Small businesses waiting for Supreme Court decision on internet - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Small businesses waiting for Supreme Court decision on internet sales tax

Online shopping may cost you more soon. A case is pending with the United States Supreme Court dealing with internet sales tax. Source WLBT Online shopping may cost you more soon. A case is pending with the United States Supreme Court dealing with internet sales tax. Source WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Online shopping may cost you more soon. A case is pending with the United States Supreme Court dealing with internet sales tax.

Now, everyone, including small businesses, are waiting and watching to see what decision is made. There's more than one side to the internet sales tax debate. 

"If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the states, it would serve to be more of an equalizer for those small businesses in our state," said Kathy Waterbury, Mississippi Department of Revenue spokesperson. 

The Mississippi Department of Revenue says that's because mom and pops are having to charge the taxes, but it's just voluntary for the big e-retailers.

Still, it's a catch twenty two. The Court could rule that all online retailers have to collect sales tax based on where the buyer is located.

WLBT asked owners of James and Leigh and Ellie's of Olde Towne about how they would manage that. They have brick and mortar stores but also do a lot of online business.

"I think it would be pretty difficult, simply because we never know where we're going to get an order from," said Jonathan Nutt. "One day, it might be California. One day, it might be New Jersey. So, it changes all the time."

And the sales tax laws are different in each of those states.

"A big company like Amazon would have the staff to manage that sales tax and be able to pay those forms and get all those forms turned in correctly and everything," explained Anna Nutt. "But for people like us, it's us. He does the sales tax. So, it would be him every month trying to scramble and make sure we were doing all this correctly or not."

Supporters of a change point to the fact that there is software available to figure up those varying taxes, but some admit that the software can be pricey.

"You do what you have to do but it just sounds really complicated," added Jonathan Nutt.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue changed its regulations last December to say it would only require retailers doing $250,000 worth of business or more in the state to collect those taxes.

"We're interested in those who are systematically exploiting the market in Mississippi," said Waterbury.

No matter what if the court overturns the current law, you'll likely be shelling out more for that online shopping.

Right now, Mississippi is collecting that tax from some e-retailers but only on a voluntary basis.

The Department of Revenue estimates it could mean another $100-$150 million in revenue coming into the state if the court overturns the current law.

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