No More Nexus
In 1967 and again in 1992 the Supreme Court said a physical presence was required for retailers to be required to collect and remit sales tax. These two cases (National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Ill., 386 U.S. 753 and Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298) have now been overturned in a 5-4 verdict with what the Supreme Court says were "incorrect interpretation[s] of the Commerce Clause."
Without the physical presence requirement, states can now claim nexus for sales and use tax purposes, and sellers will have to deal with tax requirements at buyer locations.
States have longed for this day. Sales tax has been around almost 100 years, and stores making sales have been collecting revenue for the states ever since. However, with the advent of internet sales, and fewer sales being made in brick-and-mortar stores, state sales tax revenues began dropping.
With 45 states that collect sales tax, and counties and cities that are too numerous to count, the sales tax tracking for retailers could prove immense. We'll watch to see if Congress moves forward with a national online sales tax, or how the potential burden to small business will be minimized.
Comments are closed.
Next Step Blog
Our blog is intended as a tool to keep people informed about relevant tax and accounting issues. If you have a question or an idea for a post, let us know!