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The ruling is likely to lead other states to try to collect sales tax on purchases from out-of-state online businesses more aggressively. It also likely will lead to many consumers paying more at the online checkout. Forty-five of the 50 states impose sales taxes.
Most states would need to pass legislation before seeking to collect the additional taxes, although some have already enacted laws or regulations similar to South Dakota's.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that online sellers may collect state sales taxes on consumer purchases. The decision overruled a decades-old precedent that had protected out-of-state sellers from being required to collect such taxes.
state sales tax in states where they have a physical presenceStates have always been allowed to do that. What's new in recent years is assessing sales tax in states where the vendor doesn’t have a physical presence (but where the buyer lives, and would therefore otherwise be paying tax on the purchase).
applied at the same rate for the same goods or services nationwideIt’s often hard to get Europeans to grasp that the US is not one homogenous blob; almost everything varies by state. (The same applies to Canada. I think there are even some things that Canada handles on the provincial level while they’re federal in the US.) To take the most extreme example, murder is not ordinarily a Federal crime. Sales taxes vary not only by state but often by county and even town. The great advantage to VAT is that it's invisible, so people don’t realize they’re paying an enormous regressive tax. (In particular, I don't think any state allows groceries to be taxed.)
Credit card processors to the rescue . . for a small fee.
Well, it may be both of those, but, if it's going to happen, and the "cheap" ride for online purchases is coming to an end.
So one day every quarter, one will have to make 3007 payments to every county in the USA.This is what I was referring to as a bookkeeping nightmare. I have an e-commerce site I run as a hobby and currently only pay tax on purchases made in my state, Pennsylvania. And then, just that alone, I have to worry about which county the purchase is from. 2 of the 67 counties tax differently. I cannot imagine how much time and money would be involved paying multiple states/counties, even with automation. For someone running a small hobby site like me, that may be the proverbial nail in the coffin of online sales. Good thing I have a day job.
joined:June 2, 2003
six (6) downloadable tables for sales tax in the usa and territories broken down to state, county, and city levels
detailing what products are taxed and what products aren't taxed?