'Good news, but it's not a windfall' in Washington state

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"And that's what has frustrated the state for years". Now, some companies had, like Amazon had been remitting the sales tax to us already on internet sales. "It's exciting to have it overturned, but it's disappointing to not have a law in place". "These issues are not before the Court in the instant case; but their potential to arise in some later case can not justify retaining this artificial, anachronistic rule that deprives States of vast revenues from major businesses".

Gov. Pete Ricketts was among those opponents, although he had been seeking a compromise at the time the bill failed.

Roberts said he agreed that a 51-year-old case partly affirmed by Quill was wrongly decided, but he opposes discarding the physical presence rule because the internet economy has grown in reliance on it. That case involved Colorado's attempt to collect taxes from online retailers indirectly by making them report sales to the state.

"There are nuances to every opinion", he said.

And the court didn't say whether states could retroactively seek sales taxes.

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Jeffrey LeSage, Americas vice chairman for tax at accounting firm KPMG, said the ruling "could turn out to be nearly as significant for American businesses as the recent rewrite of the USA federal tax code".

But Wayfair, an online furniture shop, and other retailers argued that handling the nuanced sales tax rules in each state would be impossible for small online retailers and would put them out of business.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the previous decisions were flawed.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are also celebrating the news. Online sellers of expensive items like furniture and jewelry could see a diminished advantage over brick-and-mortar rivals that collect sales tax. That's because they typically have a physical store in whatever state the purchase is being shipped to. They said local tax laws vary widely across the nation and calculating sales taxes for 10,000 local taxing jurisdictions remains a daunting task. States had no viable way to track down everyone who wasn't paying their sales tax, which is why they wanted to force retailers to collect it regardless of where they were located.

Currently, businesses shipping a product to another state where it does not have a "physical presence" - a store, office or warehouse - are not forced to collect that state's sales tax.

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Sellers that use eBay and Etsy, which provide platforms for smaller sellers, also haven't been collecting sales tax nationwide.

"Will states step forward and pass laws similar to South Dakota?" asked Annette Nellen, director of the Masters in Science in Taxation program at San Jose State University, on Thursday. That precedent was preserved in a key 1992 ruling.

Some popular "e-tailers" already collected at least some state sales tax.

South Dakota, which does not have an income tax, enacted a law that deliberately challenged the requirement and local officials are calling its victory in the high court a win for all states.

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