None of them ever passed, though. With the Supreme Court stepping into the fray on the Wayfair decision, it’s unlikely the federal government will be too anxious to dive back into this issue anytime soon. That said, as states get increasingly aggressive in their sales tax collection strategies, legal experts expect a long road of litigation and legislative changes ahead. That could provoke federal lawmakers to get involved.
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The 5-4 vote overturned this ruling, citing companies like Newegg, Wayfair, and Overstock in the Supreme Court decision, stating that “each easily meets the minimum sales or transactions requirement of the Act, but none collects South Dakota sales tax.” Amazon began voluntarily collecting taxes in the 45 states that require it last year, but only on items from its own inventory, meaning sellers on Amazon Marketplace may be impacted by this ruling.
Internet sales made by out-of-state retailers to California customers are also treated no differently than other remote sales made to California customers. Generally, remote sales by out-of-state retailers to California customers, whether made over the Internet, by telephone, or mail order, take place outside of California because the property is delivered to a common carrier outside the state for shipment into California, and are, therefore, not subject to sales tax. However, California customers do owe the use tax on those sales, unless a specific tax exemption or exclusion applies. Out-of-state retailers that are engaged in business in California are required to register with the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), collect the use tax from California customers, and pay the tax to the BOE.
Although Smart Furniture's Culp does not expect his company to be too badly hurt--it already sells in physical locations as well as online--he acknowledges that the compliance costs will have to come from somewhere. In his case, Smart Furniture plans to hit the brakes on hiring. "Almost certainly, the company would have to slow its pace of investment, innovation, and, ultimately, hiring in order to plan for these potential changes," he says.
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