Friday, June 22nd 2018

US: The Tax Man Cometh After Online Sales Tax Following Supreme Court's Decision

A Supreme Court decision last Thursday may be just what the doctor ordered for states' ability to collect taxes on online sales from a much wider variety of businesses. The decision, passed with 5-4 votes from the Justices involved, overrules previous understandings regarding the physical presence rule: essentially, that a business was only forced to collect sales tax and send it to the State it's operating if it had some sort of physical presence (be it warehouses or some such) in that particular state. If not, taxes were still due - but shoppers had to take the initiative of delivering their taxable amount to the state. That, naturally, very rarely happened, which led to reported billion dollar losses in tax revenue for a variety of US states.

Now, states have essentially been given the green light to pass laws requiring out-of-state sellers to collect the state's sales tax from customers and send it to the state. More than a dozen states have already adopted such laws even ahead of the court's decision, confident in the decision's direction, said state tax policy expert Joseph Crosby.
This move, however helpful it is for states to regain (up to now) lost revenue, will likely be a slow death strangle for small online businesses. These smaller businesses with an online only presence usually skirted tax fees on their products, bringing lower prices to consumers - allowing for actual competition with bigger chains that are better able to leverage economics of scale. Now, these find themselves in a position of having to charge sales tax on every product they sell, irrespective of inside their home state or not. Now, everyone is playing on an even tax field, since big corporations (like Amazon, which has a physical presence in every state and thus already collected tax) and small businesses alike compete on the same field. But this does mean that the smaller upstarts will have more troubling times ahead, and online services like Kickstarter might find themselves taken aback immensely. Not to say anything about shoppers, who now will have no way to resort to lower prices due to no tax being applied to their products.
Source: AP News
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55 Comments on US: The Tax Man Cometh After Online Sales Tax Following Supreme Court's Decision

#1
Robert Bourgoin
Well that sucks. People are just going to stop buying soo much online. Killing a big money maker and going to slow the economy for eveyone. I guess it's time to switch to tag sales.
Posted on Reply
#2
MT66
That sucks. Well So much for great ebay deals.
Posted on Reply
#3
Hugh Mungus
Welcome to yet another stage of the modern age.

Completely normal in europe and small businesses will be fine. It's actually the big ones that tend to struggle here as the smaller ones have their own customers and the larger ones have to compete much more, even with other companies under the same mothercompany.

Local shopping still isn't dead here either surprisingly. People just love fetching them iPhones!
Posted on Reply
#4
yogurt_21
actually this is a boon to small businesses whose customer base was largely closer to home and thus is already paying sales tax. This comes to kneecap newegg and their ilk as giants like amazon likely already had physical presence in every state and were already paying sales tax as well. So you'll see a more level playing field as long tax free etailers now suddenly have to deal with the revenue drop that comes with consumers having to pay tax. Ie if a consumer was willing to pay 50$ for a product tax free, they likely will still only be willing to pay 50$ including tax and yet expect the same quality of goods.

for many states it will instantly have an impact, though I curious about Oregon and other states who do taxes differently.
Posted on Reply
#5
TheLostSwede
This move, however helpful it is for states to regain (up to now) lost revenue, will likely be a slow death strangle for small online businesses.
So something that happens in just about every other country in the world will somehow have a different effect in the US? Right...
Posted on Reply
#6
TheMailMan78
Big Member
TheLostSwede
So something that happens in just about every other country in the world will somehow have a different effect in the US? Right...
Have you seen our economy compared to most of Europes? Not only are we the largest economy in the world we are one of the fastest growing. So yeah......we are different. You literally have to use the entire EU to beat the US economically in growth.
Posted on Reply
#7
windwhirl
This is rather similar to how sales tax is determined in Argentina (according to where the goods/services are going to be used or provided). Although here the provinces collect sales tax or most of it by themselves (they withdraw a percentage of every deposit in bank accounts), or through the buyers (if you sell goods/services to another business, they can withhold a percentage of the money for sales tax and when you fill the sales tax form, that withheld money is considered as a credit against the sales tax)
Posted on Reply
#8
dj-electric
Tax man... (ooooohhh)
Taxer of the sales man... (ooooohhh)
Champion of the wallet.
He's a master of corruption and evil for every one.
Posted on Reply
#9
windwhirl
dj-electric
Tax man... (ooooohhh)
Taxer of the sales man... (ooooohhh)
Champion of the wallet.
He's a master of corruption and evil for every one.
Nope, just a mindless pawn of politicians
Posted on Reply
#10
HTC
TheMailMan78
Have you seen our economy compared to most of Europes? Not only are we the largest economy in the world we are one of the fastest growing. So yeah......we are different. You literally have to use the entire EU to beat the US economically in growth.
Even with all of Europe combined, we can't beat your (USA) debt ... so you win that one ...

