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What the Wayfair Decision Means for Independent Businesses

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that online purchases could be subject to the same state and local taxes as purchases made at brick-and-mortar stores.

The court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair overturned a prior ruling that prevented states from requiring online and other “remote” sellers to collect their sales tax unless the seller had a physical presence in the state, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

While NRF views the ruling as a positive step toward tax fairness between online sellers and brick-and-mortar retailers, “the court’s failure to provide bright-lined rules leaves many questions unanswered,” the organization reports.

To help provide a comprehensive resource for all retailers, NRF addresses many of the unanswered questions. Read this article and refer to the status of each state’s collection statute that NRF compiled to better understand how the Supreme Court ruling may impact your business.

Some of the major questions NRF addresses about the ruling include:

  • In which states will remote sellers be required to collect tax?
  • When will remote sellers be required to begin collecting tax in each state?
  • Is there an effecient way for sellers to register and collect tax in states where they are required and/or choose to do so?
  • Will remote sellers that sell via a marketplace face different tax collection obligations than sellers that do not sell via a marketplace?
  • Will any states seek retroactive liability for periods prior to the Wayfair decision?
  • Is Congress now likely to enact federal legislation to address this issue?

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon
Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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