical location in that state or not. Kennedy didn't directly weigh in on retroactivity, but he said the issue wasn't a reason to keep the physical-presence rule.

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