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supreme court weighs widening states’ reach on online sales taxes

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supreme court weighs widening states’ reach on online sales taxes

billions of dollars of goods sold each year by independent merchants on amazon.com and other online marketplaces would be vulnerable to state sales taxes for the first time if justices decide to reverse a quarter-century-old precedent in a case before the supreme court this week.in the case, south dakota is seeking to overturn a longtime precedent under which states can’t require retailers to collect sales taxes unless the companies have a physical presence in the state. while amazon.com inc. itself collects sales taxes on its own products, it does not on most others’ sales through its platform.justices on tuesday will hear arguments in the case, south dakota v. wayfair inc., and a decision is expected by the end of june.the current tax rules—from the era of mail-order catalogs—helped fuel the rise of internet commerce and spurred frustration among brick-and-mortar retailers, shopping-mall owners and state governments.tax and legal experts expect the court to overturn the precedent, freeing states to collect levies on future cross-state transactions. it isn’t clear what new standard might take its place or what rules states might impose.president donald trump recently put the issue of sales-tax collection in the spotlight as part of his repeated attacks on amazon, which people close to the white house attribute largely to his dislike of coverage...