Posted on April 23 2019
A longtime customer from Georgia posted the following on the BST page today:
'Quick question: Since when did we start paying state and county tax? I thought you had to have a physical presence in a state to collect tax. Just curious.'
I'm neither an attorney nor an accountant, but I will do my best to answer. It used to be true that we were only required to collect sales tax from customers in the same state where we, Chris N Missy Original, are located (Indiana) or have some other physical connection- like sales reps or warehouses. However, there is a new U.S. Supreme Court case that changed that last year: South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Dakota_v._Wayfair,_Inc.)
By way of background, states felt they were being deprived of tax revenue because shoppers could buy something online and avoid paying taxes. Also, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers felt it gave an unfair advantage to their online competition. I followed the news stories last year leading up to the decision because I knew it would affect us and our customers.
The result is that retailers can now be required to collect and remit sales tax on out-of-state purchases, and it was left up to individual states to decide for themselves if they want to collect. As of this writing, we are required to withhold in Georgia (1/1/19) and California (4/1/19)- and Indiana of course. More states will require withholding later this year.
While I completely understand the reasoning behind the decision, all the same, I'd rather not have to charge you more. The point I want to make is that this is not a Chris N Missy decision or something we suddenly decided to do on our own (Trust me, it’s a huge pain to keep track of). It's a decision made by the individual states, and we are simply following that law.