Subjecting small business owners to burdensome taxes may bring some revenue for states, but at the high cost of stifling growth and limiting opportunity. Congress could pass a small business exception that would differentiate eight-person businesses such as Chad White’s from retail giants, allowing those smaller companies to do what they do best: serve customers, and create jobs and hopefully grow into new robust competitors.

However, that has not necessarily been the case for affiliate sellers on Amazon. Because these sellers didn’t have a physical presence in many, or in some cases any, areas where their products were sold, they often did not charge sales tax. But now that they are required to, it may not be that easy for those sellers to just flick a switch and become compliant.
E-commerce may take place on retailers' Web sites or mobile apps, or those of e-commerce marketplaces such as on Amazon, or Tmall from AliBaba. Those channels may also be supported by conversational commerce, e.g. live chat or chatbots on Web sites. Conversational commerce may also be standalone such as live chat or chatbots on messaging apps[73] and via voice assistants.[3]
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For basic guidance on how physical presence is defined under Texas law, consult Section 151.107 of the Texas Tax Code (Tax Law), which provides a variety of definitions for “RETAILER ENGAGED IN BUSINESS IN THIS STATE.” The first of the statutory definitions refers to maintaining a place of business in the state directly, or indirectly or through a subsidiary or agent. The fifth definition acts as something of a catch-all, by stating that a retailer who solicits orders by mail or other media can be required to collect and pay sales tax if permitted by federal law.

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(b)   A provider of Internet access service or online services (a “provider”) is not deemed to be the agent of a vendor for purposes of determining the application of 830 CMR 64H.1.7(3) to such vendor solely as a result of:  1. the display of such vendor’s information or content on the provider’s out-of-state computer server, or  2. the processing of orders through the provider’s out-of-state computer server.  See id.

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Additionally, the bill would provide small businesses with some breathing room. It allows a generous $10 million exemption for small businesses, meaning any seller that generates less than $10 million in sales a year would not be affected by online sales taxes. The provision remains in place until the states can create a compact to be approved by Congress where such a waiver is unnecessary.
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E-commerce has the capability to integrate all inter-company and intra-company functions, meaning that the three flows (physical flow, financial flow and information flow) of the supply chain could be also affected by e-commerce. The affections on physical flows improved the way of product and inventory movement level for companies. For the information flows, e-commerce optimised the capacity of information processing than companies used to have, and for the financial flows, e-commerce allows companies to have more efficient payment and settlement solutions.[69]
Several states have crafted internet sales tax legislation, which has produced lawsuits by online sellers like Wayfair and Overstock. As a test case, South Dakota has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the Quill case. Specifically, S. Dakota asked  the U.S. Supreme Court "to overrule Quill’s physical-presence requirement which currently prevents the State from requiring out-of-state retailers to remit taxes for sales made within South Dakota."

A 1992 Supreme Court decision (the Quill v. N. Dakota case) attempted to address the issue of internet transactions. According to the Tax Foundation, the Quill decision said that a business "must have a physical presence in a state in order to require the collection of sales or use tax for purchases made by in-state customers." This physical presence is called a tax nexus. The tax nexus concept originally meant a physical building, office, warehouse, retail store, or employees selling in the state.
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E-commerce helps create new job opportunities due to information related services, software app and digital products. It also causes job losses. The areas with the greatest predicted job-loss are retail, postal, and travel agencies. The development of e-commerce will create jobs that require highly skilled workers to manage large amounts of information, customer demands, and production processes. In contrast, people with poor technical skills cannot enjoy the wages welfare. On the other hand, because e-commerce requires sufficient stocks that could be delivered to customers in time, the warehouse becomes an important element. Warehouse needs more staff to manage, supervise and organize, thus the condition of warehouse environment will be concerned by employees.[18]
As for Amazon, which has been fast building its own last-mile delivery network and expanding into physical retail with the acquisition of Whole Foods and the openings of Amazon Go and Amazon Books, the ruling likely won't have any impact because Amazon already collects sales tax on its first-party sales in all 45 states that have a state-imposed sales tax.
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In addition, e-commerce has a more sophisticated level of impact on supply chains: Firstly, the performance gap will be eliminated since companies can identify gaps between different levels of supply chains by electronic means of solutions; Secondly, as a result of e-commerce emergence, new capabilities such implementing ERP systems, like SAP ERP, Xero, or Megaventory, have helped companies to manage operations with customers and suppliers. Yet these new capabilities are still not fully exploited. Thirdly, technology companies would keep investing on new e-commerce software solutions as they are expecting investment return. Fourthly, e-commerce would help to solve many aspects of issues that companies may feel difficult to cope with, such as political barriers or cross-country changes. Finally, e-commerce provides companies a more efficient and effective way to collaborate with each other within the supply chain.[69]
Companies often use email marketing to re-engage past customers, but a “Where’d You Go? Want To Buy This?” message can come across as aggressive, and you want to be careful with your wording to cultivate a long-term email subscriber. This is why JetBlue’s one year re-engagement email works so well -- it uses humor to convey a sense of friendliness and fun, while simultaneously reminding an old email subscriber they might want to check out some of JetBlue’s new flight deals.

The rate of growth of the number of internet users in the Arab countries has been rapid – 13.1% in 2015. A significant portion of the e-commerce market in the Middle East comprises people in the 30–34 year age group. Egypt has the largest number of internet users in the region, followed by Saudi Arabia and Morocco; these constitute 3/4th of the region’s share. Yet, internet penetration is low: 35% in Egypt and 65% in Saudi Arabia.[53]


According to the U.S. Commerce Department, consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. That’s the highest growth rate since 2011, when online sales grew 17.5% over 2010. Forrester predicts that online sales will account for 17% of all US retail sales by 2022. And digital advertising is also growing strongly; According to Strategy Analytics, in 2017 digital advertising was up 12%, accounting for approximately 38% of overall spending on advertising, or $207.44 billion.

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To the great disappointment of many small business owners and supporters of federalism, the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Wayfair v. South Dakota opened the door for states to impose an internet sales tax, even on businesses that have no physical presence in their borders. Because Congress has the constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce, it is now considering ways to address this newfound taxing authority.  Congress must take this opportunity to use its power to protect small businesses from these taxes and perhaps to at least work to slow the process down while a long term solution is explored. The strength of the American economy depends on it.
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