The Supreme Court has rejected Amazon’s calls to consider their case against New York State’s sales tax on goods sold outside of its borders. By effectively upholding a New York Court’s ruling, the Justices tacitly imply that they are fine paying sales tax on black body robes purchased online and shipped from outside the DC area.
Ever since the 1992 Supreme Court case, Quill v. North Dakota, savvy Internet retailers could avoid sales tax if they didn’t have a “substantial nexus” in the state where a customer lived. States lose an estimated $23 billion from online sales, according to the National Conference of State Legislators (hardly an unbiased group).
New York State gets around that law by taxing an online company if they leverage local businesses, such as Amazon’s affiliate program, to sell goods.
The federal government isn’t sitting out this game, either. Dueling bills in Congress seek to both ban and enact a federal sales tax. But, considering we have the most unproductive congress in history, Amazon may not have to worry about that law any time soon.
Amazon officially supports a federal sales tax law if it creates a standardized set of rules across the entire country.