Personally, i think it's better to grow less while having low debt than grow fast with high debt. Keep in mind that Portugal has been hit hard with austerity measures because our deficit crossed quite a bit over 3%, which is the European Union's deadline. Greece were hit harder then us because they were allot worse as far as deficit is concerned.

Back on topic: Over here, almost everything has 23% value added tax, with few exceptions that have 6%. Doesn't matter if it's online or not.

EDIT

Corrected the type of tax: had put sales tax by mistake.
Posted on Reply
#11
trparky
HTC
almost everything has 23% sales tax
Good God! :fear:
Posted on Reply
#12
R0H1T
trparky
Good God! :fear:
Pretty sure God (& Godmen) come tax free.
TheLostSwede
So something that happens in just about every other country in the world will somehow have a different effect in the US? Right...
I'm not sure your statement applies to the rest of the world, big businesses always survive such changes, SME not so much!
Posted on Reply
#13
windwhirl
HTC
Over here, almost everything has 23% sales tax, with few exceptions that have 6%. Doesn't matter if it's online or not.
Are you sure it's sales tax and not VAT (Value added tax)?
VAT in Argentina can go from 10.5 to 27%, according to the kind of good/service and the kind of business you run, but sales tax goes from 0% to 6% at most... And this is a tax hell...
Posted on Reply
#14
HTC
windwhirl
Are you sure it's sales tax and not VAT (Value added tax)?
VAT in Argentina can go from 10.5 to 27%, according to the kind of good/service and the kind of business you run, but sales tax goes from 0% to 6% at most... And this is a tax hell...
I'm referring to "IVA", which translates to Value Added Tax.

Mixed the two of them up: my bad.

EDIT

Over here, IVA ranges from 6% up to 23%, also according to the kind of good / service.
Posted on Reply
#15
trparky
And here I thought that the 8% sales tax in my neck of the woods was bad. I had no idea.
Posted on Reply
#16
TheLostSwede
TheMailMan78
Have you seen our economy compared to most of Europes? Not only are we the largest economy in the world we are one of the fastest growing. So yeah......we are different. You literally have to use the entire EU to beat the US economically in growth.
Did I mention Europe anywhere? I think you must learn to read, but apparently despite your strong economy, they don't teach you that in school.

R0H1T
I'm not sure your statement applies to the rest of the world, big businesses always survive such changes, SME not so much!
How much travelling have you done? Countries normally charge tax for items bought online and have done so since pretty much the time you could buy something online. Just because the US is catching up to the rest of the world, doesn't mean it's the end of the world, just the end of the world as you know it. Companies tend to adapt to these kind of things and I'm sure there will be an incentive from the various states to make sure their local businesses survive the changes.
Posted on Reply
#17
Vayra86
TheMailMan78
Have you seen our economy compared to most of Europes? Not only are we the largest economy in the world we are one of the fastest growing. So yeah......we are different. You literally have to use the entire EU to beat the US economically in growth.
Hate to say this but again you suffer from inflated US 'factoids' compared to the rest of the world. Its becoming a real trend...

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/30/news/economy/gdp-europe-economy-2017/index.html
Economic growth in the 19 countries that use the euro currency was 2.5% in 2017, according to official data published Tuesday. Growth in the 28-member European Union also reached 2.5% last year.

Funny side note: this growth is achieved in the face of a major migration crisis and massive monetary support to some EU members such as Greece.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_European_Union
The European Union is the second largest economy in the world in nominal terms and according to purchasing power parity (PPP). The European Union's GDP was estimated to be €15.3 trillion (nominal) in 2017,[21]representing ~22% of global economy (nominal global GDP).[22]

The euro, used by 19 of its 28 members, is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar.[23][24][25] The euro is the official currency in the eurozone and in six other European countries, officially or de facto.

The European Union (EU) economy consists of an internal market of mixed economies based on free market and advanced social models. The GDP per capita (PPP) was $37,800 in 2015,[4] compared to $57,084 in the United States and $14,340 in China.[26] With a low Gini coefficient of 31, the European Union has a more egalitarian repartition of incomes than the world average.[27][28]

Euronext is the main stock exchange of the Eurozone and the 7th world largest by market capitalisation.[29] Foreign investments made in the European Union total $5.1 trillion in 2012, while the EU's investments in foreign countries total $9.1 trillion, by far the highest domestic and foreign investments in the world.[30][31]


The reality is that US and EU economies are strongly linked and tend to follow each others' ups and downs. Its not all that different as you say it is.
Posted on Reply
#18
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I skimmed through the ruling and even the dissenters agree that the "physical presence" rule was wrong because telecommunications allowed any business to establish a "virtual presence" in any state. The dissenting opinions literally just wanted to leave it to Congress which has no horse in this race. Congress hasn't passed a law to address interstate sales tax ever and they likely never will. This ruling doesn't stop Congress from doing so (which they won't) so the dissenting opinions are kind of silly.

