U.S. House Discusses South Dakota Sales Tax Case


Today the House Judiciary Committee discussed the Supreme Court’s South Dakota decision. It allows states to collect sales taxes from online retailers.

Small business owners want congress to step in.

Despite the court decision a lot of details remain to be figured out.

One example of a detail yet to be figured out is whether all businesses big or small will have to collect sales taxes for thousands of different jurisdictions.

The Supreme Court’s ruling allows states to collect sales taxes from out of state online retailers

“The courts close and incomplete decision in Wayfair, has the potential unleash chaos for consumers and remote sellers,” Virginia Republican House Representative, Bob Goodlatte said. 

Goodlatte says the jury is still out on how the ruling will impact small businesses.

Business owners like Chad White want congress to delay the implementation of the new rules.

“I honestly do not know how we will handle this collection and remittance compliance, from a few locations, to thousands across the country,” White said. 

But Larry Sinewitz, with the national retail federation and the owner of appliance stores in south Florida, says the court’s decision will help his businesses’ slumping sales.

“Customers come into the stores, learn about the products and then purchase the products online in order to save the sales tax,” Sinewitz said. 

Some lawmakers say the Supreme Court should have left the internet sales tax issue to Congress. But they say since it didn’t, Congress must now get busy and create laws to make sure the taxes are fair.

One that I know of was introduced in this congress, would have granted an exemption to businesses below a certain threshold,” California Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren said. 

The Supreme Court’s decision left one key question unanswered, whether South Dakota’s law at the center of the Wayfair case is itself unconstitutional. That decision is expected from a lower court in the months ahead. 

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