Tag Archive | "Court"

States Can Now Collect Sales Tax From eCommerce Businesses, Supreme Court Gives Go-Ahead

Online shoppers will soon be shelling out more money for their purchases now that the US Supreme Court ruled that states can demand e-businesses collect sales taxes.

The case, which will have a profound effect on the consumer economy, saw the country’s Supreme Court justices voting 5 to 4 that states have the right to impose taxes on online sales even if the retailer does not have a warehouse or a physical store in their jurisdiction.

Brick-and-mortar shops have been blaming online stores and the apparent tax break they enjoy for slow sales. Meanwhile, eCommerce businesses have claimed that their success was because of the convenience they offer, not the sales tax (or lack thereof).

Doing Away with Years Worth of Laws

The surprising ruling ended years of legislative battles as it overturned a 1992 decision. It also answered the question of whether the law had fallen behind the digital economy. According to the Supreme Court ruling, the requirement that sales taxes are bound to retailers with a “physical presence” in a state was “unsound” and outdated.

South Dakota is a clear winner in this ruling. The state had petitioned the court to uphold recently passed legislation imposing a sales tax on online retailers. Marty Jackley, the state’s attorney general, defended the law by claiming that South Dakota was “losing millions for education, healthcare and infrastructure” and that the unfair playing field was hurting its citizens.

The ongoing issue that eCommerce businesses had an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar shops was pushed to the forefront again when President Donald Trump tweeted in April that online retail giant Amazon was paying “little or no taxes to state & local governments.” It should be pointed out, though, that Amazon has been collecting sales taxes from customers in 45 states since April 2017.

Impact of Supreme Court Ruling on eCommerce

The decision to levy sales tax on online retailers had traditional retailers celebrating while the stocks of ecommerce companies took a dive.

Wayfair, an online furnishings retailer, saw its shares drop 3.8 percent while Overstock.com and eBay fell 2.5 percent and 2 percent respectively.

Amazon’s shares also took a hit, going down 1 percent. However, the retail giant’s situation is more complicated. While the company enjoyed the tax exemption for several years, a policy change in 2012 has seen it collecting tax on its own sales in the District of Columbia and 45 other states. But its third-party sellers haven’t been required to do so and thus will feel the impact of the court’s decision.

President Trump has declared the Supreme Court ruling as a “big victory for fairness” in the US and a “great victory for consumers and retailers.” However, consumers would be paying more once this ruling is implemented.

There’s no telling yet how the new ruling will affect the retail landscape as this will largely depend on how states choose to exercise their authority regarding online sales. Some experts have noted that the emphasis placed by the justices on South Dakota’s law provides small online businesses with some protection as only sellers that engage in transactions of 200 or more or those that deliver goods worth more than $ 100,000 will be taxed.

However, the numbers could vary as $ 100,000 can be considered quite low from a company income tax perspective. But it’s safe to say that states will try to implement these tax sales, whether via existing or new legislation.

[Featured image via Pexels.com]

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Google loses ‘right to be forgotten’ case in UK High Court

Decision likely to spark other appeals to courts by those denied de-listing.

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NY federal court decision threatens embedding and linking across the web

The judge’s decision disregards existing law and if upheld could expose bloggers and publishers to potential copyright lawsuits.

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CEO who forged court order to get Google to remove defamation faces prison

Contributor Chris Silver Smith tells the lamentable story of a sophisticated reputation attack and a victimized company led to take desperate steps to recover.

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US court orders Google not to comply with Canadian court’s order delisting search results

The US court agreed with Google that implementation of the Canadian court’s ruling would violate US laws, including the right to free speech.

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Canada’s Supreme Court orders Google to de-index site globally, opening door to censorship

Decision is dangerous to free speech and the free flow of online information.

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Court Documents Show Google Paid Apple $1 Billion For Safari Default Placement

In 2013, Morgan Stanley and Macquarie Capital estimated that Google was paying Apple around $ 1 billion annually for the privilege of being the Safari default search engine. Turns out they were right. According to a Bloomberg report citing court documents and testimony in Oracle’s copyright suit…



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Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Sites Worldwide

On the heels of Europe’s “Right to Be Forgotten” ruling, a British Columbia court in Canada has ruled Google must block a group of websites worldwide. The case was opened by industrial networking devices manufacturer Equustek Solutions, Inc. to block a network of websites it…



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Casey Anthony To Appear In Court In October

Casey Anthony, the young mother famously acquitted in 2011 of first-degree murder in the death of her toddler, Caylee, will be returning to court in October. A deposition in the civil suit against Anthony filed by Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the “nanny” Anthony claimed abducted her daughter and later admitted she did not even know, is scheduled for October 9th in Tampa.

Fernandez-Gonzalez is suing Anthony for defamation of character and losses she acquired stemming from the manhunt in 2008; she says Casey Anthony “ruined her life” when she was wrongfully accused.

Casey Anthony was found not guilty in the death of her daughter over two years ago, and has rarely been seen in public since; many still believe the bizarre circumstances surrounding little Caylee’s death are too much to be coincidence, and that Casey Anthony undoubtedly murdered her own baby.

Anthony didn’t report her daughter’s disappearance until weeks after the fact and then led police on numerous leads that were all eventually proven to be completely false.

The October deposition will be the first of many for Casey Anthony, who is the target of several other civil suits filed by individuals and groups involved in the disappearance of, and search for, three-year-old Caylee. It will also be the first time Anthony is under oath – being under oath prevents a person from remaining silent under their Fifth Amendment rights, which Casey is known for, in order to avoid speaking about the ordeal.

Fernandez-Gonzalez’s attorney, Matt Morgan of Morgan and Morgan, told an Orlando news station, “There is no option, when you are being deposed. Your attorney can make an objection but you have to talk, there’s no option to stay silent or plead the Fifth in this particular set of circumstances.”

The most anyone can hope for at this point is that the true details surrounding Caylee’s death will be brought to light and the case can finally rest; Caylee’s remains were finally discovered six months after her disappearance, and Casey Anthony created blatant lies about her daughter’s whereabouts throughout the search, hindering the investigation.

More here…

Image courtesy ABC News via YouTube.


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Google Not Responsible for Content of Paid Search Ads, Australian Court Rules

Google has been cleared of charges that it failed to adequately distinguish paid search ads from organic search results. Australia’s High Court ruled that Google didn’t engage in misleading or deceptive conduct because Google didn’t create the ads.
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