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Supreme Court's tax ruling creates more questions

• Jul 3, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Have you ever purchased anything over the internet? Did the company charge you the Michigan sales tax?

According to a blog post on Thehill.com, the U.S. Supreme Court recently “undid 50 years of legal standards that businesses and consumers had relied on in all manner of decision” regarding sales tax collection.”

But while the Court’s ruling may be clear, what happens next is not, according to writer Hamilton Davison, who is president and executive director of the American Catalog Mailers Association, a Washington-based advocacy organization for catalog merchants.

“The Court’s ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. is final. Case closed, right? Wrong — far from it,” Davison wrote. “SCOTUS remanded the matter back to South Dakota’s Supreme Court, which may now modify the order or entertain additional litigation on the issues. It won’t be until later this summer that we know the final result from South Dakota for sure.

“More importantly, there are other issues untouched by the SCOTUS decision, such as whether a cookie placed on a computer of a Massachusetts resident means the merchant who places it must then collect and remit for all their sales into the state. There are also other pending lawsuits in states covering a wide variety of directly and indirectly related issues.”

Davison says the businesses his association represents are fighting for their survival in a sea of confusion.

“The complexity and difficulty (of the tax law) has sellers reeling,” he wrote. “Collecting in Colorado, for instance, means digesting the 70-odd different tax jurisdictions and writing over 70 checks to different addresses in just Colorado alone. Simple and easy? Not a chance. 

“There are a bevy of unanswered questions,” which he goes on to list.

Read the complete blog post: “Supreme Court sales tax ruling is clear; ramifications of it could not be less clear.”

The opinions expressed by bloggers are not necessarily shared by the Grand Haven Tribune or its employees. They are the sole opinion of the bloggers, who are not employed by or compensated by the Tribune.

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