On Thursday, July 12, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair overturned the physical presence standard adopted in Quill v. North Dakota, which established that online retailers could only be required to collect state and local sales taxes in jurisdictions where they operated a warehouse, office, or some other physical presence. The new ruling states that this applies only for out-of-state sellers that deliver goods or services in South Dakota with a value greater than $100,000 or engage in 200 or more separate transactions for the delivery of goods or services into that state.

In a June 27, 2018, article for Forbes, contributor Timothy M. Todd, provided information regarding the Supreme Court decision:

“Jumping to the conclusion, in Wayfair, the Supreme Court held that ‘Quill is flawed on its own terms.’ The majority opinion, written by Justice Kennedy, advanced three reasons:
First, the physical presence rule is not a necessary interpretation of the requirement that a state tax must be “applied to an activity with a substantial nexus with the taxing State.” Second, Quill creates rather than resolves market distortions. And third, Quill imposes the sort of arbitrary, formalistic distinction that the Court’s modern Commerce Clause precedents disavow. (citation omitted)
Thus, the Court concluded that, “that the physical presence rule of Quill is unsound and incorrect.”

 
Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan dissented. In a nutshell, the dissent argued that Congress—not the Court—should resolve the physical presence issue.

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