Executive Briefings

Illinois Taxing Authorities Become Latest to Take On Amazon, Other Out-of-State Retailers

Besides imposing hefty increases in its personal and corporate income-tax rates, Illinois is also taking steps to require that out-of-state retailers, most notably Amazon.com, collect sales taxes with respect to goods shipped into the state.

Illinois is not the first state to attempt to bring Amazon.com to heel. New York, North Carolina, Colorado, and Rhode Island have enacted laws similar to the one Illinois is poised to adopt.

Clearly, states and localities have broad latitude when it comes to matters of taxation. But that latitude is not limitless. If the Supreme Court decides to take up the challenge, will it find that these new sales and use tax laws are in violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution? If the answer is yes, there is, for Amazon.com, some hope that these laws will eventually be struck down.

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Besides imposing hefty increases in its personal and corporate income-tax rates, Illinois is also taking steps to require that out-of-state retailers, most notably Amazon.com, collect sales taxes with respect to goods shipped into the state.

Illinois is not the first state to attempt to bring Amazon.com to heel. New York, North Carolina, Colorado, and Rhode Island have enacted laws similar to the one Illinois is poised to adopt.

Clearly, states and localities have broad latitude when it comes to matters of taxation. But that latitude is not limitless. If the Supreme Court decides to take up the challenge, will it find that these new sales and use tax laws are in violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution? If the answer is yes, there is, for Amazon.com, some hope that these laws will eventually be struck down.

Read Full Article