The Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota vs. Wayfair continues to have a ripple effect for businesses with interstate sales. With the Wayfair decision adding potentially significant sales tax exposure to some businesses, there is also the potential for increased exposure to the personal liability of unsuspecting business owners, corporate officers and even employees like tax and finance managers. It’s more important than ever for “responsible persons,” which we’ll define in a moment, to understand their responsibility and potential liability in the sales tax process.
In June 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued their ruling in the case of South Dakota vs. Wayfair, which cleared the way for states to collect sales tax from businesses that do not have a “physical presence” in the state, but do have an “economic presence” in the state. While much attention has been given to the impact on online retailers, the decision potentially impacts the sales tax obligations of any business that makes remote sales to out-of-state customers. While some states are still reacting to the decision, many states have already implemented laws that require remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax on sales to out-of-state customers without having a physical presence in the state. Understanding this new and still evolving sales tax landscape is important for any company that conducts business in multiple states.
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