Battle over sales taxes on online purchases heads to Supreme Court

Gov. Phil Murphy

Gov. Phil Murphy

The debate about paying sales tax on online purchases is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court.

There's been talk lately that all purchases, even from out of state retailers, should be subject to sales tax, collected by the seller.

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In fact, chances are pretty good that you already pay sales tax on at least some of your online purchases if you live in a state that has sales tax. Numerous sales on Amazon's and Walmart's sites are actually done by smaller retailers using those sites as their platform.

President Donald Trump has argued Amazon doesn't collect sales taxes; even though the company does.

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On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear South Dakota vs. Wayfair to determine whether to overturn that 26-year-old ruling.

The Trump administration, for its part, has chimed in on the matter, arguing in favor of requiring online retailers to pay sales tax. Amazon collects sales tax on its own products, but not on other businesses' products that are sold through its website.

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Those fighting the change say that it would impose an undue burden on small retailers who would owe not just state sales taxes but local sales taxes that many states and counties also impose. "Now it might be something else that is going to take them back a step".

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