US Supreme Court issues a landmark decision on online sales tax

The US Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in the case South Dakota v. Wayfair, and overruled a 1992 ruling (Quill v. Heitkamp) that prevented states from requiring online retailers to collect sales tax when there was no physical business presence in the state. Quill is a precedent that traditional retailers have sought to overturn for 20 years, because they believe it gives e-commerce sellers an unfair price advantage. Many states also tried to overturn Quill in order to be able to collect sales taxes. There is still controversy with regards to the next steps: while some argue that federal legislation is needed regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling, others believe that the decision opens the door for states to pass new legislation our update existing ones and begin collecting sales taxes from online sellers. Critics of the Court decision evaluate it will unduly burden and harm small businesses.