Wayfair Oral Arguments: U.S. Supreme Court Sharply Divided on Sales Tax for e-Commerce

The U.S. Supreme Court on April 17, 2018 heard oral arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair, on whether the justices should overrule the 1992 Quill decision, which prevents states from collecting sales taxes from vendors who have no physical presence in the customer’s state.

We previewed the oral arguments in our blog post on April 16, in which we recommended that e-commerce businesses should begin to consider what to do if the Court overrules Quill.

The New York Times reported on April 17 that the justices were sharply divided on whether the Court should overrule Quill.  Some justices, including Neil Gorsuch, doubted the constitutional interpretation of the Commerce Clause that supported the Quill decision.  Other justices, including Sonia Sotomayor, questioned whether any move to change the law of state tax nexus belongs to Congress, not the Court.

The Court’s upcoming decision is “too close to call.”  We eagerly await the Court’s ruling, which is expected in June 2018.

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