Updated Jun 22, 2018

Go deeper: How the online sales tax ruling will affect consumers

Visitors line up outside the U.S. Supreme Court plaza before the court handed down decisions June 18, 2018. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Thursday to allow states to collect sales tax from online and out-of-state retailers.

Why it matters: As the U.S. tries to catch up with digital companies that operate without a physical presence, the ruling allowing states to tax e-commerce providers outside their state borders has created an extra hurdle for companies handling online transactions. The ruling may prompt Congress to introduce new legislation for an overhaul on unifying e-commerce for all 50 states.

The details: Currently, 45 states collect sales tax. Major e-commerce sites like Amazon and Nordstrom already have sales tax built into consumers’ purchases, and are equipped to deal with the complexity, while others will have to adapt to the changes.

What's next:

  • Companies, especially small and medium-sized, will have to automate collection efforts to keep track of sales.
  • However, the ruling recognizes the limitations smaller businesses may have, and exempted businesses that make less than $100,000 in annual sales or less than or equal to 200 transactions.
  • Consumers will have to pay the sales tax on e-commerce items. E-commerce sites will be treated as if it were brick-and-mortar.

What's next: Many major online retailers are looking to Congress to clarify the ruling with a framework to defend small businesses and provide uniformity and consistency, said Eric Fader, a managing director in BDO’s SALT practice.

What they’re saying:

  • Etsy CEO Josh Silverman said in a statement that the decision was not the side they backed, highlighting concerns for small businesses that use Etsy.
  • eBay called for Congress to create a small business exemption “to help small businesses take advantage of the internet to grow and create local jobs.”
  • President Trump tweeted his approval for the ruling, saying it a "big victory for fairness and for our country. Great victory for consumers and retailers."

Go deeper: Supreme Court opens the door to online sales taxes

Go deeper

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Seattle police declared a riot late Monday, tweeting: " Crowd has thrown rocks, bottles and fireworks at officers and is attempting to breach barricades one block from the East Precinct."

2 hours ago - Technology

Civil rights leaders blast Facebook after meeting with Zuckerberg

Screenshot of an image some Facebook employees used as part of their virtual walkout on Monday.

A trio of civil rights leaders issued a blistering statement Monday following a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top executives to discuss the social network's decision to leave up comments from President Trump they say amount to calls for violence and voter suppression.

Why it matters: While Twitter has flagged two of the president's Tweets, one for being potentially misleading about mail-in ballot procedures and another for glorifying violence, Facebook has left those and other posts up, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying he doesn't want to be the "arbiter of truth."

3 hours ago - Technology

Cisco, Sony postpone events amid continued protests

Screenshot: Axios (via YouTube)

Cisco said Monday night that it is postponing the online version of Cisco Live, its major customer event, amid the ongoing protests that have followed the killing of George Floyd.

Why it matters: Cisco joins Sony, Electronic Arts and Google in delaying tech events planned for this week.