The impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, now over a year since it was handed down, continues to reverberate throughout the business world. As the year wears on, it’s clear the decision carries implications for industries beyond retail and, indeed, for the very basic functions of any business with multi-state operations. Not understanding these implications can have significant financial consequences—failure to collect sales taxes on remote sales can result in significant tax assessments for the seller.
Last year’s Wayfair decision is a momentous development in the debate over the digital economy’s responsibility for the collection of sales tax. As companies increasingly conduct business across state lines, how states and the federal government craft tax legislation that addresses the evolving definition of “nexus” significantly impacts all taxpayers—including manufacturers.
(Background: In June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case South Dakota vs. Wayfair that the “physical presence test” for determining if a seller is required to administer sales taxes is “incorrect.” States may now legally require sellers to administer sales taxes, even if the seller has no in-state physical presence.)
While many states offer manufacturers generous sales tax exemptions on certain equipment and machinery purchases, the industry is now faced with new sales/use tax rules that impact both purchase and sale transactions. The Wayfair decision has important business implications manufacturers can’t afford to ignore—lest they wind up with a hefty tax bill they didn’t plan for.
If you do business in more than one state, there’s a good chance you may owe taxes in another state. Instead of being issued a jeopardy assessment, it’s best to work with an experienced CPA and be proactive.
The recent Wayfair decision has drastically altered the landscape for states that want to collect sales and use taxes.
Prior to this landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, economic "nexus" for tax purposes was established only if the seller of goods or services exhibited a "physical presence" in the state. Under Wayfair, sales and use tax obligations may be imposed on remote sellers — even those operating solely online.
Topics: Multi-state taxation
A new U.S. Supreme Court ruling paves the way for states to require Internet sellers to collect sales tax from consumers — even if they don't have a physical presence in the state. In doing so, the Court has reversed the long-standing, but controversial, precedent in Quill v. North Dakota.
This new landmark decision – South Dakota v. Wayfair – reached by a narrow 5-4 vote, puts online retailers on the same virtual sales tax footing as brick-and-mortar stores.