The cost of compliance could be enormous.
By Barry J. Friedman, CPA
The Supreme Court has ruled that a company does not need to have a physical presence in a state to be subject to its sales tax.
It has long been the rule that a state cannot collect sales tax from a vendor that is selling products in that state, unless that vendor has a physical presence, called a nexus. However, on June 21, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court swept away the nexus rule in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., saying states could collect sales tax even if there is no physical presence.
The brick-and-mortar stores are happy with the ruling, because it levels the sales tax playing field. The states are ecstatic because they can collect more sales tax. But there are complexities, and no one is entirely sure how it will play out in the long run.
Who is affected?