Understanding and responding to the business and legal impacts of COVID-19

Scotus Hears Internet Sales Tax Case

RAN – Retail Association of Nevada, April, 2018

On April 17, 2018, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will hear oral arguments in the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc.  The case gives the Court the ability to revisit its seminal ruling in Quill v. North Dakota, where the Court held that a State can only impose a sales tax on a business when that business has a physical presence within the State.

When Quill was decided in 1992 the internet was a much different place.  Amazon did not exist, only 2% of Americans had internet access, and the mail-order business was a $180 billion per year industry.  Today, e-commerce is a $6 trillion per year industry and Americans are accustomed to purchasing nearly anything they desire with nothing more than a few taps on their smartphones.

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