Specifically the South Dakota law has a $100,000 or 200 transactions requirement. There's implementation problems with that. Specifically, do they not collect the first $100,000/200 on a yearly basis or does the business have to collect it and not pay in? If I looked over the law, it probably says how. Let's just assume it's fine and a non-issue, the problem is things get complicated with more and more states demanding interestate sales tax. It's further compounded on large international companies that have to collect and report sales tax if they meet the criteria. GOG comes to mind.
Posted on Reply
#19
TheMailMan78
Big Member
Vayra86
Hate to say this but again you suffer from inflated US 'factoids' compared to the rest of the world. Its becoming a real trend...

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/30/news/economy/gdp-europe-economy-2017/index.html
Economic growth in the 19 countries that use the euro currency was 2.5% in 2017, according to official data published Tuesday. Growth in the 28-member European Union also reached 2.5% last year.

Funny side note: this growth is achieved in the face of a major migration crisis and massive monetary support to some EU members such as Greece.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_European_Union
The European Union is the second largest economy in the world in nominal terms and according to purchasing power parity (PPP). The European Union's GDP was estimated to be €15.3 trillion (nominal) in 2017,[21]representing ~22% of global economy (nominal global GDP).[22]

The euro, used by 19 of its 28 members, is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar.[23][24][25] The euro is the official currency in the eurozone and in six other European countries, officially or de facto.

The European Union (EU) economy consists of an internal market of mixed economies based on free market and advanced social models. The GDP per capita (PPP) was $37,800 in 2015,[4] compared to $57,084 in the United States and $14,340 in China.[26] With a low Gini coefficient of 31, the European Union has a more egalitarian repartition of incomes than the world average.[27][28]

Euronext is the main stock exchange of the Eurozone and the 7th world largest by market capitalisation.[29] Foreign investments made in the European Union total $5.1 trillion in 2012, while the EU's investments in foreign countries total $9.1 trillion, by far the highest domestic and foreign investments in the world.[30][31]


The reality is that US and EU economies are strongly linked and tend to follow each others' ups and downs. Its not all that different as you say it is.
Did you read what I said? I said you literally have to combine the ENTIRE EU to beat the US in economic growth. I stated that very clearly and thank you for validating it. I would also like to note that if EU had to support its own protection and the US pulled completely out of Europe you would have a REALLY hard choice to make. Social programs or defense. Right now you get to play nanny to your own people (which is good for you I guess). IF the US pulls (which it wouldn't abandoned you) out and that entire dynamic changes......plus a good chuck of that money saved could go to our debt so you are welcome. ;)

TheLostSwede
Did I mention Europe anywhere? I think you must learn to read, but apparently despite your strong economy, they don't teach you that in school.



How much travelling have you done? Countries normally charge tax for items bought online and have done so since pretty much the time you could buy something online. Just because the US is catching up to the rest of the world, doesn't mean it's the end of the world, just the end of the world as you know it. Companies tend to adapt to these kind of things and I'm sure there will be an incentive from the various states to make sure their local businesses survive the changes.
Wow personal digs. Must have got triggered.
Posted on Reply
#20
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
Hah! I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the lack of sales tax in New Hampshire. This is hilarious for me because it literally means nothing for me. Enjoy your sales tax, boys. :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#21
Eric3988
It's only fair while it does suck for consumers. In any case, buy all your Steam games on sale before the sales tax decreases your spending power.
Posted on Reply
#22
AsRock
TPU addict
yogurt_21
actually this is a boon to small businesses whose customer base was largely closer to home and thus is already paying sales tax. This comes to kneecap newegg and their ilk as giants like amazon likely already had physical presence in every state and were already paying sales tax as well. So you'll see a more level playing field as long tax free etailers now suddenly have to deal with the revenue drop that comes with consumers having to pay tax. Ie if a consumer was willing to pay 50$ for a product tax free, they likely will still only be willing to pay 50$ including tax and yet expect the same quality of goods.

for many states it will instantly have an impact, though I curious about Oregon and other states who do taxes differently.
Well this shit will not help either
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/seattle-tax-opposed-amazon-likely-195828848.html

EDIT:

Eric3988
It's only fair while it does suck for consumers. In any case, buy all your Steam games on sale before the sales tax decreases your spending power.
What pisses me off the most is being charged sales tax on secondhand goods.
Posted on Reply
#23
timta2
Aquinus
Hah! I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the lack of sales tax in New Hampshire. This is hilarious for me because it literally means nothing for me. Enjoy your sales tax, boys. :laugh:
You will pay in other ways.
Posted on Reply
#24
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
timta2
You will pay in other ways.
Not in ways that I'm already paying now. People are unhappy about this because they used to be able to buy stuff online tax-free when buying something in their own state would have a sales tax applied to to it. NH has no sales tax, so applying no tax means no change because this is how my state already works. The people who stand to lose from this are people in just about any state except for Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon.

New Hampshire has an added perk though because it has no state income tax either but, the difference is made with pretty expensive property taxes but on the balance, NH has a relatively low overall tax burden compared to most states in the union.
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